“I’ve been a thief for many years, but now I want to give my life to Jesus,” said Bernardo.
A young man in his early 20s, Bernardo was ambling through the streets of Luanda, Angola, when he heard the voice of Jorge Neketela, a Hartland pastoral evangelism student, booming from a speaker in a nearby venue. The words of Jesus spoke to his heart, and he entered the venue to hear more. At the end of the message, he responded to the appeal to give his life to Christ, joined by at least 50 others.
“It was overwhelming to see people coming night after night by the hundreds,” Jorge marvels. “We had an average attendance of about 700 per night—people who were open to hear the Word of God and commit their lives to Jesus.”
The trip was birthed when a few students asked themselves, “What can we do for the Lord’s work?” The Lord placed Angola on their hearts and opened impossible doors to make the trip a reality.
“This mission trip was an eye opener for me, because it made me realize how important the health message is,” says Matthew Bailey, who led out in health evangelism.
The local church members asked Matthew to teach them massage and give health talks during the nightly meetings. “To my surprise, people listened and asked lots of questions!” he recounts. “It humbled me to see that God was using me as His vessel and that the people were applying the information to their lives.”
“I had never spoken in public, not even a simple prayer,” Emilia Groschel admits, “yet I felt much peace in giving the messages. I talked about health and the importance of drinking water, preparing simple, healthy foods, and using herbs. I also gave counsel to some people who had physical, mental, and spiritual challenges.” Emilia’s husband, Matz, a Hartland staff member, also helped with counseling and preaching.
Although the devil tried to stop their work through sickness and other setbacks, God showed Himself all-powerful. Each one felt the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit as they did their part.
“There is something extremely special about serving the Lord, in whatever capacity that may be,” says Christine Martins. “I had the opportunity of singing for many meetings, making new friends, and witnessing to others, yet the most beautiful thing was being able to be used by God. Thank you to all who supported us!”