|Chicosseno Salvador (left) sings a Christmas song with Amanda Bosch and Pedro Gomes at Quessua UMC.|
Salvador comes from a very poor farmer family in Lunda Norte, Angola. Angolans would say that he comes from “o mato” (the bushes, in Portuguese). He knows the stinging taste of hunger and the chilling sounds of bullets and bomb explosions. He remembers riding on his father’s back as they ran for their lives. He recalls the endless days hiding in the tall grass as his village was being torn apart by rebels.
But life is very different for Salvador these days and the memories of war are just that: memories of the past.
Four years ago Salvador arrived at Quessua, the mission station where the United Methodist Church of East Angola is providing education for new generations of Angolan leaders. He came with one dream: to study and to become an accountant. With this degree he would be of invaluable help for the East Angola conference.
In the spring of 2007, the Quessua High School had just opened its doors after being rebuilt with support from churches in the Florida Conference and UMCOR. Salvador went into 10th grade and graduated three years later. In addition to excelling at his academic studies, Salvador grew as a Christian leader and lay minister with many responsibilities. He was in charge of an isolated mission that had to be accessed on foot by wading on river springs. He sang in the choir and was a liturgist and occasional preacher at the Quessua Church. He led the children’s ministries at this same church. Finally, he was part of the youth leadership council of the Boarding House. This all-around ministry opened the door for a new exciting chapter for the boy who grew up in the bushes.
Because of this trajectory, Chicosseno Salvador was chosen to receive a scholarship to study at Africa University (AU), Zimbabwe. The Florida and Yellowstone Conferences of the UMC collaborated with funds towards his first year of intensive English. After only five months at AU, he is now thriving! In a recent email he writes: “Here I am so happy because I saw my class results and I passed last semester. Yesterday I did my registration and I got my accommodation for this semester. Moreover today I collect my meal card. For me it is bless of God, because I remember last time it was very difficult. Even this semester there are many students without accommodation. I think all things are going great in the mighty name of Jesus.”
The Florida Conference would like to continue supporting Higher Education Scholarships for East Angolan students through the Advance # 102020. One hundred percent of all Advance giving goes to the chosen project. Contributions to the Advance are tax deductible.
Make checks payable to the “Florida Conference Treasurer” and send them to:
FLORIDA UNITED METHODIST CENTER
Attn: Pam Garrison
450 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33815
(write Advance # 102020 on the Memo line)
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