The Democratic Republic of Congo has been known as a ripe harvest field, not only for the Church of God of Prophecy, but the same is true for many other religious organizations. As you travel around the country, especially on a Sunday morning, there are sounds of believers singing, praying, and worshiping the Lord. Most of these are in makeshift places; however, the reality is that the Democratic Republic of Congo continues to be a ripe harvest field.
God has given us four coordination teams for Church planting; men and women that are truly dedicated to going into villages, townships and the most remote and difficult areas of the nation to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. In some of these areas our men and women walk up to sixty kilometers because there are no roads for automobiles. Through the efforts of these dedicated men and women, we were able to organize 13 new churches and 60 new missions. To God be the glory!
To accommodate this aggressive church planting in the nation, we strongly believe that there must be trained leaders; therefore, we have embarked on intensive leadership training since 2012 in the four provinces that the church is presently operating, namely: Kinshasa, Kananga, Lubumbashi and Mbuji-Mayi. In each of these training sessions, we are averaging a total of 50 participants, with a good percentage of young and emerging leaders. Those who participated in the training attested to the fact they are returning to their places of ministry better prepared for the work of the harvest.
We are thankful to God for the progress of attempts been made to reach new provinces. Because of difficulties, progress has been slow; but we thank God that there seem to be some ray of hope to move into at least three new provinces.
My wife and I were privileged to visit two areas for the first time since returning to DRC. This journey was one of the most rewarding and spiritually uplifting visits we have made. On this trip we visited nine of our local churches and the work is progressing very well.
The women’s ministry throughout the DRC is very vibrant and growing. A series of training and information sessions were held by Floreth Clarke and this resulted in making plans to further assist the ministry. Women have embarked on the renting of land for farming and opened many sewing centers. These centers provide training for young women and provide an income to help to propel them into self-sustenance for the future.
Transportation can be challenging and often the most practical means of transportation is either motorbike or bicycles. We have been able to assist some of our key leaders with motorbikes and bicycles. This is a source of encouragement to our leaders and encourages evangelism and administration of the work to move forward. We want to thank our donors that have contributed financially to make possible these means of transportation.
In Kananga, where we have the largest segment of churches and membership (159 local churches and 20,450 members), we have only five church buildings. Many worship under huts made out of palm branches, in pastors’ homes, rented facilities, schools or under trees. We are hoping to affect a change where church buildings are concerned. Our efforts will be to build buildings that will have multipurpose functions, i.e, weekly services, leadership training, and provincial activities. So far, we have already constructed one such building in the province of Kananga, we are presently constructing in the province of Mbuji-Mayi, Lubumbashi, and we have broken ground in Kinshasa. Again, we are grateful to our donors for their giving and support in this very important area of ministry.