Mission through an Egg Business, sharing Jesus’ love with kids in Mozambique.
How does a young Christian couple, engaged to be married, who have lived in Zimbabwe all their lives, end up providing thousands of eggs each year to malnourished children in Mozambique?
It’s an amazing story.
Johnwayne Kennedy had a passion for youth ministry and served as a youth pastor at his local church. On a short term mission trip to Malawi, this young Zimbabwean said, “I looked around at the children and my heart broke because they had nothing.” The crushing effects of extreme poverty in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia, are enough to make anyone weep. Johnwayne was compelled to take action and soon found a job working on a poultry farm in Mozambique. Eggs are in short supply in this region, and the poultry industry is making an effort to raise production capacity to meet the demand for this nutritionally rich food.
God’s call on Johnwayne’s life was strong and a vision for transformational development grew in his heart. He asked his fiancée Tarryn-Lee if she would join him in this vital ministry. Tarryn, already passionate about Child-Advocacy, and studying law, committed to the calling. Now married since 2012, Johnwayne and Tarryn have established a grass roots mission in their community to 250 students at Namitatari Primary School, distributing eggs three times a week, with plans to ramp up quickly.
Johnwayne tells the story like this:
While working with Eggs For Africa, we co-sponsored several events in Nampula to spread awareness of the value of protein, and how eggs are a cheap and effective source of animal protein. One of the events was held at a local rural school where children received eggs and t-shirts and played games. The following day I could not get these children off my mind or out of my heart. I drove back to the school and walked among the children. I felt God say to me, “will you love these children for me?” I could not help but to say “yes.” I spoke to Tarryn-Lee who also felt God’s call for us to serve these children.
We did not know what God wanted us to do at first. We supplied books to the children, we supported the teachers and encouraged them in their work, and we played sports with the children as we kept praying for guidance about what we could do to help these children and let them know about the love of God. We shared with friends and asked them to pray with us too.
While doing some business in Maputo I met a couple who told me about a man from their church who had started a chicken farm in Rwanda with the desire to see malnourished children have access to protein. As they shared that story, it was clear what we were to do in Mozambique; help more children have access to protein. Now we are delivering boiled eggs to an average of 250 children 3 days a week.
Family health fosters community health, and the Gospel of Jesus brings spiritual health. It is a totally holistic model for development. We are convinced that we will see the face of Africa changed one child at a time. “Train a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” — Proverbs 22-6
Better nutrition for rural children in Mozambique is a pressing and well-documented need. Research compiled in 2008 shows that 48% of children living in rural Mozambique experience severe malnutrition, and 39% of children do not have access to safe drinking water within 30 minutes of their homes or schools. Despite nearly two years of peace, political stability and economic growth, Mozambique remains one of the poorest countries in the world.
We have established a vacation Bible school program to run during school holidays, and further their spiritual development by introducing them to Jesus. We offer training for local church members, using the vacation bible school to train local leaders who can become effective children’s church teachers, while also acting as a connection between the students and local churches.
We have a goal to enhance children’s educational experiences by helping finish and furnishing school buildings, providing lap desks, drilling boreholes for safe clean drinking water and sanitary facilities.
We also plan to establish nursery schools within the churches, to further the distribution of eggs to preschool students at a critical stage of cognitive and physical development.