We are now into our third week of camp and despite weather which has been colder and wetter than normal it has been a great few weeks. Gary Davidson from Cardy joined us in the first week along with 98 campers. We are so thankful that the Lord has blessed this work with some many children keen to come, especially since 80% of them in week one were coming for the first time. What is amazing about this is that the majority are not from Christian homes, nor do they have any contact with a Sunday School, but have come as a result of contacts made through the school work.. During the second week we had another busy week with 88 campers listening to Stuart Scammell from Wales who came with his wife Bethan who worked in the kitchen. This was their first time in Shetland and at the camp. Stuart’s approach was different to what we were used but very effective as he interacted with children using different techniques, drawing on his experience in schools that he visits in Cardiff. This week Graeme Paterson who is a now a regular and familiar to many of the children through his school visits in Shetland has been speaking to over 80 teenagers over the 11 meetings. We are once again indebted to the many young Christians from across assemblies in the UK who sacrifice their time and money to come and help, without whom we would not be able to do this work. Although we are keen to see God move in salvation we are not preaching for professions but sow the good seed and leave God to do His work in His time but please pray that there might be rich harvest.
Happy day! New classrooms were officially opened by local government officials on Friday, today is the first time the children get to use the classrooms...great excitement all round! Huge thanks to all who have contributed, and thank you for your prayers. To God be the glory!
Looking forward to the weekend with the Citra Raya assembly in Indonesia. Auchenfoyle will be a breeze compared to this schedule 😳
08:00 - 09:00 breakfast
09:00 - 10:00 session 1
10:00 - 10:30 coffee break / discussion
10:30 - 11.30 session 2
11:30 - 12:30 lunch
12:30 - 13:00 rest
13:00 - 14:00 session 3
14:00 - 17:00 rest
17:00 - 18:00 dinner
18:30 - 19:30 praising
19:30 - 20:30 session 4
07:00 - 08:00 breakfast
08:15 - 09:00 breaking of bread
09:00 - 09:30 special praises
09:30 - 10:15 session 5
10:15 - 10:30 coffee break
10:30 - 11:30 session 6
11:30 - 12:30 lunch
12:30 - 17:00 rest
17:00 - 19:00 workers family dinner
Please pray as the assembly in Kitchener, Canada seek to reach out to the families of the local community next week. A good number of children came last year and many are from very difficult backgrounds.
Enjoyed a long but happy day of fellowship and Bible teaching with the small assembly at Buila yesterday. It’s where Sam and Elizabeth Simonyi -Gindele are labouring so it was good to help and encourage them in their work for the Lord. We took two vehicles so that we could take some of our young people and they enjoyed the day and we trust that the teaching and fellowship helped them too. About 150 believers were present and I was thrilled to share the teaching with two of my local brethren, Lenguela and Filipe.
Young people from Camundambala assembly who travelled with us to Buila conference.
Bible Experience in the Gospel Hall Ahoghill for a week. 20 school classes booked to visit. It will be open to the public Tuesday & Thursday from 7-9pm. We will also be conducting a couple of open air meetings each evening around the locality.
Please pray for Gospel meetings in a portable hall in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, Scotland. Graeme Paterson and Gordon Armstrong are having children’s meetings and Gospel meetings for 2 weeks. They have had a good start with children coming along and adults from the area coming to the Gospel meetings.
We are thrilled to say that after almost exactly 2 years since the old school classrooms were demolished we are now ready to have the grand opening, the date has been provisionally marked for 12th June. The building has been painted and looks great, the classrooms are all set out with new furniture and everyone is very excited as the opening draws nearer. The building is a testimony to the Lords wonderful provision, the hard work of a team of local national Christians, and the fellowship and cooperation of a number of ex pat visitors who over the past two years have visited and worked hard, and without whom we could never have achieved such a wonderful result in such a short period of time.
We’re so thankful to the Lord that the 40ft container full of new furniture for the classrooms arrived safely this week. There is lots of assembling to do but everyone is so excited to see the classrooms equipped. We are looking at potentially opening the school next month, the outside is being painted at the moment but it’s all coming together.
We have commenced a series of gospel meetings in the Wigtownshire village of Glenluce. These meetings continue for 2 weeks, Lord willing - Sundays at 4pm and Monday to Thursday at 7pm in North Street Gospel Hall. Prayers are appreciated for the visitation during the day and preaching each evening.
