News from ANGOLA

Summer 2017
Written by Brian and Debbie Howden - Angola


We are aware that many pray regularly for the work here in Angola, so we trust that these few lines will be a help to you as you labor together with us.

We are so thankful for the hard work of Mark Johnston while he was here with us, we now have a lovely kitchen which is such a tremendous blessing and has made life a lot easier. It's a massive help having folk visit us who have got such practical skills and we are so grateful for the sacrifices Mark made to be with us. Bible study classes are going well; it's a plodding work and results are often only seen years later. The backbone of the assembly here at Camundambala are men who were in Bible class back in 1996-2003 and are still going on. So it is a privilege to be involved in preparing another generation for the Lords service, and we pray that a good number of these young men and women will go on for the Lord. Many of them have had a better education than their parent s had and consequent l y, thei r comprehension of Bible text is far greater which gives us great hope for the future of the assembly here.

I have recently taken on a new venture which I am quite enjoying, that is taking a class of 66 children in year five each Tuesday morning, and 44 children in year six on Thursday mornings, we are doing the PBS booklets, and the children love it! Their behaviour is impeccable, and it would be wonderful if some of these children get saved and come into the assembly Bible class later on. It is very obvious to see which children come from our assembly Sunday school, which is a credit to the local young men who run our Sunday school here at Camundambala. Their knowledge of Scripture verses and Bible stories stand out.

This week we plan to start demolishing the original part of the School built with simple mud bricks back in 2005, we have ambitious plans to rebuild with concrete blocks and replace three classrooms with five. It's going to be a major upheaval but once completed will be such a help to the school. We are encouraged to take this on because we have seen here at Camundambala what even a basic education can do for a child, and what a great potential is released when that child is exposed to the Gospel, gets saved and begins to read the Bible! Please pray that the Lord will guide us and that the right men from the homelands will be exercised to come out and help move this great work forward with their practical skills.

Please continue to pray for Ruth Hadley who this week will receive her 4th of 6 chemotherapy treatments. As many will know, from either personal experience or from that of family and friends, the treatment is so harsh on the body and Ruth has felt particularly fatigued after this last treatment and only has a few days to go before receiving the next. Pray that the Lord will give her the needed strength and grace to face each day and it's challenging and that in His hands the treatment will be effective. She is missed greatly at the school; please continue to pray for the teachers and principal too.

I have started visiting an assembly one hour's drive from here once a month for Bible teaching, I was surprised to see over 100 folk present, many had come from neighbouring villages, and they show a keen interest in the Scriptures and are so pleased to get some help. I am using the Two Ways Two Destinies chart as well as studies in the Epistles, we have two 3hr sessions of teaching before I leave, getting home just before dark.

The economic crisis is hurting folk here, the currency has devalued by about 40% in the last five months, and food prices haven't changed. The queues for fuel are staggering. At present we have enough fuel for another 40 hours of power to give light and keep the fridge cold, and there is no diesel in town.

We are constantly being asked to help with medicines which are too expensive for the average person to buy. Malaria has been rampant in the village, and we have been called on to help as even healthy young men have been brought to us with very high fevers causing them to be delirious. Last Sunday was particularly traumatic as the lad was convulsing and we had to try and bring his fever down, thankfully we managed to get him to swallow paracetamol and after 40 minutes or so he was talking and had taken anti-malarial tablets. When he started talking again the first thing he said was " does this mean I have to miss the Bible study tonight?". A couple of hours later he turned up for Bible class!

Yesterday a container from Medical Missionary News arrived, among the many essential supplies for life out here that came in the container, we were pleased to receive 15,000 hymnbooks in the Chokwe language. We are always being asked for hymnbooks so at last, we can say we have them. It is always a source of praise and thanksgiving to get a container through customs in Luanda and safely unloaded at Camundambala, the 1000 km route from port to us is horrific, and we are thankful for the Lord's preserving hand upon it as it travels to us.

Please continue to pray that the Lord will bless His Word as it is taught to the many, whether through the eight Bible study classes that are currently running each week, in the assembly gatherings or the visits to other areas. Pray that the Word will be effectual, souls will be saved, believers built up and encouraged to go on in their lives for the Lord and that the Lord will be glorified.

Summer 2017
Written by Brian and Debbie Howden - Angola