Gloria - Kalendula UMC

Visit to Angola Comes with Laughter

By Gloria Edwards

On Sunday, November 5, 2017 Joanna Griffin and I went with Kutela and a few others to the church in Kalandula. This church may be one of the farthest churches the Yellowstone Conference supports but it is one of the closest in my heart. It is the generous spirit of the people here that I will always cherish. Let me explain by telling you of our unforgettable  experience.

The Pastor at Kalendula greeted us and asked if we would go with him to a new church called Luxilo that he is helping to establish before we attend the regular service at the Kalendula church. He said Luxilo only has about 20 members since they are brand new. Reverend Alfredo Quipaca is the pastor there and greeted us warmly. He led us through the whole village and people held our hands as they shouted in Portuguese and Kimbundu, "Come out! Come out! We have visitors!". Everyone was singing and dancing and it was quite the reception. Too soon we were told it was time to go back to Kalandula for the church service. Reverend Quipaca made us promise to come back after the service for 'just a few minutes, it is very important.' Of course we said yes.

After  the regularly scheduled service at Kalendula, we once again piled in the van and went to Luxilo.We were met with more singing and dancing and then led into a dark home. There we dined on peanuts, fungi and cooked greens. They laid all the food out in front of us, prayed and told us how very grateful they were that we would come all this way to see them at this very small new church. Then Reverend Quipaca excused himself and came back in a few moments with a live chicken. He said it is only right to
share your best chicken with company, but since they weren't expecting us they hadn't had time to butcher and prepare him. They all laughed and I thought what a wonderful joke as he handed me the chicken. We then went to meet the elderly chief and send our greetings from the Yellowstone
Conference. When we got back to the van there was the chicken on the back seat! We took him back to Quessua and Kutela welcomed him to the mission farm.
This experience was important  to me because this was one of the poorest villages we encountered and there was absolutely no reason why they needed to feed us anything, much less send us home with a perfectly good chicken. They were willing to share all they had, even though they had very little. I can't help but wonder if we here in Montana would be willing to do the same? I hope with all my heart the answer is yes.