The guests were booked in the Relaxe Hotel in Luanda from where they visited various branch churches in Luanda which boasts of 18 branches. The brethren were overwhelmed at the wonderful spirit of joyfulness and excitement from the locals.
One brother from the provinces came over a thousand kilometers to be the first at the airport to see the visitors. It has been his desire to meet the brethren from America.
Thursday morning 14th April, a visit was made to see the ministry of Culture who is responsible for churches in Angola and we had an audience with the permanent Secretary who was glad to meet the delegates. Here Rev Baltzell was given the opportunity to give the mission of the Apostolic Faith worldwide and the thrust in Angola. Later in the afternoon we had a reception at San Pedro da Barra branch where there were over nine hundred brethren gathered. A brief sermon on by Rev Baltzell on the vital question, “what must I do to be saved” was given.
There was also an opportunity to visit the American embassy in Luanda on Friday morning. The group also visited the Zimbabwe embassy in the city. Later that afternoon, we visited Efesu branch, the current headquarters for the work in Luanda where another sermon was given about the persistence of Elisha in following Elijah until he got the double portion of the Spirit.
The weekend saw the group fly another 600 kilometres to the Angola church headquarters in in Huambo where there was a great crowd awaiting us at the airport. The guests were welcomed and given an interview in the Presidential suite at the airport and Rev Baltzell was able to explain the goal and mission of the church worldwide.
The interview was beamed on the national television and was an opportunity to get Angolans to know about the gospel message. In Huambo the guests were accommodated at the Oasis Motel. There was a crowd of nearly two thousand on Saturday at the old church where the reception was held. Sunday saw the service held at the new church which is under construction and there was a crowd of over two thousand three hundred people. What a wonderful time we had and the joy of fellowship. Sunday evening saw a wonderful rendition of concert which was well attended and the visitors were intrigued to note the quality of music by the choir in Huambo. All the time the guests were travelling there was an escort provided by the state police to assist in travelling as there is such heavy traffic congestion.
Monday morning saw the entourage visit one of the provinces, Bie which has the greatest concentration of churches in all Angola. This province has over one hundred and sixty branch churches with a total of over thirteen thousand brethren. Here the visitors first visited the provincial governor for the province at Quito which also houses our provincial church headquarters for the province. From the governor’s office we went to the main church but could not accommodate the crowd that had gathered to welcome the visitors. In all there were nearly seven thousand people and it had to be an open air occasion. There is a big church plan under construction in Quito as the old temple cannot house the numbers. Here also we could see the marks of civil war as bullet hose marred the buildings in the city as well as our own church building. There is another church branch in the town we visited again in the same town. Indeed there is a great spirit of revival in Angola and there is such a wonderful response. The simplicity of the people is very touching and you can see how happy they are at seeing their leaders.
Rev Castilo, the country Overseer for Angola has a wonderful spirit and loves to evangelise the country. He says where he cannot reach by car, he will go by motorbike, and where the bike cannot go, he will travel by bicycle and if the bicycle cannot reach, he will walk just to reach the people in the most remote of places in the country.
There was a workers meeting for Tuesday where Rev Baltzell met the local ministers and admonished them in their work. We had an opportunity to have the testimony of Rev Castihlo as to how he got the gospel from a tract he read when he had visited Bulawayo. The tract had been placed in the office of his former church but when he read it, he desired to know more of the teachings of The Apostolic Faith. After the Tuesday session, Wednesday saw the visitors fly back to Luanda.
In the course of the visit the overwhelming factor was the zeal which the visitors noted in the people of Angola. These people love the Lord in a wonderful way and in their simple economic state, they commit themselves to the work of building up temples for the work of God. There are no full time workers, but every morning the brethren meet at the various church locations every morning to pray for the work. In the afternoons, the ministers in charge of branch churches come to do ministry work after being in their various occupations during the day. There are few brethren in formal employment, but whatever they have, the commit to the work of god. There are vast church buildings in Luanda which are under construction and others which are complete. This trip was well organized and the brethren thanked god for the opportunity to see International Headquarters in their midst. Rev Baltzell and the group flew from Luanda on Thursday 21st April to Johannesburg where they had a series of services.