Phil Bandy (Interim Volunteers in Mission Director for the California-Nevada Annual Conference) is in Angola, along with Joel Bulaya of St. Mark's United Methodist Church in Sacramento, to assess clinic buildings on behalf of the West Angola Annual Conference. These clinics are in need of repair due to a civil war, and must be fixed before they can serve as distribution centers for an Imagine No Malaria program planned for this fall.
Making sure necessary repairs happen is the main goal of the July 7-15 visit – however, many new friendships and connections are being created, as well, that will strengthen the current partnership. When he has access to Internet, Phil is sending back reflections on the trip.
On Day Two, he wrote about a visit to the Bom Jesus (Good Jesus) clinic:
The clinic is on a hilltop at the edge of the savanna studded with large fat trees overlooking the valley of the Kwanza River. The river is blue in the afternoon sun and flanked by layered shades of green with brown rolling hills beyond to a hazy horizon. Stunning.
Three boys are flying kites on the hillside below us, and several women are coming to greet us. The compound has a huge fat tree right in the middle (they told me the name of it, but it failed to register) and is sprinkled with small brown stucco buildings, one obviously the church. Right in front of us is the new church under construction. It is huge compared to the other buildings, a labyrinth of concrete footings sprouting rows of rebar towers. A work crew has two of the rebar towers formed with circular forms, and crewmembers are passing buckets of concrete up ladders and pouring them in.
We are greeted in sequence by members of the church and end up in the pastor's house, where we have a short prayer and then get the full tour. Joel is all over the place with his camera and tape measure, and I settle in with the small crowd under a small shade tree to get acquainted. I learn some details of the dreams for the clinic.
To read Phil's posts in their entirety, click on the News tab on the Home Page of the Conference website at www.cnumc.org, then select "Blogs" from the menu on the right. Choose "Phil Bandy" as the author.