Our teammates spent most of March in Namibia getting work done on their vehicles, and when they returned, we headed out on a reconnaissance mission to the neighboring province of Huíla. We were expecting to spend several days in a remote community to assist the local church in pioneering a mission there. However, unfortunately the permission with the local authorities was not in enough order for us to remain. After much too-ing and fro-ing, the best we could do was be granted permission to stay the night before heading back the next day. After traveling more than 8 hours through tough terrain with six kids under 5 between us, that came as a relief, but of course, none of us were exactly thrilled to be told we needed to go home for more paperwork.

When you strike up story time next to the lake because the husbands are working through administration hiccups and it’s taking several hours, and your story is interrupted by a heard of cows. Yep, this is the life of young pioneer families sometimes!

While we didn’t have permission to stay longer in the bush or to hold organized meetings, we of course attracted attention at our camp, and we weren’t about to ignore the curious onlookers. Fiona struck up a conversation with Lucia, who is from a larger town and therefore speaks Portuguese (the rest of her family are local to the community and only speak the local dialect). With the aim of having a meaningful conversation with her that would hopefully lead to a spiritual one, we started to share a little about each other’s lives. After a while, the conversation did indeed turn to more spiritual subjects, and with Lucia as a translator for the group of young people gathered, we learned that some of them were eager for prayer to be free from troubling demons in their homes. We were able to pray for them, along with another request for healing in a sick child who was not present.

Fiona and 14 year-old Lucia.

Our curious onlookers.

We don’t know when the doors may open for this community to receive more regular visitors in the name of Jesus, but we do know that many of our curious onlookers were very interested in discovering more. And we know that the Holy Spirit is present to continue the work in people’s hearts. Our assignments are rarely black and white, and this was one trip that didn’t go according to any of our plans. But we are thankful for the word that the Lord gave us following our departure from the region: “For God is not unjust so as to forget the work and the love which you have shown towards His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.” Hebrews 6:10. We know that the plans for these people’s lives rest in His hands and we will continue to intercede for them.

Our camp was situated in the middle of a popular grazing field, so we spent our short visit surrounded not only by the curious locals, but by cows, sheep and goats, much to Faith and Ivy’s delight!


In many of my conversations with God over the last year or so, it seems He’s been very clear and repetitive in something: He wants children to know Him! He’s made Himself utterly accessible to children and values them highly. And along with the promptings He’s been making in my heart, God’s been more than faithful to extend opportunities to demonstrate what He’s showing me. He’s cool like that, huh? He exposes truth to us, then gives us the opportunity to live it out!

In the last couple of weeks, the opportunities to sow into little lives have been abundant. To start, a friend and I in town were finally able kick off an informal kid’s discovery Bible group after throwing the idea around for months but not having our schedules line up! Then Becca, one of my Overland Missions teammates, suggested we offer to do kid’s ministry at an adults training that the husbands were running in Virei. Meanwhile, another friend in town who works a lot with Youth for Christ in Angola, asked if I could help her facilitate a training for children’s workers and leaders in Youth for Christ. “Sure!” I said without thinking. God, you really are moving on this notion, huh?! She came back to me later to say that she really felt she’d like to invite leaders from all the various denominations in Namibe to participate in the training seminar, not just those involved with Youth for Christ. I was ecstatic!

Here’s a few photos from the kid’s Bible club (we don’t really have an official name at present, so I’m experimenting with options here!) and from our Sunday day trip to Virei to serve the kids. On each occasion we ran with the theme God Wants to Talk to Me and led the kids in identifying God’s voice and developing a relationship with Him. We facilitated a couple of simple activations for them to experiment with forms of prayer on their own (thank you Flame Creative for an excellent, bush-friendly idea for this! We just used a rock instead of a coin.) And what exploration of communication with God wouldn’t be complete without a game of Chinese Whispers/Telephone?!

I’m so looking forward to seeing what God has up His sleeve for the next times we meet!


We spent this week in the Mucubal communities of Cavulukamue I and II. Some months back, David and our colleague Dan, along with a couple of our Kuvale translators had done a small recon to the area, and had promised to return.

After the usual formalities in the regional town of Virei were complete, we drove out to Cavulukamue and found the local chief. He helped us find a shady spot to set up camp and we began to reconnect with him regarding why we had come. Some of the locals brought sugarcane to share with us, and friendships were immediately kindled as we conversed in the sandy riverbed under the trees.

