September 2023November 7, 2023
We were honoured to go on a mission trip for the first time to the great nation of Angola. Before we left for Angola, we were told that the Minister of Economic Development had made an announcement in July that included a visa waiver for citizens of the G20 countries. We were sent information about the announcement, but could not find anywhere on the internet where it had been implemented. Unable to find any further information, we were given the details of a contact who worked in the government. When asked about the visa issue, he said he would get back to us to confirm whether or not visas were required. On the evening of Sunday 10 September, before we were due to leave on the morning of 12 September, he confirmed that visas would be required. These visas, we were told, take 3-5 working days to process and as soon as we found out that we needed them, we started the process of applying for them and contacting one of the pastors who was hosting us on the tour. This was a make-or-break situation, but praise God we were able to get the visas by the evening of Monday 11 September, less than 24 hours after we applied. An absolute miracle! We saw God move on our behalf, confirming that no matter what, He would be with us all the way.
Before we left for Angola we felt that God was giving us a word about "the corridors of power". Little did we know that it wasn't meant to be that we would be ministering to high-ranking officials, but as it turned out it was the Minister of Immigration for Angola who expedited our visa.
The journey itself proved tricky as our first flight was delayed and we missed our connecting flight. As a result, we arrived in Luanda a day later via France instead of Germany - hence the photograph at Frankfurt airport where we have to remind ourselves that God does give you a love for traveling for Him! A few hours after our arrival, we went to Radio Kairos Angola for an interview to talk about the tour. One of the churches provided us with a vehicle, a driver named Adaõ and a translator called Bruno, which enabled us to get to the radio station and communicate with the listeners. We felt God's presence in the studio as we talked about the tour and our mission in general.
Our first weekend of ministry was at the RCCG City Church Talatona, where we started by leading a worship workshop for the local RCCG worship teams and anyone else who was interested. Rachael talked about the origins of worship, Zachary & Kate each shared what God had done in their lives to encourage them in purity, and Daniel finished by talking about servanthood as a lifestyle for a worshipper. Later that day we had an evening of worship to which the whole church was invited. We experienced the great power of the Holy Spirit as He moved among the congregation. The presence of the Holy Spirit was so strong that we all felt the beginnings of what revival could be like in Angola. Many people came forward and prayed for a breakthrough and God's intervention in their lives. On Sunday, we ministered to the English service in the morning and the Portuguese service in the afternoon. We saw God move as we interceded for the nation of Angola. Forty-two salvations were recorded over the weekend, for which we give God all the glory!
Did you know that 45% of the population of Angola are children under the age of 14? That is why it was so important for us to respond to an invitation from a school in the centre of Luanda. The children who attended the two meetings ranged in age from 5 to 16, and we saw every one of them (over 400) give their lives to Jesus and pray the sinner's prayer! The Holy Spirit was so evident and it was humbling to see hands in the air worshipping with the angels. What an honour it was to minister to the next generation of Angolans.
Saturday's meeting in Benfica was something wonderful to behold. It was such an honour to be greeted by the congregation who made sure the church building was worthy of their international visitors. An Angolan choir sang before we ministered and their harmonies were exquisite. Once again many young people attended the meeting and many came forward for prayer. We were so blessed by the faith of the pastor and the church to host this meeting. They went out of their way to make sure they were prepared both physically and spiritually and God honoured their faith.
On Sunday morning we ministered in the RCCG Monte das Oliveiras church. We could see that the enemy didn't want us there because everything that could go wrong with the sound that morning did go wrong. We worshipped anyway, then Daniel shared the Word before inviting people forward for prayer. We prayed for many serious issues and saw some people visibly delivered from demonic oppression.
Proof that the enemy hated all that transpired throughout our morning was that on our way to the evening meeting our van broke down with a flat tyre. The amazing thing was that right where Adaõ had to pull over to the side of the road, there was a makeshift tyre station. The owner ran over to us and started helping us without even asking for money. He helped us change the tyre for a spare and then managed to repair the hole in the flat tyre and pump it up again - all with the little basic equipment he had. We were so grateful for his helpful attitude and decided to bless him with more than he asked for at the end. Daniel shared the Lord with him and paid him. As we drove away, we just managed to see the man counting the money he had received – and the excitement on his face was something we won't soon forget. He immediately got up and ran around the corner, we believe to share his happiness with his family. Romans 8,28 - God turns all things around for the good!
As we arrived for the evening meeting we could feel the excitement. Their choir sang beautiful praises before we came up to minister. It was amazing to hear everyone singing along, even though they had probably never heard our songs before. It was especially encouraging to see so many young people worshipping. Many also gave their lives to Jesus that night. Once again the church went all out to make sure they honoured God and honoured us by giving their best.
Our ministry tour to Angola was inspiring and refreshing in so many ways. We saw God moving and lives being changed. Everywhere we went people were excited to see what God would do during our time of ministry and He didn't disappoint. From last-minute visas to fixing a flat tyre on the side of the road, we are so thankful for the way God showed us that He was with us every step of the way.
We were overwhelmed by the generosity of the pastors and leaders who were instrumental in our time in the nation. They helped organise meetings and connect us with other pastors, most of whom had never even met us. They provided practical things like transport, interpreters, drivers and much more. The spiritual and physical support they gave us was immense and we are grateful to be able to serve the Body of Christ worldwide with such leaders who operate with the utmost integrity and walk in humility.
The future looks bright for Angola as we witnessed when we ministered to the children at the school. Our hearts were lifted and we are excited about what God has done, is doing and will do. We give thanks for the power of the gospel and its ability to transcend our earthly, physical limitations. May all that God is transcend nation, tribe and tongue and may Angolans experience God in all His fullness in their lives and in their land!
On behalf of the Vinesong team,
Rachael & Kate