As you may know, the past few years we have both managed dual roles within Overland Missions. David has been the Director of Recruiting for six years, and Fiona has been overseeing the Media department. Alongside these positions in the US, we’ve together been leading expedition teams in the Amazon, Brazil, and been involved in conducting reconnaissance missions to new areas such as Salta, Argentina and southern Angola.
As you may remember we spent the summer of 2012 in Angola with our founders, Phil and Sharon Smethurst and their family. The purpose of this trip was to assess the state of the church in rural Angola and identify the ways in which Overland Missions can be a blessing to this nation. We entered the country knowing its tumultuous history and aware of the resulting darkness we might encounter. Even with this awareness, nothing could have prepared us for the overwhelming need we were presented with.
Angola is a country with desperate need for an accurate representation of Jesus Christ, yet the difficult logistics of operating within its borders mean that only a handful of evangelical missionaries span the entire nation.
Overland Missions is ready to stand in the gap for the people of Angola and Phil and Sharon are in the process of establishing us (Overland Missions) as an organization within the country, allowing us to operate there as ministers of the Gospel. The greatest need in this nation is people. Messengers with a revelation of God’s redemptive love will enable an indigenous church to rise from within Angola’s broken society.
For us, the ‘call’ has never been as much about geography as it has about response. In our worldwide travels we are constantly presented with worthy mission fields, and it’s our joy to take advantage of every opportunity we get to build the Kingdom. As we have been considering our next steps within Overland Missions though, Angola has handed us a challenge that neither of us felt we wanted to refuse.
So, it’s with much excitement that we want to let you know that our family has made a commitment to be part of Overland Missions’ launch team into Angola. More specifically, we’re planning to relocate permanently to Angola in early 2015 to take on a new assignment in evangelism and discipleship. This timeframe will allow further reconnaissance to take place and Overland Missions to become established under Angola’s government. In the meantime we will continue in our support roles in the US headquarters, and this year we will hand over leadership of the Amazon teams to the next generation of expedition leaders. We will also be stepping up our language learning, as fluency in Portuguese will be an essential tool for effective long-term work in Angola. We’ll be spending as much time in Angola as we can both this year and the next as we continue to learn the best ways to reach the indigenous populations with the Gospel.
We appreciate your prayers and continued support as we take this step of faith on behalf of the people of Angola.
David, Fiona & Faith