Sunday 1 August 2010

A new perspective on mission

I have had the privilege of spending the past two weeks travelling with Ismael (pictured) through Angola. I have a great admiration for Ismael. He is a hard working man who has a passion for mission work in Angola.

He is a Brazilian whose job it is to oversee the work of YWAM mission in Angola. This vast country has several bases and many ministries in extremely remote locations. Travel around the country is not easy, but he manages it with enthusiasm and an everlasting smile.

He once went to a village for a pastoral visit where a team was working. As a gesture, he took with him a blanket, because it was approaching winter and he knew it was something that they would value.

The blanket was very well received. So much so, in fact, that the chief decided to bless Ismael with a live pig. Ismael tried to refuse. He said: “I can’t take this, it’s far too valuable for you to just give away.”

The chief responded with: “It’s ok, sir, I am rich. Please take it.”

To which, Ismael said: “Please, I cannot take it. You need it more than me.”

“I am richer than you, so I must insist that you take it.”

Ismael was taken aback by this comment. Ismael had turned up in fine clothes and drove a new car. Here he was in a dusty village where the people lived in mud huts and valued the donation of a blanket. ‘How can they think that they’re richer than me’, thought Ismael. So he asked: “How come you think that you’re richer than me?”

“How many cows do you have, sir” asked the chief.

“Five.” Ismael responded, positively, knowing that he’d just taken over a farm and inherited five cattle.

“I have 30. How many goats do you have?”

“Eight.” Replied Ismael, wondering where this was going.

“I have 75.” Said the chief.

“But I have a new Toyota Hilux. It’s very valuable.”

“Can it reproduce?” said the chief, inquisitively.


Angola is a rich and beautiful country. Wealth is so much more than where you live, what you drive or how much you have in the bank.

1 comment:

Jim said...

that is exactly how some of my people in north east India does, who live in hilly villages. The wealthiest man is one who have the most numbers of cattle and paddy :-D