Our Latest News

New printing ministry – We need your help

The Angolan churches suffer from a severe shortage of quality, Bible-based literature. Importing literature is slow, unreliable, and cost-prohibitive. Options for printing in country are rare. We want to see that change!

Recently in conversation with several key church leaders, we set forth a vision to establish a small but capable printing and binding ministry in Huambo to address the great need for literature. Already we have been approached by Christian authors ready to submit their manuscripts for printing, and already other Christian ministries have been tapping us on the shoulder asking for the privilege of using our services. And, by God’s grace, the first donors have generously jumped on board with this vision.

Like everything of value in the kingdom of Christ, we can’t do this alone. We ask you to help!

  • Expertise! If you have experience in the printing industry and would be willing to share some of what you know over coffee, I would be very grateful. This is a learning curve, and we’d like to do it right. Send me a note at danny at angolateam dot org.
  • Funding! The front-end investment will be large, but the eternal dividends will be enormous. If you share our excitement for equipping the Angolan church with evangelistic literature, Bible school materials, correspondence courses, Christian life helps, and more, please help make it happen. You can give online to Westover Hills Church of Christ for the Angola Mission Fund with a memo for Printing Ministries, or contact us for other options.

As always, please bathe this endeavor in prayer. All our efforts are meaningless if God’s Spirit is not behind it all. May He receive the glory!

Travels in the US

We’ve touched down in the US, and we’re excited to see many friends and family during the months of October, November, and December. It will be a busy but blessed time. Already we’ve enjoyed a Reese family reunion in Colorado and a Westover Hills support team get-together. Thanks to all who are receiving us so warmly!

Westover Visitors Bless the Nations

Genesis 12:3 – “and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed”

The US summer season is always a busy time for us, with interns, conferences, and traveling. This year we added a very special group of visitors: five dear friends from our sending church, Westover Hills in Austin. In addition to seeing our home and blessing our ministry, this group came to serve at the Angola-wide missionary retreat that takes place every year. The Westover team jumped in enthusiastically to bless not only us but the whole Angolan missionary community by teaching the children so the parents could enjoy a time of refreshment. As a mother of small children, sending our kids to such a well-crafted VBS program was one of the highlights of the retreat for me! The Westover team also really enjoyed hearing stories of God’s work from missionaries all over Angola.

David, Merry, Alan, Sandra, and Don were quite the troopers as we dragged them a thousand miles from our home in Huambo, down to the retreat, and then all the way to Namibia to enjoy a two-day safari before they flew out. Along the way they lavished encouragement on everyone around them, but no one received more outpouring of love than our family.  We cannot thank them enough for taking time out of their busy lives to bless us and countless others here in Angola.

Katie

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Launch of Renovo, a new cell ministry in Huambo

Hi to all our prayer partners around the world!

I’d like to briefly update you on ministry progress here in Huambo. We have been preparing for several months for a cell-based church plant to reach the educated urban classes of our city, many of whom have some Christian background and/or spiritual thirst, but who for a variety of reasons have turned their back on church. The vision of this cell ministry – Renovo as it is now called – is to create a multiplying network of home-based worship groups that focus on Scripture, transparent lives, mutual care, and a mission to bless the world.

Apparently this vision is attractive! Yesterday we soft launched the ministry with a group of 27 people (14 adults and 13 kids) in the home of our good friends Domingos and Emília.  Many of these people have not attended a church group of any kind in some time.  The atmosphere was warm and inviting and full of excitement for what might lie ahead.  Engagement with Scripture and with each other was open and heartfelt.  Our text for the day was from John 7:37 – “All who are thirsty, come…” And they are coming.  Next week, even more may come.

Please join us in prayer.  Give God thanks and praise for the work He has been doing in each of these 27 lives to bring us to this point.  Also join us in petitioning God to let this current group cohere well, to bring new people who need Christ, and to enable new groups to start.  Most of all, pray that God will draw people to Christ and that they will have the courage to dedicate all to Him in baptism, faith, and repentance, to the glory of the Father!

Danny

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Teaching over 120 Kids in the Village of Kanjonde

We had an incredible and challenging opportunity this last week to teach over 120 kids in the village of Kanjonde. We really had little idea of what to expect and had prepared for about 50 kids, so it required some flexibility! But I have never seen so many smiles as we read “From Head to Toe,” such an enthusiastic hunger for education from an entire community.

The village of Kanjonde lies in the foothills of Mt. Moco, Angola’s highest peak. We have often visited for recreation and to help with a reforestation project there. While building relationships with some of the villagers, we heard the huge felt need for education for their children – the closest school is a three hour walk away. So Danny discussed with the soba (village leader) the idea of coming once a month to teach the kids and study the Bible with the adults. He agreed enthusiastically and asked, “When can you start?”

Jordan kept our kiddos and we drove out to Mt. Moco (about 2 hours away) armed with a homemade alphabet chart and 50 notebooks and pencils. The soba had already arranged everything. We watched amazed as what seemed to be every kid in the village arrived – from ages 2 to 20, armed with a plastic chair or stool, notebook or a few sheets of paper, and the stub of pencil. The building was jam packed and the children waiting expectantly. For about 100 of them, this was their very first day of school.

Danny and our helper took out groups of kids to register and spent over three hours writing names and doing a simple academic assessment. Meanwhile, the kids and I sang, studied the alphabet, practiced writing, counted, and read stories. I made my way up and down the small aisle to try to give at least a little attention to each kid.  I thoroughly enjoyed being in a classroom again, though it was certainly a big challenge – navigating differing educational expectations, and with so many kids at different levels.