Yours in Christ
Greetings from Angola, where its been incredibly hot over the last few weeks, and when the evening comes and the temperature falls to 25 degrees it feels cold!
We had sad news yesterday, hearing that little Yano died, Debbie had treated him daily for 4 months and completely healed his head of horrendously infected ringworm. He was a most polite little boy from an Adventist family who attended our school and even attended Sunday school in his village. He had been taken ill and his family hadn’t told us or even approached us for help. It has brought home to us the immense privilege and responsibility we have in presenting the Gospel weekly to yrs 5 and 6 children in the school. Our present yr 5 group of 60 children are perhaps one of the most Gospel ignorant groups we have ever had.
Carlos has had another problem to deal with in that he sent his son Zacarias into town on a motorbike to buy some meat for his father in law who arrived unexpectedly. Zacarias, who works for us after school, took his 15yr old sister Muvuma with him. Unfortunately they were involved in a car crash and his sister broke her leg and Zacarias has severe cuts and bruising. Muvuma is still in hospital as she has some wounds on her broken leg which they don’t want to cover with plaster until they have healed up, she is in a lot of pain as the leg isn’t being held stable. Zacarias came out of hospital the night of the accident and Debbie is treating his wounds each day. He spends the day on our veranda where we can care for him and see he’s fed and watered. Its just another problem for the family and our hearts go out to them as they seem to struggle from one problem to another.
The work on the school is coming to the end, decorating is being done and with the help of Justin and Joanne Ramsey, who spent two weeks with us at the beginning of February, big progress was made. A 40ft container full of new school furniture is on its way and should be arriving at the port in Luanda later this month. We would value prayer that this container plus another 20ft container with literature and vehicle parts will clear customs with little hassle and arrive here safely. Once the painting has been done (and we’re still waiting for sufficient paint to be available to paint the outside of the school) we will be ready for the grand opening, just about 2yrs after the old school was demolished and foundations were laid. Jonathan Singleton arrived last week for a 6 week visit and is currently erecting the water tower for the school showers and toilets and that will be another big task completed.
The good news re the school teachers is that the Head, Marcus, has recently been acknowledged by the Government as a Head teacher and they have adjusted his salary accordingly, as well as salaries of a few other teachers who should have been higher up the salary scale. This is good news and we are thankful to the Lord for this answer to prayer.
The work in the assembly continues with much to encourage us, Bigelo and Filipe are showing great ability and gift and we pray fro their preservation spiritually. Bible classes have restarted and as ever there are always those who want to join but we don’t have the time to meet all the need at once. We are thankful for Lenguela, Filipe and Bigelo who continue to share the burden of these classes with me. I am currently preparing meetings for studies in Genesis, we have recently received a large chart designed by Jonathan Black ‘Charting the Scriptures-Genesis’ in Portuguese but I am preparing the studies in Chokwe to reach a wider audience. We believe it will be a great help to many especially the younger believers here.
In just over a weeks time we will be really sorry to see Teofilo and his wife and family leave us here to return to Biula. Teofilo has been here 4 years doing a nurses course which Samuel Simonyi-Gindele placed him on and now that has come to an end, he leaves to put what he’s learnt in to practice. We will miss them immensely though, Teofilo has tremendous gift in teaching and preaching the gospel and has a lovely quiet and gentle manner. Both he and his wife have been a great help and example in hospitality and care for the youngsters in the assembly. Please pray for them as they resettle in Biula, our loss will be their gain.
As local gift is developing, and the elders becoming more grounded in the Scriptures we have tentatively made plans to visit local assemblies in the region once a month on a Sunday. This is expected of missionaries and due to the amount of assemblies in the region within a 40 minute drive there is no way we could possibly visit all in 5 years, but we have made some plans and in the will of the Lord we will be able to encourage some.
The Emmaus work in Saurimo continues to function well, as does the printing room. Please remember in prayer those responsible, Paula, Bigelo and Jaco, they are doing a tremendous work and its a great relief to me that I don’t have to been involved in the day to day running.
We are currently renovating two houses in the former leper village, one of those houses we will be giving to a young widow with 4 children who lost her husband in January, another 18 houses to go, but we are making progress.
We have enrolled a young man in the assembly on a nurses training course that runs for 4 years, we have done this with a view to him being of help to us in running the small medical post that we have that meets the basic needs of the population in the area. Another young man from the assembly we have managed to find him a welding apprenticeship with a brother in Saurimo, so we are hoping that works well for him and that he will learn a skill that can help him support his wife and children.
