Preparing to go to Mozambique if not the world … yet!


Pastor Gusty Makhutcha and his wife, Elina, are preparing to be sent next year as missionaries by the Africa Evangelical Church with the assistance of SIM Malawi to live and work in neighbouring Mozambique

For almost 120 years, SIM Malawi and its predecessors have been receiving missionaries into the country to help spread the Good News of Christ. It was in 1900 that the first missionaries from the South African General Mission (SAGM) came to the Lulwe and Chididi areas to take over the work of a missionary who was pulling out.

Over the years, and through mergers, the work developed until we have today’s SIM Malawi set up in Blantyre, Lilongwe, Salima and Mangochi.

But now we are currently working with one of our partners, Africa Evangelical Church (AEC) to send one of their pastors to go to neighbouring Mozambique to work with the Yawo people group in and around the city of Lichinga.

A decade in the making

Abusa Gusty Makhutcha is currently the AEC Pastor in Naotcha on the outskirts of Blantyre. After almost ten years since he felt the call to mission for the first time, he will take his wife Elina and the youngest three of their five children to work in Mozambique.

“It was soon after I started at Bible College in 2006 that I felt God calling me to overseas mission,” said Abusa Makhutcha.

“When I finished College in 2008 I approached the AEC leadership with this idea but was told, then, that there was a greater need for Pastors in Malawi, so my dream was put on hold.”

The Makhutchas join SIM Mozambique Director Alfred Paetzold’s Yao Bible Study Group

Now things are different and, working through SIM Malawi, the AEC and the Malawi Mission Initiative (MMI), the Makhutchas are being prepared to make the move to a new setting. Recently they had an introductory visit to Mozambique for two weeks. There they met with staff from SIM Mozambique to talk about the scope of the work and also met with people from the Yawo group who have been described as ‘Folk Muslims’.

Soon, as part of their preparation, the Makhutchas will spend time with another mission organisation, CAPRO, in the Mangochi area, again to meet with and start to understand the Yawo people.

SIM Malawi’s Co-ordinator New Initiatives, Watson Rajaratnam, described these preparations as “very exciting”.

Showing progress

“I am delighted that the Makhutchas have come forward to take this step, and for them to be sent out with the assistance of SIM Malawi is very exciting indeed,” he said.

“It is showing the kind of progress I have wanted to see from events such as the Pastors’ Book Set Conference and some of the meetings that have resulted from that. The partnership we have with the AEC and MMI (Malawi Missions Initiative) is growing stronger and I hope that Abusa Makhutcha will be a pioneer of  many missionaries, lay and ordained, sent by the AEC.”

But what is in store for Abusa and Amayi Makhutcha and their children as they prepare to go to, and work in, Mozambique?

“There is much to do to prepare for this new work,” said Abusa Makhutcha.

“Elina and I have to learn Portuguese [the official language] and ChiYawo [the local language], and our children have to learn Portuguese for school. We expect that the most of the first year will be taken up in language learning and getting to know about the culture of Mozambique and of the Yawo people in particular.”

Certainly they will be working closely with SIM Mozambique as they transition and then settle into their new life, and this will be another vital part of this cross-border partnership once they are settled into to their new way of life. Abusa Makhutcha is in no doubt as to the scope of the task ahead of them.

Yawo women drawing water at the village pump

Sheep without a shepherd

“Our trip to Mozambique was a really good one and has helped us to see what we will be doing,” he said.

“As I recently told the church in Naotcha, there are many, many people in Mozambique who look like they are sheep wandering around without a shepherd. I hope that I will be able to guide them into God’s Kingdom and that there will be a strong Church in the Yawo people.

“It will be hard work and I pray that God will help our children, both the ones going to Mozambique and the two staying in Malawi, to cope with the change, and give them His protection; I pray for the funds that will be needed to enable us to go and I pray for courage for me and Elina to be able to carry out the work to which God has called us.”


Abusa and Amayi Makhutcha’s preparations are supported by SIM Malawi Project MW96753 Mission Advancement Fund