Mozambique missionary to speak in North Carroll churches

NEIGHBORS

February 16, 1994|By PAT BRODOWSKI

Mozambique: A country six months wet, six months dry, sprawling along the hot, humid coast of the Indian Ocean between Tanzania and South Africa. Large enough to grant 10.6 square miles to each of its 15.4 million people (in 1989), and best known in the Western world, probably, for its major river. The Zambezi flows eastward, slicing the country in two.

Mozambique is where Vasco DeGama dropped anchor in 1498, creating a colony for Portugal well into the 20th century. It's where, in 1871, New York Herald reporter Henry Morton Stanley came upon Scottish medical missionary and explorer "Dr. [David] Livingstone, I presume?"

Colonial exploitation and wars were followed by collapse of the Portuguese regime, independence in 1975 and establishment of a Marxist government in 1977.

Mozambique is also a home halfway around the world for the Rev. Ruth Minter, a missionary from Frederick who has returned and will speak at North Carroll churches this weekend.

Ms. Minter will speak at St. Mark's United Church of Christ, 1616 Cape Horn Road in Snydersburg, at 8 a.m. Sunday followed by a sermon at Lazarus United Church of Christ in Lineboro at 10 a.m.

She will return to St. Mark's in Snydersburg for an informal luncheon prepared by members of the church at 11:30 a.m.

Ms. Minter also will speak in coming weeks at Baust United Church of Christ, 2954 Old Taneytown Road, on Feb. 19 and St. Paul's United Church of Christ, Bond and Green streets, Westminster, on Feb. 26.

The public is welcome at all appearances.

The Rev. Sue Burris, of Baust United, recalls Ms. Minter when she lived in Frederick and served as associate conference minister for the Central Atlantic Conference of the United Church of Christ from 1984 to 1990, before being invited to Maputo by the Congregational Church of Southern Africa, a partner church of the denomination.

"We're just glad to have her speak and keep us informed about what is truly happening in Southern Africa," said Ms. Burris. "My understanding is, in the late '80s there was quite a lot of unrest in Mozambique.

"Because she had [previously] lived in the country for maybe 10 or 12 years, spoke the language [Portuguese] and was well thought of, she was invited back to help with diplomacy and governmental restructuring for a few weeks or months.

"Then she came back [to the United States]. When her son graduated high school and went to college, that's the point at which she went back" to teach for three years, said Ms. Burris.

"She was teaching social ethics in the seminary to Southern African people who then go serve churches, many of whom [will place their] lives at great risk. They have their own version of 'the disappeared' over there.

"From things she has told us in the past . . . ," said Ms. Burris, "there is a lot of terrorist activity aimed at the infrastructure of the government, so the government cannot come to the aid of persons in South Africa who have come to the aid of stopping the apartheid policy. There are mercenaries who find it beneficial to keep that area in chaos. It is difficult to live, particularly for native pastors.

"She's had a great love for the people [of Mozambique]," said Ms. Burris.

Ms. Minter was born in 1942 in Ohio, received a bachelor of arts degree at Oberlin College, Ohio; a master's in divinity at Union Theological Seminary, New York; and a master's in sacred theology at Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis.

She recently returned from three years of teaching at Ricatla Seminary in Maputo, the capital and largest city of Mozambique. She was sponsored by the United Church Board for World Ministries, Presbyterian Church USA, and the Division of Overseas Ministries for the Christian Church, known as Disciples of Christ.

Information: the Rev. James Schwarzlose, pastor of St. Mark's United Church of Christ, Snydersburg, 848-1313.

*

Ice hockey champs Chuck Henn and Matt Pinto returned from the National Silver Stick Tournament, held Jan. 28-30 in Michigan. Chuck and Matt's mite-level (under 9 years old) team from the Howard County Hockey Club represented the Eastern Region that includes Maryland, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia and New Jersey.

In Michigan, they met some powerful players from Canada.

Chuck, the team's high scorer, made four goals and one assist during the tourney. The Howard County club emerged from the tournament in fourth place, a great accomplishment considering the competition.

"Ontario must be the hockey capital of the world," said Chuck's coach and father, Dave Henn, marveling at the skill of young Canadian players. "They grow up on the ice. [Sarnia, Ontario] beat us in an excellent game, 5-2."

The kids played Forest, Ontario, "a very, very good team," said coach Henn. "They played a good game. The kids never gave up." They lost 8-3.

Their first game, against Pittsburgh, "ended as a tie, 2-2, even through we outplayed them," said the coach.

But the accumulated points allowed the Howard County mites a final, Sunday match against Petrolia, Ontario.

"They beat us pretty good," said Mr. Henn. "This was the team that won the tournament. In fact, [Petrolia] played Forest, Ontario, and won 1-0. That's a pretty close game."

There was more than skating to the team's trip. On the bus at 6:30 a.m. Jan. 27, the 14 boys on the team each received sports jackets emblazoned with the club logo and "Eastern Regional Championship."

Petrolia gave its southern competition a visit the following weekend.

Chuck Henn and three other team members were invited to play with star players from three Maryland teams.

The Canadian boys met Maryland's best at the Capital Centre in Washington.

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