The local sugarcane was some of the biggest I’ve ever seen!

The girls loved it of course!

The people of Cavulukamue, like so many in the Mucubal tribe, are in a season of devastating drought. There is desperate need for the rains to come. The drought is so bad that rivers haven’t flown steady in eight years. The one we were camped next to, should have been flowing by this time of year, and instead it was so dry that it acted as a giant sandpit for our kids to play in. The desperation of the people was tangible.

During one of our meetings, this group of youngsters and I had a great time discussing the time Jesus fed 5000 people, and what that means for us today.

We held a meeting during the following afternoon and the people came, but with one resounding question: “If God is good, then where is the rain? Why are we suffering so, if He is good?” It’s an understandable sentiment, isn’t it? We responded with love and truth, and put our faith on the line that God would indeed demonstrate His own power and goodness to them in their area of need.

The next morning, the heavens indeed opened and rain fell heavy throughout the morning. I sat under our caravan’s awning, doing some homeschool with the girls and marveling at how God was speaking for Himself during that time. I wondered if we would actually have a meeting as planned that afternoon, or if it would be rained off! I actually hoped it would be rained off as the people absorbed the blessings of God being poured out on them. There didn’t feel much need to say things ourselves, when He was clearly speaking already!

In those moments under the awning though, God spoke something sweet to me. Something beyond the rain, something that is permanently true in the face of temporary circumstance. “This is just rain, Fiona.” He whispered, “What I really want, is to pour out my Spirit on these people. What they need more than the rain, is life in me. I send the rain only to demonstrate what abundance and faithful provision looks like. They asked for rain, and I am sending rain. But I want you to ask me to open heaven and pour out my Spirit on these people. I will come in even greater measure than the most abundant rains!”

And so my prayer is exactly that, that the Mucubal tribe and Angola’s other remote people groups, would become friends of God and vessels of His presence. That the heavens would open wide and that His life-giving spirit would flow into even the driest and darkest of places.


We walk the lines of cowpeas in Albertina’s field with excitement. Before our eyes is the reclamation of degraded land, the redemption of what was lost. Her joy bubbles over with ours. She recognizes the change not only in the land but in herself.

Albertina’s husband, once a respected community leader, is now an alcoholic. This sickness has placed all responsibility of family care on her shoulders. But she doesn’t walk with her head down and shoulders slumped. She stands tall and strong with a smile.

Christ in her, the hope of glory.

She walks in the freedom He offers and has given the weight of responsibility to Him. She follows Christ in everything, even her farming, and lives in His promises, passing on the message that has become her life.

Sustain, launched in 2013, fills a specific need that has been seen in missions. Our culture is so prone to categorize the facets of life. We divide the parts deemed “spiritual” from the “physical,” declaring them unrelated.  This leaves a missions movement that has not addressed a people’s total need or livelihood.

“And we don’t see how the spiritual world infiltrates our politics and our business and our neighborhoods and our homes and everything we do. And we’ve actually exported this distinction all around the world in the way we’ve done missions. Lesslie Newbigin said that Christian missionaries have been one of the most secularizing forces in the entire world. We’ve gone into third world context, and you know what we’ve told them? We’ve told them that it is not spirits who make the crops grow. It is scientific agriculture. So we got fertilizers and fungicides and pesticides and hybrid seed and we showed them their religion has nothing to do with agriculture. It belongs in the realm of science. What we should’ve said is this is a God-created and God-sustained world, and He has designed ways for this world to operate. And we experience the most, the best of His gifts in this world when we operate according to the way He has designed it. And so we seek Him, and we work in the context of how He as a perfect Designer of this world has made us.” – David Platt

Traditional beliefs speak into agriculture. Witchcraft, a religious system built on fear and superstition, hands out empty promises to farmers. Want to protect your field from theft? Kill a chicken in the field and line the fenceline with its blood. Want an unusually high harvest? Purchase a charm. If you have a difficult season, “Someone was behind you.” Perhaps a disgruntled friend or family member visited the witchdoctor to counter your efforts.

