Christmas Eve Offering #1 – East Angola Pastors

East Angola pastors
Because of your continuing generosity, BUMC is able to share its Christmas Eve offering with people outside of our building.  Traditionally, we split the funds between one international group and one local group.  This year’s recipients will be the East Angola Pastors, which are described below, and Bozeman’s Community Cafe, which will be detailed on December 20.
You can specify either recipient in the memo line of your check.  If neither is specified, the funds will be split 50/50 between the Pastors and the Cafe.  Donations to the East Angola Pastors will be matched by the Rob Cox Fund.  
Before the civil war in Angola there were over 200 Methodist Churches ~ in 2000 there were only 30.  Angolans have been rebuilding their churches, sometimes one row of bricks at a time. The East Angola Conference covers the poorest areas of Angola. Most of the churches are in villages where people work small scale farms. Most pastors in East Angola are not paid by their congregation but are paid in kind: eggs, cassava, sweet potatoes, a chicken or rabbit! Yellowstone Conference has partnered with the East Angola Methodist Church since 2003. We support 66 pastors in 3 districts and one area of evangelization (remote part). Each pastor receives $50 a month in salary (increased from $40 in July of 2015); and we pay Alcides Martins an additional stipend to administer the project. Global Ministries supports us in this effort. All money for pastors is sent to Yellowstone Conference office, then through Global Ministries and is subject to audits by GBGM, on-site visits, and yearly reports.
Rev. Luis Ribeiro Sambongue, pastor of Luavuri UMC in Angola sent a letter to the Yellowstone Conference via a Florida Conference team that just returned from Angola.
 “In the name of Jesus Christ the great Pastor of all of us, we greet you. . .  We are a small church in the rural area with very bad situations.  This friendship with Yellowstone has given us hope that in days to come things will be better.  In spite of being a small church, we have been winning souls through evangelization, praises and songs, preaching, classes and prayer.  We are thankful for the ministry of Tito de Fatima Jorge in Quessua Mission that has been influencing many young people and encouraging them in their faith. . . We only know about America what we read in books and news.  But we are praying day and night so that our prayers touch your hearts and help us endure this time of financial difficulties.  We thank God for you.  We wish God’s blessings in your work and greetings for all the siblings in Jesus Christ.”
His letter is a part of Sally McConnell’s end of the year letter describing our partnership with East Angola pastors.  To read her 2015 letter,  click here  It’s only one page and its very interesting.