Debbie’s residence card is up for renewal in May so in the next few weeks we need to get the renewal process in to the department of immigration. Please pray that the process will be dealt with quickly and she will have the joy of receiving another 5 year term of residence in His will.
A big thank you for standing with us in prayer, we do so appreciate your fellowship with us in the work of the Gospel and realise daily how much we owe to those who remember us and the work so faithfully in prayer.
We would value your prayers as I tag along with Stephen Harper on a visit to Malawi for the 12th to the 27th of February
The purposes of this visit are to
• To help facilitate the distribution of Gospel literature in the country. In December one million tracts were printed and in 2 months the vast majority of these have been distributed. The local brothers responsible have been with us today requesting more printing as soon as possible.
• To investigate the replacement of a base for Stephen and Gail in the country. The landlord of their former home has terminated their lease and they need to find another suitable place to base their activities in the days ahead. This is particularly important for the housing of the regular distribution teams that come from the UK and elsewhere to assist in the MGO Seed Sowers distribution usually held in August.
• To further the work of the gospel in the prisons in the country. For two years now there has been an growing openness in the prisons of Malawi for the gospel. We have embarked on a large scale printing and distribution of Emmaus Bible Courses for the prisons. As we have become acquainted with practicalities of prison life in the country we have felt the need to support the gospel work by supply of hygiene packs and educational materials for the prisoners held in these dreadful conditions. For further information and to follow the present trip lease visit southernafricaliteraturetrust.com.
I have been in Ethiopia for a month so let me give you just a picture of life in Ethiopia. We had a very sad incident when one of our evangelist’s sons aged 17 committed suicide. He was top of his class and a very promising young man and he was involved in the work of the Lord and I have rarely see such an outburst of grief from the 3,000 that were at the funeral.
The first week we went down to Awassa where we met 42 believers from and strong Muslim area so it was felt we should meet in a neutral town. We had three day together as I and Mulugeta shared in the word of God.
The following week we visited two assemblies in the countryside where in each place they had a conference with good numbers then we went on to Chobi to give teaching at the Bible school and to be involved in the graduation of 11 evangelists. We also had a meeting with around 200 elders and gav teaching on the responsibility of an elder.
After about two weeks in the countryside we came back to Addis for a week. A brother called Dr Bassera from the assemblies in Poland and I shared in giving Sunday School teachers advice in how to reach children with the Gospel and that culminated in 20 of these students receiving a diploma for studying three years in how to reach children with the Gospel.
It is very hot here during the day so it is quite oppressive. We are putting another floor at the office so in the meantime I am living at a building site with all the dust etc. I thank God for good health and we value your prayers for th next two months[d.v]
Paul McCauley and David Williamson have written a book which is well worth buying and reading. It is the fruit of their experience of evangelism in the modern western society which is the UK. I wholeheartedly recommend this book.
For over a year now a nomadic hunting tribe has attacked the villages around Luanza, torturing and killing hundreds. In July, after sending messages back and forward to them, we were able to go and meet them for the first time. They are aggressive and volatile, but sat quietly as we preached the gospel to them, gave them clothing and spoke to them about educating their children.
After months of negotiations, we were able to start a small and very basic school for them in a village they are currently inhabiting. We have rented a building and employed six Christian teachers who are now living with the tribe. So far, 70 children have asked for sponsorship, and most are attending each day. Due to the nature of the tribe, this may or may not be a long term work, but we feel it is the best way to get the gospel into the tribe, and to try and help build relationships with them. As well as being taught for the first time in their lives, these children are hearing the gospel on a daily basis, so please pray for fruit.
More lives have been lost this week on the 12 miles of road between Luanza and the school, and this is making it harder for the believers from the assembly to get out to oversee what is happening at the school. The six teachers are understandably fearful and would appreciate your prayers.
Dear praying friends,
It is with a real sense of joy and gratitude that we write this email to let you know that we have tonight heard from the Dr that the CT scan I had on Wednesday is completely clear and has shown absolutely nothing to cause concern. The Dr has told me it is ok to return to Angola and he will see me in January when we were planning to be home anyway. Maybe there will be an explanation for what it was or maybe there won’t - but for us it is sufficient to know that God has answered prayer.
