Sunday, July 10, 2005

Angola Mission

This is the "Misson Moment" I gave today at Sunday's service:
With the conclusion of the G8 summit and the Live8 concerts that preceded it, the world has finally moved its attention to the poverty and strife in Africa. The sub-Saharan nation of Angola is a prime illustration of the challenges that face the entire continent.

After 14 years of guerilla warfare, Angola gained its independence from Portugal in 1975. Then, Angola was consumed by a 27-year civil war between the ruling socialist Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) supported by Cuba and the Soviets; and the western National Union for Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) supported by America and NATO. In 2002, a cease-fire was reached between the two groups after the assassination of UNITA’s leader, Jonas Savimbi.

Now, the country of Angola faces the daunting tasks of rebuilding its devastated infrastructure, retrieving weapons from its heavily-armed civilian population, removing mines from its littered countryside and weaning its people off of UN food aid. Angola’s largest challenge, however, is in re-integrating the tens of thousands of refugees who fled the horrors of civil war.

The Huambo Province especially has been inundated with returning families and the Evangelical Congregational Church (IECA) has been there for them. Founded in 1880, IECA has offered many projects in rehabilitation, training, literacy, health, peace and reconciliation. One of the projects in its Peace and Reconciliation program is a series of five seminars and eleven conferences that educate the community about human rights, strategies toward disarming civilians and conflict resolution skills. In addition, IECA would like to have training for human rights activists using the power of theater and music.

Let us help IECA continue its good work and help Angola and other countries like it replace their violence and fear with peace and hope. Let us offer up our peace and hope for a better Angola, a better Africa and a better World. Donate to IECA today.


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