|De Souza’s in Angola – Prayer Letter 02/24/20
Once again, we want to start off by saying, “THANK YOU!” We couldn’t be here without your prayers, support, and encouragement! Thank you for sharing God’s love in Angola! You are touching lives in this present world and making an eternal impact!
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil. 1:2-6 Pepa and Mema (Grandpa and Grandma) joined us over the last two months, which was an enormous blessing for each one of us! They always jump right in, providing fun and care for the kids and lots of help with home-school and travels. We have been blessed with amazing grandparents, willing to travel across the world to spend time with their kids and grand-kids!
God has placed in our hearts the desire to move to the bush, to a more remote place in Angola, in which health needs and spiritual needs are vast. The plan over the next year is that we will continue to work at CEML, but we will also spend a lot more time travelling to remote clinics to gain experience with rural medicine.
Typical home in Cavango
In a classroom – Cavango School We had the opportunity to visit and work with missionaries, Dr. Tim and Betsy Kubacki, in Cavango, Angola. This village is extremely remote, but has a small mission hospital. It is surrounded by about 50 other small villages that depend on the mission hospital for basic healthcare. The surrounding villages have nearly no Gospel presence. It is an incredible privilege to be able to share God’s love with the patients and their families through healthcare, but at the same time, tell them about the Lord, that there is a God who loves them so much that He sent His Beloved Son to die for them.
During our visit, we got to help with the first ever blood transfusion in Cavango! We saw Baby Martinho, who was so close to death’s door turn from flaccid, lethargic and pale to pink, then stronger, then full of life once again. One thing that struck us was the joy and life-changing power that are present when the body of Christ works together in unity! So many chose to love God and their neighbor in this situation, and the results were BEAUTIFUL!
30Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these. Mark 12:30-31
The body of Christ worked together: Betsy lovingly hosting us all, Pepa and Mema caring for our kids, Dr. Blake who came up with a transfusion kit that would not require refrigeration or a lab, Dr. Tim and us figuring out the transfusion kit and trying to analyze the baby’s tea-thin blood, Dr. Tim getting an IV into the baby’s neck, Eduardo drawing Jocelyn’s blood, the baby’s parents and hospital staff crouching over the stretcher holding the baby perfectly still for nearly four hours, and an army of all of you who support us all by giving, praying and encouraging!
I wish you all could have seen first-hand the life return to this baby. I wish you could have felt the tender embrace of the mother who, the day before was frantically weeping and pacing, certain she would soon lose her precious son. I wish you could have heard the heartfelt thanks from the community church for God’s rescue of one of their own. We get to be here, sometimes doing our best to comfort in the midst of tragedy, but oftentimes joining in joyful celebrations! We are so thankful for each of you that is part of this body, the body of Christ, loving Him and loving our neighbors!
Back at CEML, this beautiful young lady, Joaquina, was near-death. She was suffering from malaria and meningitis. She had been there for several days and despite all of the best medical effort, she continued to deteriorate. The pressure from the swelling in her brain was so great that she was unresponsive and couldn’t close her left eye because the eyeball was bulging out. Eduardo was on call on the weekend and we both went to the hospital on Sunday to attend to a friend of ours who was sick.
While we were there, we checked on this patient who we knew was critical, but was already receiving all of the medical help possible. At this moment, we sensed a deep urgency to pray and cry out to the Lord for her. Without His intervention, we were sure Eduardo would be signing a death certificate before the morning shift. The patient’s sister was present and also prayed. When we saw the patient the next day, she actually said, “Bom dia (good morning).” She had been unresponsive for more than a week. The sister asked us to pray again stating that she saw her begin to improve after we prayed the day before. We cried out to the Lord again. By the next day, she was on the mend – alert, oriented, and talkative. She was soon discharged. Weeks later, she came back for her checkup, healthy and full of joy. God still heals!
Gospel Mural in Lubango!
Remember the mural that our visitors from Minnesota painted at CEML in October? A group of Angolan Artists have been hired by the City of Lubango to paint murals on the walls of the city.
The group saw the Gospel mural at CEML and loved it. They are now reproducing the Gospel mural on one of the largest walls on a very busy street in downtown Lubango!
God’s plans are always so much greater than ours! As we were taking pictures a passerby exclaimed, “Look! It’s the Bible! They are painting the Bible!” “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
De Little Delightful De Souza’s
The children loved having their grandparents here, and got them involved in every aspect of their lives: school, traveling to remote villages, and ministering to about 50 shepherd children behind the hospital. They continue to amaze us with their desire to share the love of the Lord!
The kids and their friends started a new business! They are selling massages and foot washes to the other missionaries in order to make money to buy jackets for their shepherd friends. They noticed that it is cold where the kids live up on the mountain, and most don’t have a coat!
|Praise Report: Thank you for praying for rain for southern Angola and northern Namibia! Rainy season finally arrived with abundant rain! The crisis seems to be over for now. Praise the Lord! We have all been blessed with health during the past few months. We are seeing God move powerfully as we step out in faith! We wish we could include all of our stories, but our letter would get much too long. There is nothing better, though, than stepping out in faith and seeing God touch and transform lives! What an awesome God we serve!
Please Pray: That we would continue to wholeheartedly seek the Lord and be filled to overflowing with the Spirit! For the people that we encounter at the hospital, in the fistula program, on the rural trips, and in our daily lives here, that God would touch their hearts and use us to reveal His love to them. For both of us as we continue to work and learn at the hospital and at the remote clinics. Facing such immense need is often overwhelming. Please pray that we will seek God in the midst of the busyness and emotional toil and find a healthy balance in family life and ministry. For the children – that they would develop close relationships with the Lord. For our health, that we would remain strong and healthy.
How Can We Pray for You? We would also like to keep you in our prayers.
Please let us know how we can be praying for you!
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Typical scene of one of the beautiful, strong women of Angola: Woman on her way to the market on a mototaxi with her baby strapped on her back and carrying about a dozen live chickens to sell.
With love and thanks,
The De Souza Family
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Jocelyn Thompson de Souza