Prayers for Angola: Luke 3:7-18
Gracious God, we come before you this day aware that it is by the fruits that we bear that people can see the faith that we claim.
Stretch us in Angola and all around the world to see that we need to understand and embrace what happens beyond the four walls of our church buildings. Give us eyes to see and ears to hear what is going on in the lives of church members, in our communities, in our own nation, and all around the world.
It is in this spirit that we pray for and ask your prayers for the Evangelical Congregational Church in Angola (IECA) today as it struggles with spiritual, political and social realities that call for the Church to lift a prophetic voice to address issues related to poverty, HIV/AIDS, human rights, and economic justice.
As we are about to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace this Christmas, we ask you to rescue people in Angola from the paralyzing fear that allows acceptance of peace without justice in order to avoid a return to armed conflict.
As we anticipate the earthly ministry of Jesus the Son of God who threw the money changers out of the Temple, let us pray and work for economic justice in a land where over 70% of the people live in absolute poverty, off to the side of all so-called economic progress.
And, in April when we will mark the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, help us to know that although the truth that truly sets people free has yet to be spoken in Angola, there are signs of hope:
- Women are getting water from wells dug through the IECA's Department of Social Assistance, Studies and Projects (DASEP) knowing that they and their children now have safe water supplies;
- Women are being trained in midwifery so that they will become agents for change by bring healthy babies into Angola's remote rural villages;
- Men in the rural areas now have a team of oxen that they then rent out to other farmers to create revenue which allows them to plant their own crops, feed their families, and sell produce in the markets;
- Children are arriving at the Church's schools, greeting their teachers and their friends and running around with their school bags full of books and hope.
Help us, Gracious God, to embrace hope, to live out the knowledge that faith and actions are best understood as two sides of the same coin. Guide us, we pray, that our social actions will be accompanied by interpreting and preaching your liberating Word, and that our relationship with Jesus the Christ will be reflected in the quality of our daily lives. In Jesus' Name, Lord hear our prayer. Amen
(Prayer by Donna Dudley and Luis Samacumbi)
Global Ministries International Partners in Angola:
- Council of Christian Churches in Angola: CICA, is an ecumenical institution founded in 1977 with the purpose of being the Angolan's faith community's guiding institution in the country, as well as the prophetic voice of its member institutions towards local and international governments. CICA began with 7 member communions, and today has 22 member communions and related organizations. CICA is based in Luanda, yet supports activities and ecumenical relations in all 18 provinces of Angola. The Department of Justice, Ecumenism, Reconciliation and Cooperation was created as an organ responsible to respond to the various needs in peace building and conflict transformation in order to promoted a culture of peaceful coexistence, relationship building throughout Angolan society. http://www.edicisa.org.zw/FOCCISA/angola/index.html
- Evangelical Congregational Church in Angola: The Evangelical Congregational Church in Angola (IECA) is a longstanding partner of Global Ministries. The entity now known as IECA was founded in 1880 on the Angolan central plain by missionaries from the United Church of Canada and the American Committee of the Missions (USA), a forerunner of the United Church of Christ. The Church expanded in the central plateau through the creation of missions. During the long civil war (1976 – 2002), most church institutions were destroyed and members were dispersed throughout Angola, but the Church continued to expand, and currently has over 900,000 members and almost 3,000 congregations. IECA's Department of Social Assistance, Studies and Projects (DASEP) was created in 1991, to improve the general well being of the Angolan people by implementing projects in the areas of: Justice, Peace and Reconciliation; Gender-Equity, Women and Children; Health and HIV AIDS; Education and Training; Institutional Strengthening; and Sustainable, Integrated Community Development. The current peace in Angola allows DASEP to be an agent of social transformation in implementing the Church's vision: To create a more just Angolan society, founded on ethical-moral and biblical principles, leading to a better world for all. http://warc.jalb.de/warcajsp/church.jsp?news_id=19&navi=9&church=127
Global Ministries Missionary in Angola:
Donna Dudley, a member of University Church, United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Chicago, Illinois, serves the Evangelical Congregational Church of Angola (IECA). She assists in developing organizational capacities and by offering guidance on a variety of development projects.