In the afternoon, Danny taught on the Samaritan woman for about 50 adults, with good participation from all.

We will go again in two weeks. I hope to be able to teach the kids in three different groups next time. Danny will continue Bible studies in the afternoons.

To close, I will share with you the one name, the one face, I was able to take away from that grand gathering of kids – Emília Cassova. She is 16 years old, and could not recognize a single letter. But at the end of the day, she proudly showed me her notebook page, half full of perfectly formed little circles. She stayed and helped me clean up the room, and she is waiting for the next time I come, waiting for the day she can read.

  • Pray for the children of Kanjonde, that their enthusiasm will continue.
  • Pray for the logistics of going out there every few weeks. Pray that I will be to discern the best way to teach this diverse group of learners.
  • Pray that their hunger for God and His word grows. Pray for Danny as he seeks to open Scripture to them in accessible ways.

Katie

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Tagging along on a linguistic survey of Angolan Bushmen

Danny, Robert, and our two interns (Dakota Ellis and Caleb McCaughan) had an incredible opportunity this year to tag along on a linguistic survey to the iconic San (Bushmen) people. If you’ve seen the movie The Gods Must be Crazy, you know what an amazing people these are. If not, the San people are some of the original inhabitants of southern Africa. They are traditionally hunter-gatherers and are a small, brown-skinned people. The most fascinating thing about them though is their language. They talk with a wide range of clicks and popping noises that, to our Western ears, hardly sounds like a language.

Linda Jordan, a friend of ours and contact from our time in Portugal, is a linguistic surveyor working with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Her current job is to survey the people groups in Angola to assess the translation needs. In June, she headed to southeast Angola to survey the San (Bushmen) communities that live there.

The guys joined Linda on her survey of two villages, which consisted of creating a map of neighboring villages that speak !Xung (the San dialect), translating and recording a list of 100 !Xung words, and checking listening comprehension on a recording of the Parable of the Lost Son that was made in Namibia.

Linda gained a good understanding of the San communities in Angola. Praise God that most of them can use the translation and materials being done in Namibia! Dakota was able to video parts of the survey, and Caleb, even with his few weeks of Portuguese learning, was able to read the Portuguese words and record for the translation record. What an amazing opportunity!

Katie

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Saying Farewell to São Luís Church

In April, our team sent our first church plant off on its own as a mature church. Praise God! My overwhelming feelings this month have been gratitude to God, for growing leaders in the church and for blessing it with health. It’s not a feeling of success, but simply amazement at how God has worked. Of course, it is a lot more complicated than reaching some measurable point of maturity. We see a lot of growth needed still – a lot. But the truth is, they no longer need us walking alongside them day by day. They need this chance to grow and become independent. We will visit and encourage and mentor the leaders, but our presence on a weekly basis is no longer needed.

The church on send-off Sunday, April 26

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We have been working with the São Luís church since its inception in 2012. It had a difficult start with some unhealthy leadership. Our team tried for months to find mature Christians to walk alongside in leading the church, but eventually began working with four youth, mentoring them into leaders. Last year, God also raised up three mature and godly families within the congregation and brought a fourth from Luanda.  These men and women have added great stability to the church.

Praise God with us for the men and youth God has raised up to lead the church!

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Our team has invested heavily these past months in mentoring the leaders for this change. Robert taught a series on giving and Danny met with the church leaders each week. Katie and Teague mentored two women in Bible teaching and leadership and commissioned them with a blessing this last week as they continue in their ministry.

Please pray for São Luís in these specific areas:

  • Trust in God to become financially independent – they still rely on support from Luanda for their preacher’s salary.
  • Praise that the church has bought land in the neighborhood. Pray for them to be able to build a building healthily.
  • Pray for them to maintain a focus on leading people to a true relationship with Christ.
  • Pray for the men that are leading the church (see above picture). Top row: John, Mias, Paulo, Gidi, César, André, and Pedro. Kneeling: José and Troquanto.
  • Pray for the women that are leading: Adelaide and Margarita, as they teach, and Nanda as she leads the children in worship.
  • Pray for God to convict someone to teach the children.

Our team will now focus on a new church planting effort among the urban educated class… but we’ll tell you more about that in a future email.  Thanks for your continual prayers of support!

Katie for our family

See Katie’s facebook for more pictures of our time with São Luís.

Katie with Adelaide, the preacher’s wife and a dear friend

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Eliana attending an Angolan school

This year, Eliana began attending an Angolan private school, Colégio Tchissola. Although she is learning fabulously in home school, her Portuguese is barely adequate to greet people. We put her in the Portuguese-speaking school to remedy this. Since she has started she has already picked up many words and gotten more confident putting together simple sentences. She is still timid and confused at times, but generally enjoys school and is making friends. Here is what she wrote about school:

I like having a classroom with desks and a board. I really like my teacher, Professora Balbina. There is English class. I have two friends, Etulania and Duweni. There is recess and snack time. There is a uniform for my school. I only go in the morning, from 7:30 to noon.

Sophia is going to a daycare in the mornings to get her interaction in Portuguese and she enjoys playing with the kids there. Samuel doesn’t speak anything yet, but he is walking all over the house and gets his hands on anything small. He turned one at the end of February.

In the afternoon I teach Eliana and Sophia in English. Eliana is in first grade and Sophia is in PreK.

We thank God for how our children have grown here and pray that they will continue to thrive.

Katie

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