"When I was in Mozambique, I saw the street children begging. I talked to them about the Bible, but they had no knowledge of the Bible. While I was still there, one evening the Lord spoke to me about 'I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me something to drink...' I felt, yes, I saw hungry children begging for bread just to survive the day. I also saw sick children who had terrible diseases."

Sybil Baloyi

Sybil Baloyi, director of Hlauleka Mumpswa, an NGO she started in Chokwe, Mozambique, is a woman of determination – what she decides, she does, regardless of the sacrifice.

She grew up in Malamulele, in the rural area of Limpopo province, South Africa, where she went to school and trained as a nurse.

"I was very serious about education and planned to be trained as a tutor for nurses."

A visit to a missionary doctor in Mozambique with a few friends, however, became the turning point in her life, and she responded in obedience to the Lord's calling.

"Mozambique was recovering from a 16-year-long civil war. The peace agreement was signed in 1992, and I went in 1994. It wasn't easy for me – from working for a salary to no salary! My first house was a single-room mud house - a little over three meters by three meters. But what kept me going was having peace that this is where the Lord wanted me to be."

Introduction to Petra Institute

Sybil heard about the training offered by Petra Institute and attended a three-month course in 1995.

"When I returned to Mozambique, I was so structured – making plans for the children's clubs and knowing where and how to start training people. I had courage and was no longer afraid."
  • Sybil started with children's ministry, building relationships with children by playing with them, gaining their trust, and teaching from the Bible. And the community came to see what she was doing. As she gradually invited people to attend the training, they were ready and willing to be trained.
  • The next phase of the strategy was to work with the Church, caring for the children, bringing the Word of God to them at their level of understanding until they were older and could attend church with the adults. As young adults, they received training in turn and served the children.
  • It also became a community-based program where everyone was responsible, especially the community leaders.
  • After two years, she started teenage clubs. The teenagers assisted in their churches and communities by teaching the younger children in their clubs. Sybil selected the teenagers who were spiritually mature, aged ten to twelve, and trained them. She also gave them certain responsibilities with the younger children.
  • Many young people came to these clubs and developed into strong leaders in their churches. By teaching and training them from a young age, they were shaped as future leaders. It was easy for them to take ownership of the program, even as teenagers and young adults. They were also involved in their churches.
  • Sybil started a preschool in Chokwe, where she is still based. She also started a primary and high school and plans to start a Christian college to provide vocational training for the youth. More than 3,000 children are educated through the schools.
  • When Sybil started in Mozambique, children rarely completed grade 7 or 8 and got married at around 15 years of age. However, through a holistic approach, teaching the Bible, healthcare, and other life skills., she encouraged them to look at education differently and work hard to better equip themselves. Now young people are getting married in their late 20s or early 30s, setting up proper education, a career, and a good income in place to provide for a family. They now have fewer marriages and more graduations!
  • These children grow up to be responsible citizens with healthy work ethics, and they help to build the country and invest in the lives of a younger generation.
The norms of society have changed for the better. Children become agents of change in society.
They live according to Biblical standards and principles, and they are honest, ethical, and hardworking.
When confronted with situations where their Biblical principles are challenged, they stand their ground and say that no matter what it takes, they will not compromise their Christian principles, despite being discriminated against.
This began a process of opening the eyes of the community.
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