Sunday night the adults of the church surprised us. A group of about 20 crammed into our dining room, they brought food, juice, and gasosa (pop) and we enjoyed an evening of fellowship together with some of the great people we have come to know in our time here.
Monday evening a large group of the youth paraded into our house with several cases of gasosas, juice, a HUGE bowl of chicken, and bags of buns! Then they disappeared! About an hour later a huge pile of teenagers came filtering into our house for a long night of partying! And what a party it was!!! There was LOUD Angolan worship music, English worship music, pantomimes to the music, laughing and talking! Around 10:30 some of the gang said good-bye and then they began to filter out, leaving behind our closest young friends.
They all quieted and sat down, in a circle around the room and they began to share with our family what we meant to them in coming here, how they hoped that we would one day return and work in Angola, and the hope that we would be reunited in heaven, if not here on this earth! There were many tears and lots of hugs and kisses! What an amazing group of youth they have here in this church, and what a blessing they have been to us. After they finished talking Pete and I shared with them what they meant to us, how they helped us with the language barrier, and how much we enjoyed spending time with them, here at the house at their houses and at the beach!
When we were finished with that we all held hands in a big circle and they prayed and sang. Then there were more hugs and kisses and tears!!! Then they turned back into youth and one of the guys popped a gasosa shook it up and began spraying it all over the house! What a riot… of course that caught on with everyone and there was gasosa flying everywhere (thankfully most of our stuff is packedJ). Of course, as a typical youth riot must go, someone got hurt… slipped and fell flat on his face, splitting open his chin… so the night (or should I say morning 12:30 AM) ended at the hospital getting Gilberto stitched up! He will be ok! Oh and yes they will come and wash my walls this morningJ. They are good kids!
As they spoke last night I realized that although we did not get to work with orphans here in Angola (this time), we did seem to have an impact on the youth of the church. It surprised me some of the things that they said about our family (the things that were important to them). One of the boys said that he thought it was the best policy that we did not have a TV in our home, it meant that we spent time communicating and sharing with each other, and he liked that. One boy said he appreciated that we shared our time and our money with people [that we picked up people who wanted to transport goats in our truck (6 of them)]. One girl thanked us for opening our home to them, and showing them love and care. Another thanked us for the times we spent together (he reminisced about the first time we took them to the beach, I tried to teach them American Football, and I tackled one of the biggest boys and sent him flying into the sand… he remembered I called him skinnyJ). They all mentioned that our family was different and that they were thankful that we opened our home to them and welcomed them.
I hope that God will use these kids in the future to change their country. We are thankful for our time here, and look forward to what God will do with us in the future.
Yesterday we left Namibe, many of the youth came to say good-bye, and on the way out of town we drove Rosa home and said good-bye to the family. It was a very tearful good-bye. Pastor Zebedeu and his wife Sally accompanied us to Lubango with a load of stuff in their truck. It was nice to have them along. We said our good-bye’s here in Lubango and they returned home to Namibe.
This morning Meagan hopped an MAF flight to Windhoek, she will stay with friends there until we make it down. It gives us more room in the vehicle and it is kind of a late birthday present for her, she has been asking since she knew we were going (for a flight out)… as the road is SO bad, and no one in their right mind enjoys the trip. People have said they have lost their sanctification or lost their sense of humour on that trip to the border… it truly is worse than you can imagine! Tomorrow morning (if the Lord is willing) we will head out on our “head banging” trip for Namibia.
We will send out our new phone number as soon as we can access the internet. Thank you all for your love and prayers, we truly appreciate it!
Love and Prayers,
Charlene for the gang
c/o Christ's Hope,
P.O. Box 9979,
tel: 244 924 028 396 (until we leave Angola)
(use YAK 10 10 925 011 for $0.39 a minute)