4 containers; 8 million pieces of literature; 23,127+ baptisms.
In 2012 Light Bearers received a request from the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division (SID). They were planning a city-wide evangelistic outreach in Luanda, Angola beginning in March 2013. Could we print and ship three containers of literature to assist this outreach? The literature would empower laypeople and preachers to reach thousands of people throughout this capital city. The theme was Luanda for Christ/Hope for Angola—the result was 23,127 baptisms between March and September of 2013. Those amazing, and unexpected, numbers left everyone acknowledging God’s mighty Spirit was at work in Angola.
Print; ship; door-to-door work; public meetings; decisions.
The process began in 2004 when church leaders began planning and visiting Luanda. It culminated in March 2013 when three containers from Light Bearers landed in Luanda, home to 5 million people and the capital of Angola. Church members began door-to-door work and outreach in every part of the city in preparation for hundreds of individual evangelistic campaigns. These efforts united evangelists, pastors, lay preachers and church leaders. This outreach continued for six months, culminating in a city-wide series of dozens of meetings, one of which I finished up in September. The whole event was well organized and each of the final meetings covered the same topic night by night, finishing up with the Signs of the Times, State of the Dead, and the Unpardonable Sin, using PowerPoint slides translated into the Portuguese language.
At my site there were 300-400 people in attendance. Most other sites had about the same number, though some were larger. The planning was basic: six months of outreach at various locations all over the city with extensive door-to-door Bible work, and repeated preaching events. It involved both the leadership and the laypeople from Angola and South Africa, as well as other countries of the world. On the last Sabbath we met in two separate football stadiums numbering over 65,000 people. Here the church members praised and worshipped God, received messages from our General Conference leadership and thanked Light Bearers Ministry for the literature support that has made such a tremendous impact in the city of Luanda. We pass their thanks on to you, acknowledging that we could do nothing without your prayers and cheerful giving.
Clearing for Baptism
To be prepared for baptism, each candidate was to be a graduate of the Voice of Prophecy Bible study series and have attended at least one campaign; be in a baptismal class and have attended one campaign; or attended two campaigns.
About two months after the containers arrived we received a report of about 5,000 baptisms. Before I left for Angola in September there had already been 19,000 baptisms. There were about 4,000 more in the final weeks of September.
Many lives have been transformed and there was eagerness among these new witnesses for Christ to share with their family and friends the gospel that has made a difference for them. The people I met were on fire for Jesus Christ. The SID is one the most active divisions in Africa, and likely in the world. We have confidence in the way they approach evangelism and follow-up, evidenced in their request for another container for Angola to provide Bible studies for new converts to share with family and friends. This was shipped in October—praise God!
The last meeting I spoke at was with the SID vice-president and the health ministries leader. We spent over three hours instructing newly baptized members in how to have a devotional life, church history (I did a meeting explaining Revelation12 from beginning to end/Remnant church) church ministries departments and how to be an active part of the church.
They also instructed the new members to form small groups of 4-6, but no more than 12, to meet in houses for fellowship, Bible study and outreach. It was excellent.
Adventist Services and Industries (ASI) donated 4,000 Discovery DVDs with players to be distributed among these groups. These DVD series contain the full Seventh-day Adventist message and a newly developed health series all translated into Portuguese.
There were also thousands of Bibles purchased by SID from Remnant Publications. This allowed SID to give a Bible to every newly baptized member.
One problem Angola now faces is that there are not enough churches to accommodate the new members. The day I arrived, the president of one of the conferences was leaving to meet with Maranatha in Loma Linda, California to request a massive One-Day Church program for Luanda. Of course, lack of space can also be seen as a good problem and one that we could certainly use more of here in North America.
The country of Angola has a booming economy with rich supplies of oil on the coast and diamonds in the interior. There is still a stark contrast between the rich and poor, but the infrastructure is growing fast. The cost of living is one of the highest in the world. SID was intentional to introduce the Adventist message as early as possible (civil war ended in 2001 and the leaders began working in 2004). This has been the fruit of much labor and planning, but there is still much to do. Your prayers and support are needed for Angola as follow-up and outreach continue in the rest of the country. Thanks so much for being part of the preaching, teaching, publishing, resourcing ministry of Light Bearers. Amen.