What happens if missions doesn’t address agriculture? It leaves a gapping hole that gets filled with these traditional beliefs- and the church combines her Christianity with witchcraft. Instead of experiencing the freedom and joy of Christ, they remain trapped in fear with no understanding that “He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.”

We must not limit the influence of the gospel, but instead recognize that it is God’s total solution to man’s total need. When people grasp the fullness of this message, we begin to see productive faith-filled farms and discipleship-minded farmers.

Farming God’s Way and Foundations for Farming are Biblically-based educational resources for conservation agriculture. They are discipleship that walks farmers away from harmful practices and mindsets and into the abundant life of Christ. They replace the idea that “You lack” and “You need this chemical fertilizer, this hybrid seed, this equipment” with “God has placed in your hands what you need already. He is enough for you.” Corn yield averages with current, harmful farming practices like plowing, burning organic matter, or monocropping may be 0 to 20 bags per hectare. But the potential? Over 110 bags. And we’re seeing the shift firsthand.

Our goal is that we do not carry this message to every village, but that farmers do. We want to spark a viral move of God that local leaders carry. Farmers have been told their whole lives through the government, through society, and through their harvests that they are not capable. But we have a new message. And the response is incredible. The Holy Spirit is touching lives like Albertina’s, starting a fire that will continue to spread.


 

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The Arab World has a special place in my heart. Every time I am in the Middle East or North Africa I feel at home. I can sit at a coffee shop or restaurant for hours having a conversation with a complete stranger. The conversation is filled with laughter and deep thoughts about life. They will tell me about their family and fill me in on their life story. There are no boundaries once you befriend someone. They are the most hospitable people in the world.

These past few weeks, Bailey and I were in North Africa for our second recon trip. It was especially amazing for me to bring Bailey because it was her first time in the country. It was incredible to see how comfortable she was operating in the country and she was so eager to learn Arabic. We were able to make some incredible contacts and friends while we were exploring to see which city would be best to base out of. We were walking through the medina (old city) when all of the sudden a friend we had met earlier in the day came rushing up to us to say hello. We talked for a few minutes on the street and as he was telling me about his family and his home he paused and asked “why don’t you and your wife just come over and meet my family and see my home?”. So naturally we said yes. We followed this man to his home and sat with him, his wife, and their three daughters while sharing some mint tea. This family invited us back next time we are in the country and his wife is going to teach Bailey how to cook traditional food (I am excited for that).

This is just a small example of the hospitality of the people in this region of the world. It is unparalleled and will make anyone feel at home. Hospitality is an intimate concept to these people that is not taken lightly. One really quick way to befriend someone is to buy a carpet. Not only will you be buying a beautiful handmade carpet, but you will have one of the best experiences of your life. It is a long and intimate process so be prepared to spend a few hours in the shop. They will show you almost every carpet they have in their shop. It doesn’t matter if you made up your mind in the first 5 minutes, they will show you a hundred more because they are proud of the carpets they have. Not only will they show you all their carpets, they will invite their families to come meet you, they will serve you mint tea, and they will tell you everything about their life. What a great ministry opportunity to open up to these people as they open up to you.

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Man in Meknes showing us his carpet collection

This is a region that is so hungry for intimacy with our Father and they do not even know it. They are craving the love that can only be provided by Jesus. We know that God is moving throughout this region and bringing people to Him. We cannot wait to be a part of the viral move of God happening in this country. A lot of these people have never heard the truth. Yes, they have heard about Jesus, but they have only heard lies that the leaders of the Mosques are telling them. We have a unique opportunity to build relationships and share the true message of Jesus Christ with these people in the Arab World. We must share the Gospel!

 


It’s a beautiful noise. Over 200 children’s voices ring out with a shout of praise, as they celebrate Jesus being the Ultimate Winner: He won over death, He won over fear, He won over sin, He won over sickness. And He made us winners over these things with Him!  Over 200 young voices unite as they bring praises to their God, the One Who made them. 200 voices belt it out: “There is Power in the Name of Jesus, to break every chain, break every chain, break every chain.”. These moments send chills up and down my body as I watch in amazement what God has done in the lives of these kids over the last five months, since my best friend, Janet, and I started a kids group in our front yard.

