Let me tell y'all about this church event we went to. For my Houston SDA folks, do you remember a few years ago when we had the Houston for Christ evangelism thing for the month of February. Well, they had a Luanda for Christ thing in Angola. It was introduced at the beginning of the year and then they had a 4 week crusade with nightly preaching which ended on September 21st. On that day, they rented out 2 soccer stadiums for the church service. It was quite amazing! In total, the report is that more than 23,000 people have been baptized so far this year. The goal is 1 million before the end of the year.
So, the church that we've been attending was told to go to Dos Coqueiros stadium which seats about 12,000 people. We were told to get there by 8:30 so our family will be able to find seats together. That was good information because by 8:45 the place was almost full for an event starting at 9:15. And, there were people everywhere sitting on the steps, on the ground, on the soccer field. And, almost everyone was travelling with pots, plates, drinks, etc. because the plan was to stay for the entire day. That was their plan, by the way. We went home after the service.
We were seated in the end zone (I don't know soccer vernacular) which means we couldn't see things very well. But, that didn't matter because: 1) We didn't understand much anyway, 2) We were close to the exit.
The week before, the adults were given t-shirts to wear because they wanted everyone to match. My kids wore their Fondren Children's Ministry t-shirts so they could rep their church and be easily identified by their parents.
There was an American guy there who gave the first sermon (yay because we could understand). I had a translator sitting next to me but I think sometimes she would forget her job so I didn't get everything. She was very happy to translate the 2 testimonies though so I'll share those.
1) A lady joined a Bible study group and decided to be baptized as a SDA. Her mom told her if she went through with it, she would be disowned and the mom would tell everyone she had died. The lady was baptized anyway. She said she would rather be dead to her family than dead to Christ. Family means everything in Angola so this is a very bold step for her to take.
2) A teenager boy said he joined Pathfinders to hang with his friends and was introduced to God. He said he was impressed by the other kids because they had different standards than everyone else.
|"Luanda for Christ: 1 million souls for Christ"|
|"Hope for Angola" and Danica repping for Fondren CM|
|Panorama shot of the crowd. The lady all the way on the left was my translator.|
|If you squint a little, you can see people in white on the field. They were baptized that day in a kiddie pool that was maybe 1.5 ft deep. We are still not sure how that happened.|
|Another panorama shot. They guy on the left with the orange shirt is our driver. You can also see the tops of my kids' heads on the bottom left. Oh, there's Dwayne's big head too!|