Working quietly in his rooftop office in the Clock Building at Highfield Oval, Jon Armstrong is one of those staff members involved in incredible things the Lord is doing out in the world. Jon provides financial and support services for developing YWAM projects in Africa. The development of mercy ministry and church planting efforts in some of the most remote and challenging areas of Africa requires dedication, tenacity and extremes of faith, but is well rewarded. Jon shares from his most recent trip to Angola…

“It was a good trip although incredibly busy with lots of travel in between the various locations. I’ve had some “interesting” journeys in Angola before and I could see no reason why this trip should be any different….….but by Angolan standards I had a surprisingly event free trip up country to Huambo.
In Huambo YWAM is establishing a training base to equip more workers for Angola’s central highlands. For example recently they ran a training programme for 19 rural evangelists from a 200km radius of Huambo. These are Church leaders from remote areas. Most of them became Christians when refugees in the city during the war. When peace came they returned to their villages with the gospel. Small Churches were established but often the evangelist was the only one with a Bible, and had received little or no teaching. They were given practical teaching over 2 weeks and they were able to share their problems and encourage one another. At the end of the training, they returned to their villages with “Evangelism kits”. The kits contained Bibles, evangelism tools (posters,football etc) and they were each given a bicycle to assist as they minister to their remote congregations.
Another aspect of YWAM Huambo’s work is support of outreach to remote unreached tribes. Small YWAM teams live among these peoples, learning the language, Church planting, helping with community development (eg literacy, health care etc). Work among one tribe (Mukwando people) was recently handed over after 10 years and the established Church is now continuing to oversee the work. Huambo base visits, supports, and oversees these small teams. After 3 days in Huambo evaluating progress on all aspects of the work and putting plans together for the next year, it was on to Lobito. Last time this was a bone shaking 12 hour drive but amazingly the road has improved so a mere 9 hours this time. Its only 300km though so still not exactly a motorway.
“El Shaddai” is YWAMs ministry to needy children in Lobito. Currently 56 underprivileged and needy children (including 38 orphans) from Lobito’s slum area receive schooling. Despite their poor backgrounds, the children have become the top students in government tests for this area of Lobito. They also have afternoon games for 2 hours (at home they are expected to work so our school is where they can really feel free to be children), as well as homework time, Bible teaching, and health education.

We are in the process of developing a new site for El Shaddai where up to 200 children can be reached. We will be developing vocational training on this site for the older children, as well as a full primary school for the younger ones, and the aim is to give them all a hope and a future. We spent 3 days evaluating all aspects of the project and making plans for the next phase of development on the new site.”

Jon’s busy visit also included time with the YWAM Angola National Leadership team and travel to Kigali-Rwanda, assisting with leadership and management issues. Jon is working in Mozambique and Tanzania next month. For more information about this ministry, or to financially support what is going on in Africa, please contact : jarmstrong@oval.com

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