From the Superintendent's DESK
The special meetings in Angola continued Monday and Tuesday with several events, including church services and both a ministers’ and workers’ meeting. John Musgrave and I enjoyed the fellowship and unity of the saints as we participated in these activities. In addition, we were especially blessed by the payer times before and after the services. Brother John noted, “The saints here pray with all their hearts.”
On Monday, we met with the Angola Board of Directors (BOD) and Onias Gumbo, the Southern and Eastern Africa District Superintendent. The meeting began with a group song: “There Shall Be Showers of Blessings.” Then an overview was given of how the Portland BOD operates and the purpose for the global constitution. The meeting included an encouragement taken from the Books of Timothy and Titus, and it closed with prayer offered by Antonio Castilho, the Angola District Superintendent.
A worker’s meeting was held in the late morning and began with the congregation singing “There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood.” Brother Castilho welcomed everyone and then an exhortation was given from 1 Corinthians 9 and 10. It brought out that “The Apostolic Faith” name found on our buildings and magazine is more than a title; it is a way of life. Our purpose is to follow in the faith of the Apostles, adhering to the Bible teachings and the history recorded in the Book of Acts. As the meeting concluded, the workers enthusiastically sang and then voiced approval, suggesting a unified commitment to the faith.
An organ prelude began the evening evangelistic service, and after the welcome, was followed by the choir singing “Exalted on High” in Umbundu. After the announcements, the congregation sang “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus” and then several testimonies were shared. Our interpreter’s brother, Bernardu, thanked God for saving him twenty years ago. Another man thanked God for saving him in 1982. He said he remembers when Brother Castilho went to Nigeria in 1991 to learn about the Apostolic Faith teachings. When he returned, they started the Apostolic Faith Church of Portland, Oregon, in Angola with only six people.
Before the message, a sister sang “Though Your Sins Be as Scarlet.” Then Isaac Adigun, the Western and Central Africa District Superintendent, took his opening text from Exodus 12:12-13. He emphasized that there is power in the Blood of Jesus. He closed by encouraging everyone with the reminder that Calvary’s stream is still flowing. A good time of prayer followed.
On Tuesday, we went to the tabernacle for a Ministers’ Meeting. It opened with a song in Umbundu: “Jesus Is My All.” An admonition was given from 2 Timothy 4:1-2 with the theme “The Message Must Be Consistent with the Life of the Messenger.”
In the evening, the final service of the special meetings was held and combined with a farewell service, though our team remained in Luanda two more days. As we arrived at the campground for the service, the interior road was lined with workers, singing and waving. Inside the building, we went to the prayer room where members of the Ladies’ Ministry sang several songs. Then Brother Castilho’s wife, Anna Maria, gave a formal statement of appreciation for our visit and presented gifts. Among them, each member of our team received a dress to take home to their wives.
The service began with the choir singing in Umbundu. Then the congregation sang “God Be with You Till’ We Meet Again.” After the opening prayer, a message was given from Psalm 133 on the “Blessings of Unity.” The choir, which had just sung, was used as an illustration of perfect unity—though the members have differing personalities and sang different parts, they harmonized beautifully. Another illustration was of two people riding a tandem bicycle. It demonstrated that unity takes effort to achieve. At the close, there was a tremendous response to the invitation to pray.
Today, Brother John and I are traveling to South Africa in anticipation of the Southern and Eastern Africa regional camp meeting, which begins in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, on Sunday, December 3. We enjoyed our time with the saints in Angola and leave encouraged. Their faithfulness in prayer and unified commitment to the Gospel are sure to invite God’s blessings.