Construction work on a new Angolan Mennonite-Brethren church building was recently finished, giving the congregation a permanant meeting space for the first time. The Galilee Parish of Calunga, part of the Igreja Evangélica Irmãos Mennonitas em Angola (Evangelical Church of Mennonite Brethren in Angola) had been meeting in an airport hanger while during construction. A recent JoinHands grant of $10,000 from Mennonite Men assisted the congregation in constructing a roof for their unfinished building.
The IEIMA, along with several other Mennontie Brethren Church groups in the country, resulted from the interaction of Angolan refugees in Congo with Mennonite ministries in that country following conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1980s.
In a recent letter to Mennonite Men, the pastor, Maiala Kibango, writes that, "The conclusion of this work brought much joy and is a great benefit for the community in general and this congregation in particular...[We give] thanks to you for all your efforts, and sacrifice in having helped us financially to accomplish this work, which seemed difficult but today has become a reality. Our gratitude to all the AIMM (Africa Inter Mennonite Mission) team and to all international partners who have thought of IEIMA and of the Mennonites of Angola in general."
The JoinHands Mennonite Church Building Program, we provide grants to help new congregations acquire their first church building. Mennonite Men has given over 2 million dollars to new congregations for this purpose. We invite individuals and congregations to give to JoinHands. We especially ask churches pursuing building projects to give as a way of sharing resources and serving "fair balance" with congregations in need.
Paul wrote in his appeal to churches,"I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance (2 Corinthians 8:13-15)."