It all started back at the beginning May, when we hosted a Child Evangelism Fellowship training in that same front yard. When our teachers wanted to demonstrate how to do a Good News Club, we quickly sent out two people and within minutes around 40 children materialized from the neighborhood.  Several of these children made a very serious decision to follow Christ as a result of the Gospel that was shared in a way that they could understand and respond to it. Janet and I COULD NOT leave it there. We’ve felt God nudging us to reach out to the kids in our neighborhood for a while, and this was the perfect opportunity!

A week later, 60 children came. By mid July 115 children showed up, and the very next week, attendance exploded to nearly 200. By mid-August around 250 children showed up consistently, and by the beginning of September, 270 kids attended! During these months we have recorded 208 salvations, and we’re not talking about the “raise-your-hand-and-say-a-prayer” kind either! No, each of these children have been thoroughly counseled in small groups and had to show they really understood the Gospel message and understood what they were saying “yes” to, before they made this biggest decision of their lives.  We truly stand amazed at what God has done in the hearts and lives of these kids! Numbers really mean NOTHING, because God will chase after the heart of ONE. But we are awed that He would send all these children to learn more about His goodness and love!

Some of my personal highlights the past few months:

The time we hosted a “Wordless Book” party, expecting no more than 100 kids, and 145 showed up…and 32 made a commitment to Christ!

The time when we started teaching on prayer, and when kids laid hands on each other to pray for each other’s sickness…and all of them received healing!

The time we taught on worship, and practiced “telling God about Himself”, and hearing what these kids had to say.

Every time a child decided to let the King of Heaven take control of his or her life!

But I think my absolute favorite day was just last week, when we decided to simply take some time to praise and worship God with the kids through song and dance.  That morning, God gave me a word for the teens. We’ve never had very many teens show up, but this time there were about 20 teenagers, and we were able to gave them the word and pray over them!  It was obvious that God had His fingerprints all over it! And then just to experience the exuberance and passion with which these kids sang, danced praised and worshipped…a priceless experience.  I can’t wait to see what God’s plans are for these kids over the next five months!!


Their eyes twinkled and faces shone as they brought their plastic coins – some in match boxes, some in tiny empty petroleum jelly containers, some wrapped up in a piece of plastic or a cloth; others clenched in sweaty palms or jangling in shirt or short pockets.  This was the day they had been anticipating for six weeks – their first ever kids tuck shop!

We started a new project at our Kids4Christ groups this year. It works like this: every time a child attends and/or participates in the kids groups, they receive a plastic coin. Roughly once a month they get to “spend” their coins at a shop where they can “buy” necessities like toiletries, school supplies, second hand clothes and some “luxuries” like small toys.

Of course this is be a great motivator for kids to attend, but it also gives us an opportunity to give to these kids, without cultivating a “beggar mentality”.  Kids in Zambia rarely have the opportunity to work with money, and so when they grow up, many are poor stewards of their money.  The shops give them an opportunity to practice working with money – looking after it, saving it, etc.

I think we were just as excited as the kids when our first shop rolled around. How I wish you could see and experience these kids’ faces and expressions as they “bought” things like soap, face cloths, lotion, pencils and exercise books with the coins they earned for attending and participating in the kids group. It was heartwarming, yet heartbreaking to see these children choose these necessities (that most of us take for granted) over toys and other “luxuries”!

I invite you to consider becoming a part of this project! Our tuck shop is donor-driven, which means we can keep it up only as long as we have stock donated, and we need your help. $5 will buy a bar of soap, a small container of hand lotion, tooth paste and a toothbrush for the shop.  If you would like to make a donation, you can give here. Be sure to put LIFEKids in the memo line. Thank you in advance for helping us to keep this project going!


img_5542Imagine that you live in an extremely remote part of the world, with no shops, markets, restaurants, internet or TV. Your family is part of Angola’s Mucubal tribe. You live nomadically in the Namibe desert, which is an arid scrubland rolling for hundreds and hundreds of miles without so much as a decent size town. Rarely do you see an outsider; someone not from your, or the neighboring tribe. You live meal by meal, each morsel scratched out of a meager existence of ground maize and raw milk (not the kind of raw milk that health bloggers rave about, but the kind that can be laden with TB and parasites). Clean water is a daily struggle, and is the most precious of commodities to you and everyone you care about. In this life, you can forget health care and physicians. Out here, you’re pretty much on your own.

