Perhaps you see a concrete block wall. Some may see a patched hole on the concrete block wall. I tell you what I saw the day I asked MJ to snap this picture in Benguela Angola – an image of the Continent of Africa. More importantly is what you do not see! The patch on the concrete wall represents a much greater picture of what God is doing in the Nation of Angola.
I heard it said recently, “When God has something great in store He often starts with something small”. In the fall of 2009, I was introduced to Pedro Pires, the pastor of Carisma Pentecostal Church, a small PAOC Portuguese congregation in Edmonton. Six years ago he was invited by a friend to visit the nation of Angola and while there, a vision was birthed in his heart to plant a church and name it after his church in Edmonton. Today there are eleven Carisma congregations numbering in the thousands in Angola. It has been Pedro’s desire to see these churches become accountable to PAOC (Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada) missions. In November of 2009 RTC had the privilege of connecting him and Steve Chaloner, our PAOC African regional director, to discuss a possible partnership. It was at that time that we set up this trip to Angola. This past Sunday, that partnership moved a step closer toward reality as Steve preached at the sixth anniversary of the Carisma Pentecostal churches of Angola. What a thrill for MJ and me to sit in that basketball stadium and witness the potential of a partnership between these two Pentecostal groups.
As a couple, MJ and I are learning to expect great things from God. We are discovering that it is not the size of your ministry that counts, it is the impact that people can have on the world when they step out in obedience. Keep in mind that the church in Edmonton numbers under a hundred people but through their obedience they are making a huge impact in Angola as thousands are being added to the church. How many of us would be content to watch what we have planted to become bigger than what we are ourselves! Carisma Pentecostal Church in Edmonton and Angola has something to teach us!!!
It is not often that you can say that you experienced an Acts 2 church moment, but last Saturday was one of them. Thirty-five men and women (almost all were under the age of twenty-five) were baptized in the Atlantic Ocean. As the baptismal service was in progress, two young men from China witnessed what was happening as they walked along the beach. One told of how his mother back in China has been praying for his salvation. A young man from Carisma church shared Jesus with them and before the morning was finished Pedro, Steve and myself had the privilege of baptizing both young men in the ocean.
By the way, the patch on the concrete block wall is on the inside of the family’s home pictured at the bottom of the blog. Their original home had to be destroyed because of serious deterioration. Guess who rebuilt it? The Carisma church in Benguela!
Until next time…
Don & MJ
“Taking risks for Kingdom impact!”
P.S. Don’t forget that we leave on Sunday for Thailand and Vietnam where we will conduct two pastor’s conferences and speak in numerous churches.