I am always amazed when I sit down to write emails, how much time has passed. It seems that here, although we don't have the cell phones, TV and all the distractions that so fill our lives in North America, time still manages to fly just as fast.
Days here take on a kind of rythm that can be exhausting but is also very satisfying. The cold season has passed and it is getting hotter daily so Segunda and I (Segunda is the Angolan man I am working with and discipling) and sometimes other helpers go out to start work at the horse corals at 7am and quit at lunch. I try to hide from the afternoon heat indoors studying Portuguese, teaching English lessons and fighting to keep up with cooking and cleaning and only emerge in the late afternoon to wander through the village at visiting time. I am trying to make sure that in the busy-ness of responsabilities and projects I remain more people oriented than task oriented. I feel that it is very important to spend those hours sitting in the shade of a tree chatting with the villagers or playing with the kids. In this culture even more than at home relationship is the vehicle of the gospel.
At the agricultural fair last month we were able to sell all three of the horses I trained and brought to the auction. One was bought by a millionaire from the capitol city and another by the governor of our province so that was very good publicity. Since then I have been approached by the directors of an agricultural college campus near the city. They want to start a horse program where they will give riding lessons and help to develope an authentically "Angolan" breed of horses and have asked for my help. While my committment is to Tchincombe Farm and the people here it is exciting to see God opening other doors as well and exciting to pray about how best it should all fit together. These are exactly the kind of contacts that we need to make as many opportunities may come through these connections in the future. And of course, I dont need to tell you that when I speak of opportunities I am thinking less of the horses and work to be done and more of the people we can reach while doing it!
I covet your prayers. I have only one month left before I must leave Angola and go to the next country down to renew my visa again. I will likely be away for a month and when I return to Angola I will be promptly leaving the farm again for ANOTHER month of intensive immersion language study. Because of that I am very away of wanting to make the most of the next few weeks both in my work with the horses and in my friendships and relationships here. Please pray for Segunda as he is Christian in name but Im not sure he really understands what being a Christian really means. Sadly, in some areas here, there has been such an emphasis, first from the missionaries and later from the established Angolan church who is following the pattern set out, on church attendance, proper clothes and singing songs that some people think that is the definition of Christian life. You can ask someone here, "Are you a believer?" and he will answer, "O yes! I go to church and in my home village I sang in the choir." Maybe this is a worldwide problem, that the gospel of Christ has no power to transform lives and situations until it moves from the head and habits to the heart. Please pray for me as I try to make clear to Segunda in our discussions and model for him with my life, that there is a wonderful mystery and depth of relationship that is possible with Christ if we are just willing to open our hearts to him and start following him.
I thank God for all of you. I think of you so often. Even though I was with you so briefly before coming your love, acceptance and support made a permanent imprint on me. Please don't stop praying for me or for the others that you know in missions and in ministry (and for eachother!!). The enemy opposes the Lord's work and sometimes life seems to be more battle than victory. But there is wonderful power in prayer and scripture. Specifically I have lately been clinging to that one treasured phrase, "My God shall supply all of my Needs." Needs for companionship, needs for finances, needs for transportation and a visa...there is no need to big that He can't meet it or so small that He doesnt care about it.
In fact, God is continuing to meet my needs even now through you! Knowing you are at home supporting and praying for me gives me strength and your generous financial support has several times been the difference between my having money for groceries or not!
Keep well! Don't get tired of pushing forward in this adventure God has you on! Let's keep going together where God calls us!
It will be %100 worth it!!!