Now, imagine the day that someone brings you a piece of chocolate cake.

You slowly take a bite after eyeing it up. It tastes good. Like, really good! It’s probably the best thing you’ve ever tasted, in fact. You now want more. But what is this stuff? How can it be duplicated? The words “chok-o-lat cay-ke” sound so foreign and strange to your ears. But this stuff, this stuff is the bomb. You feel that you could eat it forever, it tastes so good. Maybe a few of your friends try some too, and together you wonder if you could make some more.

img_4809Where do you begin? You’re a world away from boxed cake mix, so you’re going to have to make it from scratch. But what do you need to make a chocolate cake? You have no idea! The person who gave you some is around to ask, so you set about questioning them on how to make a chocolate cake. More foreign sounding words enter your ears as you listen to the ingredient list. It all seems so strange to listen to. But that taste. That delightful experience needs to be pursued!

In your attempts to experience that chocolate cake again you will need to learn to embrace new and foreign ingredients like flour, leavening agent and cocoa. If you’re lucky, you’ll patiently find your ingredients by way of someone bringing some supplies from a town a very rare once in a while. If not, you may have to start growing some sugar cane and some wheat. Then you’ll need to learn how to harvest and process it. You may need to find someone willing to trade something for a couple of chicken eggs, too.

One way or the other, in time, you should be able to make it happen. Especially with help from someone who is already familiar with chocolate cake. We’ll imagine for now that the person who brought the first piece is happy to stick around, until you and some of the wider community are prepared enough to make cake on your own. They can help you understand if a recipe attempt falls flat, or burns. They can enlighten you in the fascinating elements of chemistry that are at work in the process.

Over time, you will make that cake your own. As you grow in confidence and knowledge of the process, your cake will develop a unique and beautiful identity. It will be a wonderful addition to the world of chocolate cake! A chocolate cake to rival any other, as perfect and whole as any other. It’s a beautiful and marvelous thing to imagine, isn’t it?


img_6056My friends, this is what lies before us with our newfound friends in the Mucubal tribe. The words “God” and “Jesus” are distant, foreign concepts to the Mucubal. In fact, there is no word for Jesus in their native language; knowledge of Him simply doesn’t exist yet. A word Huku, exists for God, but interpretation of this word is very open. No-one can really define who God is, or what His intentions might be.

My heart flickers between excitement, sadness and apprehension at the situation we are coming to grips with. The room for God to move is vast. The needs are suffocating. We must be sure to lay a firm foundation. This is a from scratch mission field, where even the raw ingredients of faith will need to be grown and processed by hand. We cannot expect or assume that the Mucubal tribe knows any of our knowledge of God’s Kingdom. Our conversations with them reveal that so many of the basic elements of faith in Jesus are bizarre sounding and completely new. Nevertheless, we continue pursuing relationships with those we meet. Those who after a couple of encounters greet us fondly and even change their dress to reflect a more personal relationship. We have long conversations with them, and welcome their questions and contributions.

Above all, we lean on God’s Holy Spirit, thanking Him for being such a sweet and faithful teacher. We put out our own faith, publically, for all to see. We are expectant that all that He has said and promised, He will do. We know that the power of God will move in this people and our irresistible Savior will draw our Mucubal friends to Himself.


To the missionary I never give enough gratitude to, my translator.

Doing mission work in a foreign and 3rd world country can be grueling and complicated. Nature is no longer confined to parks and reserves and will chose to cross the road as soon as it is inconvenient for you. Comfort becomes a matter of opinion not a state of being. The word “road” becomes a loosely used term that could easily translate to “foot path.” “Just over there,” ends up being 10 Kilometers away and 2pm meetings often start at 4:17pm. As a Sector Missionary it is my calling to share the love and freedom of Christ with the people of Zambia. While many things can complicate my day there is one aspect of ministry that can stop it dead in its tracks, language.

Let me make it very clear, I do not speak Tonga. My Lozi is lousy (you saw that coming, I know) and the only word I know in Bemba is “ee”, which means “yes.” Without someone translating every word I say, my stories become useless and my well planned message is just noise. Missions work is team work. Translators are an irreplaceable part of the team. The amazing humans who translate for us do not just repeat what we say but believe it as well. I have seen the sick become well. I have watched the broken become whole. I have heard story after story of freedom in Christ and understood those stories because of the man or woman sitting beside me translating.

