De Souza’s in Angola Prayer Letter 9/29/21

Greetings from Angola!!!  
Thank you to each one that has encouraged, supported and prayed for us! We could not do this without you! You are touching lives, many of whom would otherwise live and die without knowing the love of Jesus and the hope of the Gospel!

Here we stand in front of our church building. Our prayer is that the Lord would touch the hearts of those who attend here, showing that He is alive, His love is immeasurable, and His power is unstoppable. Please pray that the church here would not be a building full of rules and rituals, but a body of believers, full of life, passion for their King, and love for their neighbors! Pray that this church would be a beacon of light to the surrounding villages.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 
Matthew 16: 24-25

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
John 15: 12-13 

Angola – Land of Extremes

Cavango – Our New Home:
  There are days in which the drastic contrasts overwhelm us! We don’t always voice the turmoil in our souls, but it is always there:

  • The injustice we see when we scroll facebook and see the abundance in our home countries and then walk out our front door and see the poverty, sickness, and pain that surround us…
  • The thankfulness we feel when our children or ourselves experience sickness and then receive proper treatment, contrasted by the devastation we experience when patients, barely holding onto a thread of life, arrive for treatment too late, after making an excruciating journey of hours or days on foot…
  • Dealing with our own homeschooled children who often have to be reminded, begged, and prodded to focus on their studies, then leading a Bible study of some of the highest educated villagers – church leaders who struggle just to read, let alone comprehend what they are reading, not because they didn’t want to study, but because they didn’t have access to quality education… 
  • The joy of seeing patients with treatable conditions receive their cure, contrasted by the heartache of seeing patients who had a curable condition, but sought help first from the shaman whose treatment left them with terminal liver or kidney failure…
  • The pristine, natural beauty of untouched creation contrasted with the devastation and desolation left behind by the centuries-old, destructive practices of burn-farming and burn-hunting…
  • The gratitude and guilt that sweep over us as we watch our children enjoy a simple but tasty and nutrient-rich diet, knowing that we are surrounded by thousands of neighbors who are just surviving on a diet consisting mainly of field corn mush…
  • The longing for all to know the true, living, holy, compassionate God of immeasurable love who gave His own Son’s blood for our salvation, but instead seeing them strive to save themselves by following lifeless religion, rules, and rituals they call ‘Christianity…’
  • The sadness of seeing Christians focused on the things of this world, hiding in fear and trying not to ruffle feathers, then seeing Christ-followers here, among our home churches and supporters, and around the world whose passion for the King and love for their neighbors have led them to joyfully give up their time, homes, loved-ones, comforts, safety, opportunities, reputations, riches, and even their lives…

These extremes are so hard to process, yet they are the reasons we are here. We want to make a difference! They are the reasons you are praying and giving. They are the reasons that the sacrifices are worth it! 

These last few months have been filled with processing extremes – in our own lives and in our work. We are so thankful to have been able to come under the wings of Dr. Tim and Betsy as we learn and process. In them, we have seen some of the most beautiful examples of lives lived for the Kingdom!

We have learned that in the clinic here, we are not dealing with colds and minor injuries that we would likely deal with in a clinic in our home countries. Instead we are dealing with major injuries and effects of serious diseases that have been allowed to fester to advanced, critical stages.  Many of the patients we see would be ICU status in the US or Brazil, and we are learning to creatively treat them to the best of our ability with the resources available. 

In our own lives we have had to process extremes, as well. Both of us experienced a serious case of COVID here in the bush. Eduardo’s case turned quite serious and he nearly was airlifted to the city. Both of us required oxygen, thankfully not at the same time, since we had only one oxygen concentrator. Thank you to each one who heard of our struggle and prayed! The experience made us ask ourselves whether this is all worth it, and we both came to the conclusion that there is no better way to spend our lives than for demonstrating God’s love and hope to the lost and hurting. Our lives on this earth are just a vapor, and only what has an eternal impact will last.

Just after our recovery, we received word that Eduardo’s dear sister, Marilia, a missionary nurse in Senegal for the last 14 years, also had COVID.  Marilia struggled and was admitted to a hospital in Senegal. After two weeks, she lost her earthly battle, but she won the battle that truly matters. She was welcomed into the loving arms of her Father and surely heard the words, “Well done, My Good and Faithful Servant.” Marilia’s life was an example of courageous, passionate faith. She lived her purpose: to share the love and hope of the Gospel. May we, like Marilia, invest our lives in what truly matters – leaving an eternal legacy, storing up our treasures in Heaven.