We take this opportunity to thank you most sincerely for all the prayers that have gone up on ours and our family’s behalf, for the messages, phone calls and demonstrations of love and support which we have received. We give God the glory for His healing and faithfulness in answering prayer and it is with full and happy hearts we can tell you that we plan to fly back to Angola on the evening of Sunday 18th November, we will arrive in Camundambala on Tuesday 20th November from where we have had such humbling and touching messages tonight as they’ve heard the news that we can return. We will come home for Christmas as was planned, landing in Heathrow on Christmas Eve and plan to return to Angola again in early February DV.
With our united love and thanks,
Brian & Debbie
Just a brief note to thank you so much for your prayers since we last emailed, and to bring you up to date with things.
We arrived home last Thursday morning on a cloud of prayer and had an appointment with our local GP at 2pm that afternoon. He arranged an appointment with a specialist in the Infectious disease unit at Addenbrookes hospital for 9:20am the next day, and sent off the biopsy from Angola to the lab.
As a result of the appointment at Addenbrookes, a CT scan has been arranged for Wed 7th November. He also took lots of blood and this evening the consultant rang to say that the results show nothing abnormal, and that the CT scan is pivotal, from seeing the results of the scan he will decide wether a further biopsy is necessary or not. Blood tests in Saurimo and Lubango showed raised leukocytes and lymphocytes but blood taken here has shown no abnormalities.
It has been humbling to see how the Lord has helped as I am now free from night sweats for two weeks, my appetite has returned and I’m no longer losing weight. Little by little I feel that the fatigue is diminishing and my vision is improving slowly as I don’t now feel that I have to mechanically focus all the time. Also no further glands or nodes are evidently appearing so we are encouraged by that.
We are absolutely sure that the improvements are due to the prayers of the Lords people, and we continue to look to the Lord for complete healing that will enable us to resume our service for Him in Angola soon.
Thank you again for your prayers and expressions of support at this time and please pray that we may have patience in waiting for appointments and diagnosis.
Brian & Debbie
Please continue to pray for Brian Howden and his family. They are leaving Saurimo Wednesday morning to go to Luanda. Flight to UK leaves Luanda 22.10 Wednesday 24th Oct, arriving LHR 9.40am Thursday 25 October. DV.
Trusting the Lord to help Brian and Debbie get back home and into the NHS care.
We would like to ask you to please pray about the following health issue that has arisen.
After three weeks of extreme fatigue when at times it has almost been impossible to put one foot in front of another, rapid loss of weight, night sweats where pillows have been literally soaked, and raised lymph nodes in the groin we took the big decision to charter Missionary Aviation Fellowship (Canada) to come from Lubango four hours flying time away. We decided to call MAF because Brian was took weak to make the triangular flight to Lubango via Luanda, and the small plane was a quicker and more direct option.
Brian has had a consultation with Dr Steve Foster at the CEML Hospital in Lubango, where he underwent a thorough investigation and had a biopsy on some raised lymph nodes in the groin. The doctor will be sending the biopsy to Luanda for tests which normally take up to 6 weeks to come back but he has requested that this be treated urgently so we are hoping for a quicker response.
The doctor said on looking at the gland that he removed that it was highly unusual and he suspects something worrying is going on in the body which needs further investigation.
We are totally numb with this news and Brian had to share this news with Debbie by phone as she remained in Camundambala, Brian is now back with Debbie at Camundambala having chartered the MAF plan to return this lunchtime.
Please pray that the biopsy will prove to be clear and that this is just some random infection that will pass, and that the Lord will put his hand on Brian and remove whatever it is that is causing such extreme symptoms in his body. We know He is able in His will.
In the meantime we have Mark Johnston and Steve Wilson arriving on Wednesday 17thand then Matt Coe and Huw Collings arriving on Friday 19th to make one big push in getting the new Primary School almost finished. We have been so looking forward to their fellowship. We feel that the Lord has permitted their visas to be granted and that the work they are going to do is a huge step forward in the school building.
We are currently looking at returning home for investigations and treatment in the next week or so.
So many of you have stood by us faithfully over the last 25 years and we would especially appreciate it if you could bring this matter before the Lord, that in His will complete healing will be given. We have been through so many trials here and believe that things in the assembly have turned the corner and that there is so much more blessing to be seen yet, we feel that we have so much more to give to the Lord in His will here at Camundambala.