Heartbeats in the Angolan bush

| Fiona Killough

Meet Kapopo and Kauhanga (below), the two women I met recently in the small rural community of Cavulucamue II, about an hour and a half outside the small town of Virei, in Southern Angola. It’s hard to convey to you just how far from anything these women live. It’s a mission for us to reach them and it’s only with great intention and commitment that we have opportunity to meet people like this. You’re not going to run into ladies like these by accident while passing through, believe me! The terrain is tough, the administrative formalities of travelling in locations like this are stringent and costly, and infrastructure is non-existent.

Kapopo and Kauhanga (excuse my early morning appearance, did I mention it’s about 6am in this photo?!)

I am thankful every time we meet someone like these women, that through many faithful partners and friends, we have the necessary vehicle and camp setup. Our kind of gear is absolutely essential to enable us to reach highly remote, yet precious people with the news of Jesus. So if you’re any one of the hundreds of people who support our work here in Angola in ANY capacity: be it through prayer, finance, watching our kids when we’re in town, introducing us to new networks, sending human resource with us… the list is long… then this story is for you. I want you to know just how powerful and transformational your part is.

Our camp at Cavulucamue II. Everything we need to both reach the location and stay for a few days.

It was still early at our quiet, little campsite. The girls were eating breakfast and I was enjoying the green that surrounded us. Since the rains had come, it was amazing to experience the Mucubal tribe’s terrain in its new appearance. The night before, David had shared the creation story with ten or so locals around the campfire and had invited people to come by in the morning if they wished. A few came and went with a greeting, but two ladies stuck around. They seemed to be interested in far more than greetings, and after conversing with them a little more, they revealed what had led them to us. Each had pain in her chest and were experiencing what they described as an unpleasant pounding sensation in her heart. One also described the symptoms of TB and said the pounding in her chest was so strong you could feel it through her jacket. It was a cold morning by Mucubal standards (around 75F) so she was wrapped up in a winter coat. She took my hand and put it to her heart and sure enough, as I watched her chest, it wasn’t just the rise and fall of her lungs that I could see, but the beating of her heart. Now I’m no medical practitioner, but I’ve never seen anything like that. It looked like her heart might literally beat out of her chest, and this was through the weight of a bulky coat!

I kept listening as the women shared their stories, tuning in to what the Holy Spirit wanted me to do. At one point Kauhanga told me, “I came here this morning to speak to Huku (God) about this matter. I know He can heal me. I’ve seen Him do it before.” I was intrigued. How and when had this woman, so far from any church, not speaking a language with any Bible translation, seen God heal? She went on to explain that her brother’s hand at one point had become injured, and someone had prayed for him and it became well. She credited the God we were talking about with this healing, and now she wanted Him to heal her body too.

I prayed for the physical symptoms of the women, but they still reported pain. I called David over to join us and got him up to speed. We prayed again and both felt a sense that these women were dealing not only with physical issues, but emotional and psychological ones to. The presence of fear and anxiety weighed heavy on us and we approached the subject with them. “Are you experiencing any fears or concerns for something or someone?” we asked them. They both immediately and readily gave up their fights. “That’s exactly right.” They told us. They didn’t want to share details, but they did say that they had no peace, and were plagued with anxiety concerning some situations. They explained that the more they thought on these issues, the worse their chest symptoms became. We discussed peace and faith versus fear, and asked them if they would like to receive and walk in God’s peace. They did. We prayed again, now better informed to address not only the physical symptoms, but the underlying other issues too, and there was some progress.

As we wrapped up our conversation so they could continue on to their work in the fields, I explained that I would return soon, and I was eager to hear from them how God’s peace had been transforming their lives. Tomorrow morning, we pack up to go back to their community and I can’t wait to share with you the next installment, knowing that God is faithful, and He is in the midst of a mighty work in Kapopo and Kauhanga! It’s been a week since we started this journey with them, and I trust that good things await these women and their community! Stay tuned…