Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Angola Reflections

I didn't go to Angola, but I love hearing Garry's stories. I've laughed and I've cried. I've been shocked by the pain and by the good that has arisen in that country. I'm impressed by what MAF Canada is doing in there. I love that Garry got to meet a doctor whose family spent the years of civil war there, helping victims.

To be honest, before Garry went to Angola I had no idea where it was, beyond that it was in Africa. I had no clue that getting a visitor's visa would take months or that it would require such an investment of time and paperwork. I didn't know it was a relatively closed country or that civil war had destroyed so much of it. I'd never heard about the land mines that cover much of the agricultural land or the many people who have lost limbs to the mines.

The missionaries who serve in Angola do so in a very difficult environment. They face unique pressures and unique joys. The team is multi-cultural, blending nations on a relatively small compound and reaching out from there. Garry stayed with a young Dutch couple, people of passion and purpose who are giving their lives to share Jesus and help the people of Angola. He was offered meals by others in the mission community. He spent days talking with missionaries and local employees, walking through the hangar, and flying with the pilots. What a privilege to encourage each of these people toward knowing and loving God more and serving Him with excellence!

As Garry shared what he learned on his trip, I was struck by the fact that this is home to about 21 million people, and yet to the rest of us it is a distant land, a name on a map, or less. But for 21 million people, their home and community in Angola is their life. And God knows each of them by name! And this is true not only of Angola, but many countries in the world that we are not familiar with that God is invested in. And He is not only invested, but also at work. The further we go, the more places we visit, the bigger God becomes in my mind. Not because He is growing, but because I am becoming ever more aware of what He is doing and the vastness and uniqueness of this planet where He placed us for a few short years.


Alenqvist said...

It's lovely to find your blog and read about your life and ministry.

Garry and Cynthia Barkman said...

Thank you! And I have enjoyed your blog-- truly, God is at work all over the world, drawing people to Himself in incredible ways!