Africa UMVIM experience 'A journey of faith'

December 05, 2007

Editor’s Note: California-Nevada Conference UMVIM volunteer Martha Milk traveled to Angola May 17–June 13, 2007 and returned blessed, full of joy – and inspired to share a personal account with us. The full story, complete with wonderful photographs from her journey, can be found on the Cal-Nev UMVIM website Destinations and Discoveries page. Here is an excerpt from that account.


Dear Friends,


Perhaps when you agreed to support my recent UMVIM trip to Africa, you didn’t realize the impact for each of us. I want to share with you more about this, my first – of many, I’m sure – mission trips to Africa. Just call and I’ll be at your doorstep with pictures, stories and heartwarming testimony. Thank-you so much for sharing the vision with me and supporting me with your prayers, donations and enthusiasm. Africa itself is huge and wonderful and so much more than I ever imagined or understood.


[We were met with] wholehearted welcome at all of the churches we attended. It was the women who really came out and greeted us with song and dance and made us feel welcome. Most especially, what touched my heart as we stood with the women as they greeted us, was when one woman turned to me and asked, “Do you know why we sing.?” And as I nodded back to her, she simply stated, “We sing because we have joy in our hearts.”


This simple yet profound statement of faith touched me so deeply that all the worries of the trip – the heat and high humidity, inconsistency in electricity for air conditioning, and long journeys over pot-holed roads – all take a minor place in the telling of the Angolan Methodists’ strength of faith, incredible music, and living testimony of profound faith which was shared with us. It was truly a journey of faith for us in our time in Africa