08 Jan Church planting – the Angolan way
This is Manú Soares. Alongside several of his siblings, he is a member of the parish of St José, Rocha Pinto and is the catechist of Holy Cross congregation which was planted 6 years ago and now has 200 members.
This story is getting repeated across the Anglican churches in Angola – one of real growth and multiplication. Young people are simply keen to tell their friends the Good News of the Gospel and so congregations are growing everywhere and the church and it’s structures are forming around it.
MANNA trustees John Tasker and Christopher Cunliffe met
Manú in November when they visited Angola for the inauguration of the full diocese and were excited to hear the news of church growth and missionary work Manú is engaging in, in a town south of Luanda called Gabela.
Two years ago, Manú & team started evangelising in Gabela and now the church now has 80-90 members and currently meets in the home of church members. Gabela is in Cuanza Sul province, 400 km south of Luanda. The local government has given the church two pieces of land, one for the church and one to build a school. Another congregation has also been started in the neighbouring town of Sumbe in Cuanza Sul.
A team has developed and there are now 12 young people involved. At present, team members come from several parishes across Luanda and Manú intends to expand the team to include church members from other provinces. Travel is particularly expensive; this work of evangelisation was originally funded personally by Manú and, after he lost his paid job, it is now funded by a church member from another parish.
Manú explained that after the initial period of evangelisation, catechists are identified to lead a new congregation. Two catechists are now leading the church in Gabela following a short training course over a period of two months. Manú has identified a need to train missionaries to evangelise and he is developing a three month missiology course.
He sees this missionary work as a continuation of the ‘Growing the Church’ project started several years ago by Rev. Nunes Pedro, the former diocesan secretary. Manú says that the next step is to develop a new congregation in Caxito in Bengo province. The team will be camping at Caxito from 5th to 12th January to open the new congregation.
We look forward to hearing more from Manú about the new churches in Angola and thank God for his desire to be the Good News of Jesus Christ.