The Portuguese Fire Bible is now available to pastors in Africa!
Below is a report from missionary Bill Williams who organized and led the launch ceremonies in Mozambique and Angola.
PORTUGUESE FIRE BIBLE™ LAUNCH IN ANGOLA
After receiving independence from Portugal in November 1975, Angola faced a devastating civil war that lasted nearly three decades. The war claimed more than 1 million lives, and nearly 4 million people were displaced.
The Republic of Angola is nearly twice the size of Texas in area. It is also the second-largest oil and diamond producer in Africa, yet most of Angola’s 18 million people live in poverty, and the infant mortality rate is among the highest of any country in the world. In 2002 a peace treaty was signed with rebel fighters, and peace was restored to this Portuguese-speaking country.
The Assemblies of God of Angola, one of the fastest-growing AG fellowships in the world, is experiencing tremendous revival and has over 2 million believers. The church is growing faster than it can produce trained pastors and leaders. Estimates indicate that only 500 of the more than 10,000 ministers and lay pastors have any kind of formal biblical training.
One reason few Angolan pastors have any training is because of the civil war years when no biblical training materials were available. Today, the increasing number of congregations emerging across the country has caused the church to request help in training enough pastors to lead them.
Bible Alliance has responded to Angola’s urgent call for help. Partnering with AG missionaries in Angola, we have presented the national church with the Fire Bible™, a Pentecostal study Bible. These materials were produced in Portuguese, the official language of Angola, and are now available to the 6 Portuguese-speaking nations in Africa.
The Portuguese Fire Bible™ distribution was launched in August by a Bible Alliance team at the Angola AG General Council. “We were warmly welcomed as we presented Fire Bibles™ to pastors and church leaders,” says missionary Bill Williams, director of distribution for the Fire Bible™. “Those dear pastors attending council slept on mats on the floor in the Bible school classrooms each night. Many of them only had one suit and shirt to wear the entire week. We witnessed their strong faith and a mighty move of God during the General Council meetings.
“The Fire Bible™ launch was held in a large tent on the mission grounds in the capital city of Luanda with the temperature in the high 90s. Placing this Pentecostal study Bible in the hands of Angolan pastors was an unforgettable experience. One pastor walked 25 miles to catch a bus in order come to the general council. He showed us his tattered, worn Bible. You can imagine the joy he felt as he received his new personal copy of the Fire Bible™ and returned home to preach the Word.”
Thank you for your prayers for the pastors and believers of Angola. Pray that the sowing of the seed of God’s Word in that nation will produce a spiritual harvest of souls for the kingdom of God.
FIRE BIBLE™ LAUNCH IN MOZAMBIQUE
“This is a great day for us in Mozambique,” stated pastor Fernando Bata, general superintendent of the Mozambique Assemblies of God, at the launch of the Portuguese Fire Bible™distribution.
Mozambique, one of the poorest countries in Africa, has few natural resources compared to other neighboring countries. The average wage earner makes $60 a month. Yet, Mozambique is a very beautiful country on Africa’s eastern coast bordering the Indian Ocean. Its 1,500-mile coastline is similar to that of the U.S. west coast. Maputo, the capital city, is a bustling metropolis showcasing the economic progress slowly being made.
Formerly a Portuguese colony, Mozambique experienced a terrible civil war from 1977 to 1992. More than 900,000 people died in the fighting and from starvation, including many pastors and believers. Today, the Assemblies of God is one of the largest evangelical churches in Mozambique with over 1.5 million believers. The AG church has seen explosive growth in recent years, creating a tremendous need for trained workers. Most of the 9,300 pastors and lay preachers have had no formal Bible training.
In September 2009, key pastors and church leaders gathered in Mozambique to celebrate the launch of this Pentecostal study Bible. It was a festive occasion, with a typical African atmosphere and a lively African choir. There was joy and some tears on the faces of pastors as they received their personal copy of the Fire Bible™. Most of them had never had a study Bible before. As one pastor told the Bible Alliance team, “This Pentecostal study Bible is a treasure for us. It is a gift from God and our friends in America”.
The Bible Alliance team worked with AG missionaries in Mozambique to prepare for the Portuguese Fire Bible™ launch in Mozambique. Lance and Mindy Hines played a key role in organizing the event. Guest speaker Billy Burr, area director for Southern Africa, spoke about the strategic importance of Bible Alliance bringing the Fire Bible™ to the church in Mozambique at this time.
Portuguese-speaking African countries have the highest growth potential of all of Africa. They are expected to have a combined population of over 83 million by 2050.
God is bringing revival to Mozambique and across the continent. Bible Alliance believes that now is the time for us to invest in training African pastors and leaders for the harvest. It is our deepest prayer that the Fire Bible™, placed in the hands of godly, dedicated pastors, will contribute to the mighty move of the Holy Spirit across Mozambique.