John 12:24-25 (NIV)

Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.  Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

A Glimpse of Our Lives Here in the Cavango Mission Clinic:

Eduardo in his element: Sharing about the love of God and how our Father cares about our spiritual and physical health at the morning meeting with patients, family members, and clinic staff.

A Glimpse of the Work in the Cavango Village:

Twice we have had the privilege of hosting and working with a group from Lubango who have come to reach out to the children, youth, and church leaders from the Cavango Mission Village. Since their visits, our family has continued the work. There is nothing more exciting than seeing the Gospel touch and change lives!

Housing Needs in Cavango

As you have seen, there is much work to be done, but the workers are so few! We are excited that our great friends, the Shroyer family, are answering the call to come and serve in Cavango with SIM! As soon as they receive their visas, they will be moving to Angola! They will first live in the city to learn Portuguese. Then they will join us in Cavango! They are a huge answer to prayer! Besides the Shroyer’s, there are a few others also planning to move to Cavango within a year or two. As we see the patient load exploding and community work expanding, it is so good to see that God is calling more workers!

We have a need, though! WE NEED HOUSING! We have decided, along with our leaders, that it makes the most sense for our family to build and to leave the house we are currently in for the Shroyers. That way, they can have the same opportunity we had to experience Cavango before making major decisions. The missionary community in Cavango already has a lack of housing, even with only the current missionaries that are here. We have no housing for future families. In addition, we often host evangelism, construction and medical teams and have nowhere to house them.

If you sense the Lord leading you to bless the people of Cavango and the surrounding villages by giving toward the construction of a house for our family, proceeds can be given into our regular account and designated for housing, or they can be given to the Cavango housing project. These gifts will be used directly for the house that will be built for our family. Thank you in advance for your generous support!  By providing in this practical way, you are sharing the love of Jesus and impacting lives for eternity!


To give to this project: simusa.org/give
Give to our regular account (De Souza #044522) and designate for housing or
Enter project: 94389 Housing for Cavango Mission
 

De (not so) Little, (but still) Delightful De Souza’s:

The kids continue to thrive here in Cavango! They are busy helping with the kids and teen groups in the village. Every day they try to get finished with school and chores as quickly as possible so that they can swim, fish, or play soccer with their friends. Tiago is still busy with his agricultural project and his babies (his flock of chickens)! Ella is busy helping Aunty Betsy sew curtains for the new hospital buildings.

Please keep them in your prayers. Living at a medical mission in the bush, they are exposed to a high level of tragedy and heartbreak. They also saw their parents struggle with sickness and then lost their dear aunt soon afterward. They don’t get to be sheltered from life’s hardships and definitely have a lot to process.

Praise Report:

  • We survived our health crisis!
  • We are all feeling that Cavango is where we belong! Life here is not easy, but we all have a sense of purpose and vision.
  • We are constantly blown-away by God’s provision – spiritually, emotionally, physically, and financially. Thank you for being part of God’s answer to prayer for provision!

Please Pray:

  • That we would wholeheartedly seek the Lord and be filled to overflowing with the Spirit.
  • For the children – that they would develop close relationships with the Lord, and that they would continue to form great friendships in Cavango.
  • For our health.
  • For the family, that we would be able to balance ministry and clinic time, time with God, family time, homeschool, rest, etc.
  • For the extended family during this time of grieving for Marilia, especially for Eduardo’s parents in Brazil.
  • For financial provision and wisdom in planning the construction of our new house.

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!

Click Here to Join Our Ministry Team!

To Give Online without Using the Above Link:

1. Visit: simusa.org/give
2.  Enter Eduardo or Jocelyn De Souza
3. Enter Missionary #044522


Can’t give online? Send checks to:

SIM USA, PO Box 7900,
 Charlotte, NC 28241

Please write “De Souza #044522” in the memo line.

With love from the De Souza Family – Serving in CAVANGO, ANGOLA, where we are privileged to share God’s love and the hope of the Good News in one of the places where it has been least heard! The Cavango clinic serves about 50 neighboring villages, which altogether have a population of about 30,000 people who are largely unreached with the Gospel and lack any other basic healthcare.

Stay in Touch

Our Mailing Address:
14512 Shoreline Ln.
Lake Park, MN 56554


Facebook/Messenger:

Eduardo De Souza
Jocelyn Thompson de Souza

WhatsApp:
Eduardo: +1 218-457-3577 
Jocelyn: +1 218-298-4091

E-mail:
eduardo.desouza@sim.org
jocelyn.desouza@sim.org

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