For whosever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! Rom 10:13-15. KJV.
Hello everyone! The last few months have been unquestionably the most exciting since I have come to DR Congo. The years of building local relationships and language training is beginning to bear fruit. In the time since I last updated you, we have begun ministry in more new areas than in the previous years combined! We have expanded our ministry into the communities surrounding central Likasi. We have also began working in the new areas of Kambove, Kolwezi, Kampange and Nkala. This is truly what we have been praying and believing for. We have been intentional in shepherding the relationships the Lord has provided. These relationships have become the contacts that have allowed us to advance His Kingdom.
Leaders Bible Study in Kambove
Kambove is a large village of several thousand about one hour west of our base in Likasi. There are multiple small village communities around the primary village. On our first visit to the area we met with two different pastors. That initial contact, has now lead to a monthly bible study with about 25 church and community leaders. The relations we are building in the main village will open the door to ministry in the surrounding areas. The Bible studies allow us to build biblical truth in these leaders so they can then act as conduits to carry these teachings to many others. Paul very clearly taught the importance of a body ministry. We try to identify the parts of the body already in place and then team with them to build Biblical truth and unity.
Unity is the heart of God for His people. However, the enemy uses many tactics to fight this unity. Tribalism has long been a problem is Congo. It is the idea, that the smallest group you can identify with deserves your loyalty above all else. You can have a multitude of similarity; language, country and religion. However, you tribal identity supersedes all else. This evil has produced generations of bloody conflicts. It is very easy to see how this thinking can enter the Church. If your identity is more closely tied to your denomination, doctrine, local church or pastor. You can very quickly begin to see other believers as outsiders, as the enemy. This thinking is disastrous to the unity of the Church. The meetings allow us the privilege of building unity in the local body of believers. Jesus, in His High Priestly Prayer, prayed that all believers be unified in Him (John 17:21). There is great power in unity, the enemy knows this. The devil uses every trick to deceive the Church into seeing other churches and believers as enemies. He gives us rational reasons why we should not fellowship one another. But the truth is, all born again believers are born into the same body. We may have doctrinal differences and choose to walk out our faith in different ways. However, there is one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and in all (Ephesians 4:4-8). Jesus taught that we must love one another, as He loves us. He said this would be a sign to everyone that we are His disciples (John 13:34-5). When the world seeing groups loving each other; who once hated each other. God is glorified in a truly powerful way.
Fulgence and I preaching
The great commission very clearly gives a mandate to the Church. Find the lost, disciple the found and build the Church. Jesus was very intentional in raising up His disciples. He preached to everyone; but chose twelve to pour His life into. Of those, He selected three to be His closest students. I intend to select two or three young leaders to disciple very closely. I am relying on Holy Spirit to guide me in this process. At the moment, I have selected one young man to closely disciple. His name is Fulgence. Fulgence was born in the village of Mpande to a christian family. His family worked very hard to make a way for him to receive an education. He currently lives very modestly in Likasi and makes a living through farming. Twice a week Fulgence and I have a private bible study focusing on foundational truths of Scripture. He travels with me to all my ministry engagements. He is my primary translator, translating from French to Swahili. He is with me practically every day, except for time each week to maintain his field. He has the opportunity to watch me live out the words I speak. I believe Fulgence will become a mighty minister of Jesus Christ. I will do everything I can to help him fulfill his calling. Men like Fulgence and the disciples he will raise up in the future, will be the ministers who will ultimately transform DR Congo.
I know life can be overwhelmingly busy. I do thank you for taking time to read this newsletter. Blessings in Jesus Name.
Your Loving Brother In Christ,