The country of Angola is the second-largest diamond and oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa, yet its people are among the continent’s poorest. In this country where corruption has reached a terrible level, the Church of the Nazarene is preaching holiness and challenging their members to live a holy life and to live with what they have and with dignity and respect for their neighbor.
Angola suffers from the aftermath of the Angolan Civil War (1975 – 2002), which disrupted the education of hundreds of thousands of school age children and left the education system in chaos. Thousands of children are not is school because of the lack of school buildings and teachers and no money to send their children to school. To help solve the problems of education, the government of Angola encouraged churches and missions to build schools or to hold classes in church buildings. However, this government policy has changed, and proper school buildings are now required to provide education.
The Church of the Nazarene is once again responding to the challenge by building a primary school with six classrooms in Lubango, one of the largest cities in Angola. The school building is nearly completed, and funds are needed to add a false ceiling to meet the government requirement. The building will be used as a primary school during the day and during the evenings for adult classes for those who did not complete their secondary education. During holidays, it will be used for youth activities.
The Church is building three more elementary schools in the Sapu, and Viana, area of the capital city of Luanda. Both of these building projects are being organized by the local church in these areas.
During the past three months from December – February, missionaries Rev Danilo and Maria Carvalho travelled over 11200 kilometers (7000 miles) by car to conduct zone meetings, the District Assembly, meet with the pastors of each area, visit the new organized churches, provide youth training for leaders and leadership training for young people, gave advice to pastors and lay people, visit the construction sites of three elementary schools in Luanda, and perform weddings and dedications. Over 40 young people attend the youth district training where instruction was provided on organizing activities for youth and organizing NYI in the local church. A youth camp was also organized which took place from 28 – 30 January for the youth from different churches to worship, share their experiences, and encourage each other in their faith.
Prior to the District Assembly in Cunene, preparations had been made for a leadership training class for 12 people. What a surprise it was when over 300 people came; all of the assembly delegates and visitors came early to attend the intensive class. The participants ranged in age from 14 to 75. Some had walked for two days to take part in the activities of their church; they were eager to learn whatever we had come to teach them. At the end of the training, a prayer session was held, and each person came forward to have ‘the missionary’ lay hands on them and pray for them.
In another area, the local pastor told us that we had been scheduled to perform the marriage ceremony for several couples, and asked if we had brought the wedding clothes with us!
Antonia gave a course for young people on how to make cakes, training children and women to participate in the Christmas program.
During 2010, 25 new churches were organized in Angola and over 500 were received into membership of the Church of the Nazarene. In addition, 12 preaching points were organized, some with more than 20 people attending each week.
For us to be missionaries in Angola is something we do with love, fear and deep conviction of God’s call. The Spirit of God has given us peace in this work – it is God´s work and He will conquer the devil and his angels whenever they try to discourage the forward movement of God’s church. God is on His throne in Angola!
Rev Danilo Carvalho, Angola Mission Coordinator