Biula, Angola

Summer 2016
Written by Samuel and Elizabeth Simonyi-Gindele - Angola

Much has happened since we last sent an update in January, and we can say with thankfulness that we see God at work in this part of Angola. We share the following update with you for your encouragement and continued support in prayer.

The first number of clinics here in Biula on our return from furlough in January were disappointingly quiet with only a few patients and just a handful to hear the gospel message in the mornings. My Angolan colleague blamed it on "crise" (crisis), the Angolan explanation for why just about everything is going haywire economically in this country, precipitated by the drop in world oil prices. Medicine that I used to buy for 100 kwanza now costs 850 kwanza and the price of fuel has tripled in the last year so people are not travelling as easily.

We are hearing horrifying stories of people going hungry and letting children die at home as they can't afford food and medicine, especially in the cities. However, we asked a number to pray with us that the clinics would get busier, and now we are working 11 hour clinic days! Elizabeth has become a vital part of the clinic work as she triages 50-70 patients, recording all their information.
We have seen God speak powerfully recently. A few weeks ago we had an unconscious lady brought by bus from Luanda, a 25+ hour drive away. When I examined her and heard the few sketchy details of the history of her illness, I concluded there was no hope, and she would die, but I did decide to give her IV fluids and antibiotics. She spent nights in a mud hut and returned to the clinic for two more days of treatment. We visited her in her family's hut again and told them she was too far gone for there to be hope. How wrong I was! A week later she walked into the clinic, and we had an impromptu prayer meeting to thank the "Great Physician"! She is on the road to making a full recovery from what seems to have been a bad case of Yellow Fever.

In the first week of June, I am commencing a monthly visit to help with teaching and medical work in Luma Cassai, where David Long, Doris Pittman, Marjorie Beckwith, and others worked in times past. We have visited there for meetings a few times and always come away encouraged by the spiritual tenor of the place, but until the rains stopped in April, the road to reach Luma was almost impassible. However, we will be able to travel there without too much trouble for the next five months of dry season.
Progress in Chokwe is slow but steady. I can pray simply and have a few messages prepared so far. I am finding I can write out a twenty-minute message with only about 10-12 hours preparation, which is a big improvement from when I started, and I can hear a lot more of what is said, but a conversation is still difficult for me. I can manage most medical questions in Chokwe, though some of the elaborate, euphonic descriptions of symptoms still leave me more amused than enlightened!

There have been some very difficult decisions that have been made on the mission property, resulting in some of our Angolan neighbours moving away. We are beginning to sense that the weakness in the local church here and in this area rests, in part, on an unwillingness to judge sin or on an ignorance of what is sin. We have had to take a strong stand which has not helped our popularity, but we do so out of obedience to God. Pray that as sin is dealt with in the church, there will be room for the Holy Spirit to bring a revival in true salvation and commitment to unreserved obedience to the Word of God.

We take encouragement that God is at work here in Biula, but there is still a long way to go before there is any clear light of testimony shining in this place.

Thank you for your care and interest in reading this far; perhaps there are a sprinkling of items that you will feel led to pray about. We send you our warmest regards and appreciation.

Matters for prayer.

  • Thanksgiving for general good health in our family.
  • Thanksgiving for progress made in Chokwe.
  • Thanksgiving for excellent progress on our house addition.
  • Prayer for continued help to gain greater fluency in Chokwe.
  • Prayer for continued opportunity and strength to provide medical care in the face of difficulty procuring medicine and ever increasing needs.
  • Prayer for ongoing peace in Angola in the face of increased suffering due to the shortage of basic commodities and rising inflation.
  • Prayer for wisdom, spiritual revival and growth in Biula and in surrounding assemblies that we are invited to minister to.
  • Prayer for the opportunity to take a family holiday!

Summer 2016
Written by Samuel and Elizabeth Simonyi-Gindele - Angola