Happy New Year to everyone! We had a very blessed end to 2012 participating in a new church plant in Kunje, near Kuito. Here’s the story:
You may remember the church plant began by Cornelius and Simão in Vila de Graça, near Kuito. This young church targeted Kunje, another community of returned refugees from Zambia who are hungry for a church in their neighborhood. Members of the Vila de Graça congregation, as well as Christians from Huambo and our team, have been visiting in Kunje for several weeks. This past weekend a large group met for 2 days of teaching, encouragement, and praising God.
We were so encouraged by the thirst for God’s word and His community we have encountered in Kunje. As Danny says, “A simple message from Scripture about following the Bible only is exactly what they want to hear.” They sent us off with a beautiful time of singing, a foot-stomping parade out to the car, and bananas.
As we drove off in a driving downpour we couldn’t help but contemplate how God was pouring out His blessings on these people. This Sunday was their first Sunday to meet together and they are already talking about taking the Gospel message to start a new church in the next village over. And the most amazing part in all of this is that this church was planted almost entirely by Angolan Christians who were taught by their faithful brothers in Angola and Zambia. It’s a movement of God! Praise God with us!
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It is rainy season here in Angola, and the rain comes down fast and heavy. As there is only surface drainage, our road becomes a river every time it rains. The construction company across the street has diverted all the rain water around their complex into our ‘river,’ and today that river flowed into our house.
The drain pipe in the back of our yard was overwhelmed with the amount of water coming in, and it backed all the way up to flow into our front door. From the time we noticed the rising water (with an inch still to spare) to the time it had flowed through the living room and covered our bedroom was less than a minute.
Danny ran outside to try to build up a barrier to keep the water from coming in, finally realized that was futile, and then knocked a big hole in the back wall of our yard for more drainage. By that time the water was over two feet high in the yard and 5 inches in parts of the house. Ellie and I, meanwhile, after throwing the few things we could out of harm’s way (which wasn’t much), were frantically scooping buckets of water and dumping them down the toilet.
We called Jordan and Nathan who got here in time to begin sweeping the water out of the house and the long process of mopping the muddy floors and going through sopping items. Danny knocked a whole in the back wall of the house as well to drain the water.
Just another day on the front in Angola… Please pray for sun so that we can dry out everything and for rejuvenation, the last month has been exhausting.
Today is a truly blessed day! Five people gave their lives to Christ, joining in His death through baptism to start a new life.
In the very young church plant in Kapango, we have spent the last month studying together what it means to become a Christian. These five are the first in this congregation to respond to the timeless gospel message. This morning a group of eighteen people gathered to travel to the water – since it is the end of the dry season, the closest suitable water is a small lake on the other side of town. There at the water’s edge, with many people and many angels looking on, God did His work and the Holy Spirit found a new home in five hearts. Your new sister’s name is Sol, and your new brothers are Avelino, António, João, and José.
Each of the new Christians received a Bible in accessible Portuguese, thanks to generous Christians in the U.S. If you would like to place more Bibles in the hands of Angolans who lack access to God’s Word, visit our Bibles for Angolans page.
Tomorrow, two young congregations – Lossambo and Kapango – will join together in a Sunday worship service of celebration and thanksgiving for the new additions to God’s church. Please join with them in prayer and thanksgiving to God!