If you wish to go to Africa, then you must be prepared for a long and uncomfortable journey.
Another way to visit Africa is to read the Angolan blog on the Web site of the Florida Conference. This blog is being written by Armando and Icel Rodriguez and their daughter Amanda. Their blogs are so engaging that we who read them feel as if we are there.
One of the ways they make us feel that we are there is by showing videos. The video of services of worship at the church in Quessua enable us to see how United Methodist Christians in Angola worship and to praise God with them.
If you have not been reading these blogs, I invite you to click here to read and see their latest news.
I think Amanda is going to be the star of these blogs. Her youthful enthusiasm, utter honesty and humor are delightful. I hope all of the youth and young adults of our conference will learn about this blog and read it so that they may share Amanda's experiences with her.
Once we get the habit of reading their blog, we shall be able to journey with them through the next year. I expect that we shall learn something about the countryside, the rhythm of daily life in Malange, the provincial capital, the challenges of re-developing a nation after decades of civil war (perpetuated by the policies of our own nation in the 1980's), and the character of the life and work of the Church in the Southern Hemisphere, which is now the population center for the Christian faith and community. Since Armando is teaching in the School of Theology it will be interesting to find out about how pastors and other leaders are learning the knowledge and skills they need to serve the Church.
The costs of sending these missioners to Angola are being borne by the annual conference offerings and support of local congregations. If your congregation can help, please send a contribution to the Conference Treasurer.
Because Icel is there, not everyone in our conference will travel to Angola in a virtual sense through reading their blog. Many are going to Angola in mission teams being arranged with Icel's help from Malange, Angola. These visits over the next several months will greatly strengthen the relationships between people of our two conferences.