Missionary Fatuma Olangi Kutela Nana (back center, with small white purse), with a group of pastors’ widows who came together for fellowship and a distribution of fresh produce from farming activities Kutela oversees in West Angola. PHOTO: COURTESY OF FATUMA KUTELA

First in a missionary Advent devotion series, Fatuma Kutela, an agricultural technician missionary from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, works with the West Angola Episcopal Area in Luanda, Angola. 

By Fatuma Olangi Kutela Nana 
November 8, 2021 | LUANDA, ANGOLA 

Hope is like a light shining in a dark place; and it is the waiting which gives us endurance, confidence and joy in our daily lives, no matter what difficulties we might face. 

Widows and the retired pastors are my mission’s primary beneficiaries. They are not used to meeting as a community. Instead of serving them separately, I call them together in one location to disperse the produce and other goods we bring. There are no other widows’ or retired pastors’ groups that I know of. I am always amazed to see them blossom like young people as they get time to recall their life’s journeys. You can hear laughter and see smiles on their faces. They do not have much time for such moments, and they make sure they fully enjoy them, and I thank God for them. 

Being a widow, a retired person or, in short, a person in need, is not easy, but as long as we put our hope in God, we can smile in the midst of harsh conditions because God is the provider and God is love; God sent Jesus Christ to bring salvation to everyone. It is just a matter of accepting him as your Lord and Savior. It is same with all the difficulties we are facing in our life, it is just a matter of trusting that God the provider is on our side and will provide. That is why we should hold on to God with hope that something good is coming. 

The Bible says in Acts 20:35 (NIV), “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Whenever I donate produce from our farm, I hear words like “God never forgets his people,” and “He hears our prayers,” which means they have hope. A widow told me, “You are the light that we were waiting for a long time. I thought God forgot about us, but today I am sure God hears our prayers.” This is what Christian hope looks like. It doesn’t ignore fear, anxiety and doubt; it confronts them. This reality isn’t true only in good times; in fact, it is in dark and difficult times when hope truly shows its mettle. 

One of the United Methodist pastor’s widows receiving produce to go sell to sustain her family. Josepha and her daughter have learned to plant, harvest and sell produce. PHOTO: FATUMA KUTELA

Josepha is a pastor’s widow with seven children and a small house. She is a hard-working woman, and she took to me as soon as she met me. She goes with me to the farm regularly and we agreed she would sell vegetables in the market. Her earnings help her care for her family. This has opened many doors for her. She is now instructing one of her daughters on how to sell as well; so that when she is unavailable, her daughter can handle their business. Since they are two, they can be more productive. She feels she is a blessed woman since meeting me. She always calls to find out how I am; she has become a loving mother to me in this foreign country. 

Dear God, as we await the coming of our living hope, we ask for patience, strength and the spirit of generosity, so that our hope doesn’t shake. We pray that love will be our everyday priority. Amen!

Fatuma Olangi Kutela Nana is an agricultural technician serving as a missionary with the West Angola Episcopal Area. She received her agriculture degree from African University. Her husband, Kutela Katembo, is an agriculture missionary with the East Angola Episcopal Area in Quessua. Support the work of missionaries around the world (Advance #00779Z) this season.