The woman in this picture is Nzala. I met her my first expedition to Zambia in 2014. She had become a Christian only a short time before I arrived. Her father was the local Chairman which allowed her to attend school to completion and speak excellent English. I worked with her for two weeks spreading the message of Christ and bringing hope to her neighboring villages. The child who accepted Christ did so through her translating. The man that was freed from his illness listened intently to her as she relayed the message I spoke of healing through Jesus. The old woman who shed tears of joy when I gave her an encouraging word from the Lord thanked me in Tonga which, Nzala translated. Learning who she was and her personal story is one of the many reasons I answered the call to be a missionary. If she can stand tall in what God called her to do so can I.

With over 100 missionaries within our organization I am inclined to believe that there are also over 100 translators that work every day bringing the good news of Christ. We are a team, one of us cannot function as it is suppose to without the other and none of this is possible without the Cross. So to the amazing translators in Zambia, Angola, Cambodia, Mozambique, Zanzibar, and Brazil, Thank you.


Virei is a small town nestled out in the desert of the Namibe province in Angola. It serves as a hub for the nomadic Mucubal tribe. It’s a place we’ve been directed to in previous years’ reconnaissance missions as we’ve sought a strategy for reaching this unreached group. We had heard over and over, that this group was yet to hear that there is an almighty God who loves them so much that He sent His Son to redeem them. Most had never been given the opportunity to choose to follow Jesus.

A crowd of Mucubal people quickly gathered.

A crowd of Mucubal people quickly gathered.

It’s been three years since I was last in Virei. A labor of logistics, linguistics and immigration has filled that timespan as we’ve worked and waited to get back to these people. This month it was finally time. 8 adults and 9 small children set out from our home base in Namibe for two expeditions to Virei, a 2+ hour drive away. We packed to be as self sufficient as possible, knowing that clean water, food and fuel, are often hard to come by in this region. I thank the Lord for His provision of an amazing off-road caravan that makes this kind of work as a family so much easier than before!

Our team's bush camp in Virei.

Our team’s bush camp in Virei.

We camped in the bush, about 10kms from town, positioning ourselves as strategically as possible to attract a crowd to share our message with. Once we found the right campsites, it didn’t take much to gather the people. The Mucubal tribe are herdsmen, following water for their animals, and sojourning between circular homes spread throughout the bush. They came together to eat a meal with us and we slaughtered a goat to feed the crowd, while we shared about God’s identity. At the first gathering, over 40 men and women joined us. It was the afternoon and as things were wrapping up, one of the elder women told us, “Some of us want to come back tonight to hear more on this subject. We will make a fire and we would like you to tell us more about this God. Will you do that?” Of course we were delighted! That night we shared under the moonlight around the fire. So hungry were the crowd of twenty or so that had returned, that they had brought their beds with them, to simply sleep there in the bush when the meeting ended!

It was a beautiful night to share about creator God.

It was a beautiful night to share about creator God.

During our second expedition, we visited a different location, one that we’ve been to in the past. We reconnected with a couple of Mucubal families that have now seen Overland Missions’ team return to them at least four times. They are always touched to be remembered. We shared another meal with another 40 or so people, and the Word of God was delivered again. The response? “We’ve never heard this before! What you’re telling us, we’ve never heard of. We need to know more about this. Please come back soon.”

These two expeditions have given our long-term vision here a massive kick-start. We were so encouraged to be warmly and curiously received. We loved how many questions we were asked. Deep questions, that we have deep and truthful answers to. We found the Mucubal we met to be so much fun. Our kids played with theirs, and they played with us, joking around as we took and shared photos, and we all laughed as we attempted to pick up some more Mucubal vocabulary!

Our team will be returning to Virei soon. The doors to the tribe have been opened by the tribal chief and the local authorities. The local church is in support of reaching the Mucubal tribe. We pray now for the unquenchable fire of the Lord to touch lives, and for revival to break out in the people!


“The last great gift I want to give to my people is a move of God.”

With a tear rolling down his distinguished face, Emperor Mwanta Yanvwa of the Lunda tribe professed this heart cry to my husband, Jacob Schwertfeger, when they met in Lubumbashi, DRC in September of last year.

