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Raphael: from Mozambique to the Johannesburg Temple – a journey of faith

Promises Fulfilled

Beira, Mozambique might seem like a world away from Johannesburg but the long distance between the two cities is not something that caused Raphael Cherequejane any worry.

Raphael, 59, recently visited the Johannesburg Temple for the first time, capping a long journey of faith that began with his baptism in 1997.

He was the second person ever to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Beira, the third largest city in Mozambique. Beira, which is 1,700 kilometres away from Johannesburg, lies in the central region of Mozambique in Sofala Province.

Raphael’s story of conversion represents one of the many miracles that are unfolding in Africa as the good news of the restored gospel spreads across the continent.

“I am happy because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It has brought me happiness,” Raphael said in Portuguese through his interpreter, Freeman Dickie, who happens to be the President of the Beira Mozambique Stake where Raphael’s family lives.

Freeman accompanied Raphael, who travelled to Johannesburg by bus with more than 50 other Mozambican members of the Church. The group comprised of 13 families.



“This has been a miraculous experience,” Raphael said of his visit to the temple. “I’ve prepared a long time for this. At first I thought I will not be able to come but thanks to the Lord I was able to come.”

During his visit to the temple Raphael was able be sealed with his family and to his parents. He has four children, who were all born in the Church. His second 21-year-old daughter recently returned from serving as a missionary in the El Salvador South Mission.

Sealings are part of sacred ordinances performed in the temples to bind the living with those that have died. The Church teaches that families are forever.

“I have had the opportunity to be part of sacred ordinances. I have also made covenants that I will fight to keep,” said Raphael, who was working for a fabric company when he was baptised and is one of a few members of the Church that were baptised in the Indian Ocean.

His first Sunday meeting place a rented hotel room in Beira, Raphael recalls fondly. Today, his area has two built-up chapels and rents four other buildings.

Raphael’s first contact with the Church came via his brother, Augusto, who was put in touch with the missionaries by a friend that had met with members during a stay in Germany. The missionaries that taught the Cherequejane brothers were sent from neighbouring Zimbabwe.

“I feel very happy. This happiness comes from the gospel,” added Raphael. The Beira Mozambique stake was only created in 2014. At 34 years of age, Freeman, is most possibly the youngest stake president in Mozambique.

Freeman was put into contact with the Church after the friend that contacted Raphael’s brother also introduced his family to the missionaries while he was living in Zimbabwe. Freeman joined the Church in 1992.

Raphael was accompanied on his temple trip by his wife and his four children. He said he felt blessed to be a member of the Church, and was thus working with the missionaries to help teach those who are still unfamiliar with the message of the restoration.

Asked what was his favourite scripture, Raphael said it was Doctrine & Covenants 82:10 – “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.”

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