Saurimo, Lunda-Sul, Angola

Summer 2014
Written by Samuel & Elizabeth Simonyi-Gindele - Angola

Samuel & Elizabeth Simonyi-Gindele

Cx P 12, Saurimo, Lunda-Sul, Angola

It is a joy to be writing finally from Camandumbala, Angola, a testimony to God's faithful care in bringing us this far. I will give a brief history of our adventures since leaving Zambia, as well as requests for prayer.

On March 22nd I flew alone from Lusaka, Zambia, to Luanda, Angola, to pick up our vehicle that had been waiting there for the past ten months. I had the privilege of driving Ruth Hadley (UK missionary) back to Saurimo from Luanda the following week, and then we travelled on to Chavuma, with her driving her Land Rover for that portion as well, to help bring our family back into Angola. Our last Sunday in Chavuma was special, as we witnessed the baptism of eight young people in the Zambezi river and I had the opportunity to preach the gospel and explain the meaning of baptism. Paul and Eunice Poidevin very generously lent us their large 3.5 ton trailer to haul our goods, so we loaded that, along with our one ton trailer, to bring some of our old household items and furniture back to Saurimo. It proved to be quite a journey, lasting thirty-six hours for Elizabeth and the three youngest children and forty-eight hours for the two older boys and me (including six hours of sleep and ten hours of delay at the side of the road, due to a breakdown in our towing apparatus).

I made a second trip in May, with Brian Howden's (UK) help, again using the two trailers. The dry season had come so the trip was reduced to eighteen hours of driving on the way out, with all the wet and muddy places easily passable now. We managed to fit almost all of our remaining items in Chavuma, on the trailers.

I finally made a third trip to Zambia, with our three older boys, to return the trailer to the Poidevins. While there, we enjoyed fellowship with dear friends in Dipalata, the Speichingers. On our return journey, we spent a couple of days in Chilombo, Angola, over the Lord's day, with Mutondo and Florence Masaha (Zambian missionaries to Angola) and the saints there. It is a place I used to visit regularly while we lived in Zambia and it continues to have a very special place in our hearts. We had helped in the construction of their "gospel hall" in years past, but never had opportunity to be in it for a meeting.

On reaching Saurimo, it was good to have a break from the ardour of travel, as in six weeks our vehicle had travelled more than seventhousand kilometres, mostly with a large trailer behind! We are thankful to have a reliable vehicle that can cope with the roads here.

Over the last weeks we have given most of our time to the challenges of living in a new place and adjusting to life here. Ruth Hadley has been a tremendous help and guide and we thank the Lord for her. We are surprised by how different life is here, than in Zambia; our experience of life in Portugal has been helpful to see the effects of Portuguese culture in Angola. Although ended over a decade ago, the war still has a tremendous effect on how Angolans live and function.

We have been attending an assembly about ten kilometres away from where we are temporarily staying, called Sassamba; we chose to attend there rather than the local village assembly as the meetings are in Portuguese with translation to Chokwe. After being so many months in Zambia, with limited use of Portuguese, it is good to hear it spoken and have opportunity to use it with the believers there. We recently enjoyed a visit from the elders of that assembly, who came to where we are staying to encourage us, bringing a gift of flats of pop, bananas, potatoes, and two roosters!

I have just started assisting in a clinic run by the assemblies in Saurimo and it is interesting to see the medical needs here. While there are hospitals, laboratories, pharmacies and even private clinics, most of them are too expensive for a normal Angolan to access and those that are affordable have minimally trained personnel and few supplies. Please pray that I will be able to get through the rather complicated process of obtaining a medical licence so I can help more freely in treating patients and training the nurses who work in four assembly-run clinics in this province.

We are looking forward to the arrival of Jonathan Singleton (UK) in Saurimo tomorrow. He has come to install a water tower, running water, and sewer into the home, (once George and Ena Wiseman's) we hope to occupy, in a place called Biula. The house will need an extension added on eventually to make it big enough to accommodate our family. Ruth Hadley has done a lot of fixing of it already with Jonathan's help, for which we are thankful

Biula is about three hours drive from Saurimo, in Lunda-Sul province. It is a village with a small assembly, medical clinic, and school, but is central and should prove to be a good base to reach out in this part of Angola. It is in Chokweland so will need to start learning Chokwe now.

Please continue to pray for us. The account above may sound like a grand adventure, and it has been, but there has been much stress on our family with another move, more tearful goodbyes, and a lot of work and time still on the horizon till we have a "home." Establishing a home is our priority, especially for the sake of our children. Like Paul in 2nd Cor. 1:8-11, we are pushed beyond our strength so that we have to rely on God's strength, and are finding that the prayers of God's people are vital.

Summer 2014
Written by Samuel & Elizabeth Simonyi-Gindele - Angola