Neither of them understood the weight behind their “chance” meeting. Jacob’s passport had been detained by Congolese police and he made calls in desperation to the highest authorities he could think of. The MwantaYanvwa caught wind of the situation, righted the wrong, and insisted on a face-to-face meeting–with a missionary.

A mere eight months later, and history was made as the Emperor and his Queen, surrounded by a party of senior chiefs and entourage, entered Livingstone for the first time in the history of the tribe. The MwantaYanvwa traveled three days by road and one day by air to reach us from his remote place amongst the Lunda people. Overland Mission’s Rapid 14 base had the privilege of hosting him and his leaders for a week of revival meetings. At first, the tribal officials didn’t understand the cause of his travel. “But”, they admitted at last, “We have come to the conclusion that this is a spiritual encounter.”

We sat together as a Body of Christ during that week and rejoiced under the presence of the Lord, thanking Him for His purpose in every tribe, tongue, and nation. What an honor it was to minister the freedom and joy of Jesus to the Emperor, his Queen, the senior chiefs and their wives, and those in official government positions. Joy and praise abounded because the country and continent that the world has dared to label the “Heart of Darkness” has begun to burst into Marvelous Light through the call and anointing on these tribal leaders who are fathers and mothers to their people. We truly believe that the plan and purpose of our good Father will shine on the faces of those leaders who have committed their ways to Him. And THAT is a visitation worth everything.


Today was awesome. This morning we got to connect a little with some of the people that we came to Angola to serve, the people of the Mucubal tribe! David and I are still digesting much of what we learned in just a few hours spent getting to know some new friends, but needless to say, we are excited!

We packed up the kids this morning and drove a couple of hours away from Namibe, into the desert to a small town called Muninho. We met up with a native missionary couple, who are working on an oral Bible translation project with the Mucubal. In Angola, the missionary community is small, and usually works together really well, so we were thrilled to be able to get to know this couple and the work that they are doing. We learned a lot about the culture of the Mucubal, and our first few words of their language!

“Ocamine” means “Good Morning”, written in Fiona phonetics given that there’s no written language for Mucubal. Note taking is going to be interesting as we learn!

I’ll let a few pictures do the rest of the talking…

Our gathering

Apologies that I failed to capture a couple of people’s heads in this picture! I was trying to demonstrate that throughout the morning, our group represented people from four countries and three tribal groups. We spoke in three languages in total. No wonder we were tired on the way home!

Today the group are discussing on how best to translate Jesus' death on the cross, and are lead by our new friend Sebastião. Translation takes place word by word, with some words causing much more difficulty than others!

Today the group are discussing on how best to translate Jesus’ death on the cross, and are lead by our new friend Sebastião. Translation takes place word by word, with some words causing much more difficulty than others!

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Our group: us, our native missionary friend, and three of his Mucubal translators that are working on an oral Bible translation. Why an oral translation? Because Mucubal isn’t a written language. Not even a written alphabet exists yet!

Getting to know Angola's tribal languages is a huge mission, but an absolutely necessary one, as many of the speakers don't speak a language that already has a Bible translation. This diagram was put together by our friend Linda who conducts language surveys and assesses Bible translation needs. It shows overlaps with other language groups and shared likenesses between ethnic groups. Her work is really useful for people like us, who come in to work with a tribe , as from her reports, we can gain an understanding of the context of a culture. The Mucubal tribe, that we are initially focussing on, fall under the Kuvale group.

Getting to know Angola’s tribal languages is a huge mission, but an absolutely necessary one, as many of the speakers don’t speak a language that already has a Bible translation. This diagram was put together by our friend Linda who conducts language surveys and assesses Bible translation needs. It shows overlaps with other language groups and shared likenesses between ethnic groups. Her work is really useful for people like us, who come in to work with a tribe , as from her reports, we can gain an understanding of the context of a culture. The Mucubal tribe, that we are initially focussing on, fall under the Kuvale group.

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Ivy got in on the act of sandal making while Pedro worked on a new pair of leather flip flops from a piece of cow hide and a couple of round stones.

The girls did their thing and made new friends too. Everyone loves to color, right?

The girls did their thing and made new friends too. Everyone loves to color, right?

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Faith and Ivy were in love with the puppies that were tucked back there by the water tank!