October 14, 2017
Thank you so much for your prayers and support. We now are back in the U.S. after a safe, very rewarding, and fruitful whirlwind trip to Angola a couple of weeks ago with the Krafted Homes team.
Many of you prayed:
For acquisition of our visas.
- Our visit to the Angolan Consulate in Houston, Texas resulted in the return of our passports with visas to each one of us via FedEx the day before our scheduled departure for Angola!
For a good and favorable customs inspection of the container’s contents.
- Customs had allowed the container to clear port and for it to be trucked to Lubango. Unfortunately, that trucker was not willing to take the container all the way to Cavango and the one suitable crane was not available (it was broken) to remove the container from his truck. So…; the contents were removed from the container, the container was dragged off the truck, and much of the contents returned into the container. All of which, of course, allowed suitable customs inspection and documentation to the inspector’s satisfaction and ultimate favorable clearance. All of this occurred before our arrival, so we are thankful for fellow missionaries and local help making all of this happen as necessary!
For the logistics of getting the container to Cavango.
- After we arrived in Lubango, a trucker was found and hired to haul the container to Cavango.
- We emptied the container again, arranged a small crane, and hoisted the container onto the back of his truck. With local help, we again reloaded the container. As you can imagine, packing 37,000 pounds of
contents by hand into a 20′ container up on the back of a truck is quite the chore! But, we were successful and very grateful to finally get it accomplished.
- In addition to working through the trucker and container loading processes; we also worked on getting the Ford L8000 truck fixed, ready for travel, and loaded for the trip.
- Very early Friday morning, Scott and I (in the L8000) rendezvoused with the trucker and container on the outskirts of Lubango to begin our trek to the mission station of Cavango. The trucker, after more than 16 hours on the road, stopped for the night at one of the villages along the way; but Scott and I continued. And after almost 24 hours of continuous driving, Scott and I safely arrived in Cavango. Saturday morning, Dr. Tim Kubacki arranged a motorcyclist to meet up with the trucker and guide him the rest of the way in. Saturday afternoon, the truck and container finally arrived too!
- Cavango is only about a 370 mile trip from Lubango and, even though almost 280 of those miles are paved roads, the last 90 miles to Cavango make for an arduous challenge. Those last 90 miles are extremely brutal in large, trucks; especially large trucks with heavy loads. Since we were transporting the runway-project skid loader on the L8000, Scott was able to get our truck unstuck on a detour trail around a failed bridge and then repair that trail sufficiently to allow both of our trucks to make it. Overall, the container truck was able to average only about 5 miles per hour for that 90 mile stretch of “road”.
For traveling mercies.
- Throughout all our travels, God provided safety and blessing. We enjoyed and appreciated good flights, good weather conditions, and no missed connections.
- Though we had strenuous and continuous itineraries of back-to-back flight durations (2 hours, 15 hours, 9 hours, 2 hours) with multiple airport lay-over durations (5 hours, 9 hours, 7 hours), even Dad did well through it all.
- We are grateful that MAF (Missionary Aviation Fellowship) was able to fly Dad and Bob to and from an airstrip near Cavango (2 hour flight) so that they only had to experience about 20 miles of the Lubango-to-Cavango “roads” for an hour or so each way.
- Overall, the vehicles and our loads did very well in spite of the horrendous “road” conditions. We experienced broken hydraulic hoses, clogged filters, and a burst coolant hose; but all were fairly minor in nature and we were able to resolve issues with items on hand and without too much delay. Scott and I appreciated that our return trip to Lubango in the L8000 was ‘only’ about 14 hours in duration.
For fruitful meetings, activities, and endeavors.
- We were blessed with excellent meetings and interactions in Lubango and at Cavango with church and denominational leadership, seminary leadership, a number of missionaries, as well as quite a number of African colleagues and friends.
- We experienced warm hospitality, great fellowship, and renewed relationship each step of the way. We were well taken care of, fed well, and provided comfortable accommodations.
- We were successful in helping get the container and contents to Cavango.
- We now have provided 9 functioning Zambulances to transport patients throughout the huge area serviced by Cavango’s medical facilities. They will be disbursed in surrounding key villages to be readily available in time of need. These will be a huge blessing and we can only imagine how many lives will benefit. Learn more about Zambulances at: http://www.zambikeszambia.com/products/products-for-zambia/zambulance/.
- There are now building structure and roofing components at Cavango to expand and grow the medical work. As currently envisioned, this 40′ x 95′ building will be the first of five similarly sized new buildings for the Cavango Hospital facility.
- We were able to utilize the runway-project bulldozer and skid loader to excavate for the new hospital building foundation. Dr. Tim will arrange and direct community and local help to place the foundation and concrete slab.
- We were able to utilize the skid loader and jack-hammer attachment to remove a portion of an old foundation and improve drainage to divert water runoff from flooding one of the existing patient ward buildings during the rainy season.
For strength and good health.
- All of us experienced good health, no physical issues, and a great spirit throughout the trip.
For the safety and well-being of our loved ones.
- Not only did God bless us individually, we were additionally blessed with our loved ones’ safety and well-being in spite of various health challenges and issues. God is indeed great and good!
That we would be an encouragement and blessing.
I hope and I trust that we were indeed an encouragement and blessing to the mission work, the church work, and ultimately God’s work in Angola through and during this trip. I know that I was blessed and encouraged:
- By my fellow team members – Scott Van Haitsma, Bob Vasquez, and Dad.
- By each of the missionaries we were privileged to encounter in Angola.
- By the Angolan church members and leadership.
- By Dr. Tim and Betsy Kubacki (I strongly encourage you to read more about them at: http://kubacki6.wordpress.com. You may especially be challenged by Tim’s blog).
By each of you:
- That prayed for us.
- That supported us.
- That kept the ‘home fires burning’ in our absence.
- That made it possible for us to go and be your hands and feet and heart in Angola.
As we look forward and plan ahead, please keep these Angola projects in your thoughts and prayers. We are currently planning as follows:
- 2018 – support the restarting and completion of the runway construction project at Cavango.
- 1st to 2nd Quarter of 2018 – ship another container. This will likely contain at least one other building package, tools, generator, repair parts, tires, and miscellaneous building materials and equipment.
- 2nd to 3rd Quarter of 2018 – conduct another team construction trip or two.
- Erect the first new hospital building structure and roof
- Visit the Kuvango church to measure and verify the foundation they are constructing
- 2019 – ship another container with the Kuvango church building structure and roof package
- 2019 – conduct another team construction trip to erect the Kuvango church building
Additionally, we would really like to fit in a new church building with a new school annex building at Cavango just as soon as possible. The mission and Angola church leadership have requested our assistance with many of their needs and desires. We’d like to help them wherever and however we can. Sometimes the opportunities and the challenges seem overwhelming, but God is great and we trust in Him to guide and direct and provide.
If you are led to financially support any of these projects or efforts, tax-deductible contributions can be gifted:
Through the mail to:
Advancing the Gospel in Angola
25 Maple Street
Addison, NY 14801
Please reference the “Colorado Connection” to ensure appropriate designation.
Let me know if you’d like to consider participation in one of our team construction trips. We need your help! I’d love to talk with you. Thank you so much for your prayers and support. We greatly appreciate you, your help, and your participation. We can’t do it without each one of you.