Ndjoko Punda Primary School

Even though it has been a challenging year, progress has been made on several projects. In these photos you can see the progress on the primary school construction. The school is 95% complete with full completion scheduled for the first quarter of this year of 2021.

300 Desks are needed. Cost is $25.00 per desk. $7,500 Total cost.

Please consider donating toward the completion of this project. 100% of your donations go toward our projects. Make checks payable to AIMM,and designate your gift to Hope4Congo for this school project at.

Send your tax-deductible U.S. Dollar Donations to:
Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission (AIMM)
P.O. Box 744
Goshen, IN 46527-0744

We thank you for your participation in this school. We’re excited about what God will do in 2021.

As always, your prayers for these projects and the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo are appreciated.

© 2021 Hope4Congo, All Rights Reserved

December 2020 Update

Thank you for your patience as we’ve been in the process of upgrading our website.

Changes will continue since we wish to make our website more user-friendly. As part of the improvements to our website we’re updating our projects pages. Some will continue to be in working stages.

If you come across a blank space, please know that we’ll address each project eventually—but in the meantime—we’re cleaning out some old pages.

We’ll begin today with the Literature portion of our projects. Hope4Congo was founded because of the great needs the Grabers observed when they first returned to Congo in 2007.

Congo has so many needs it becomes difficult to address everything we see, just like addressing every project page on our website at once. We have to decide the most important things to address first. By far the biggest need in the DRC is the spiritual starvation of the country.

In my latest conversation with Brad, he said something that startled me:

“In the DRC, you could live your entire life without a Bible.”

Imagine . . .
If you were a Christian with no Bible and no Christian books or literature to nourish your soul.

Imagine . . .
If you were a pastor with no Bible or perhaps only a portion of the Bible from which to lead and shepherd your congregation.

But this isn’t imagination.

This is reality for the majority of believers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Hope4Congo recently distributed 200 French Bibles to pastors in need. Either they had no Bible or the Bible they owned was not complete.

One pastor had a Bible that was missing Genesis through Numbers and Romans, beginning with chapter three, through Revelation. Obviously, this limited his teaching to small portions of the Bible. When he received his new Bible, his response was: “Now I can teach all the parts of the Bible!”

We’re so grateful we were able to distribute these Bibles through your generous help.

Here is more of what is on Brad’s heart:

“The Church in sub-Saharan Africa is growing faster than anywhere else in the world. The percentage of global Christians in Africa today is 26%.

“It is estimated that 40% of the world’s Christians will be living in Africa by the year 2060. Africa is set to become the global center of Christianity and yet the discipleship crisis in Africa deepens due to the lack of access to Bibles.

“In 2007 when we first went back to Congo, the estimated population was 50 – 60 million. In 2020, the population is 80 – 90 million; the estimated population for 2060 is 160 million people.

“We’re not keeping up with the need.”

If you’re a numbers person, you don’t need me to say any more. But if you’re like me, you need the numbers to be translated into what it means for that individual Congolese Christian:

-No daily nourishment through reading God’s Word
-No spiritual growth through reading God’s Word
-No discipleship or very little available if others do not have a Bible
-No personal encouragement for your day or your individual troubles

And perhaps most frightening of all—the possibility of deception.

An individual Christian might sense uneasiness in their spirit about a false teaching or false leadership. But without the clear guidance of God’s written word, some might be deceived or not know how to respond in a Biblical manner.

I rely on my Bible every day for all these things I’ve mentioned. I don’t know what I’d do without it.

This brings me back to Brad’s statement:
“You could live your entire life without a Bible.”

Think of that. I hope that statement bothers you as much as it does me.

This is Hope4Congo so I want to close with the HOPE we have in Christ Jesus. First, we are thankful, so we offer these prayers of thanksgiving followed by our prayer requests and ministry needs.

Thanksgiving
1. We thank God for the privilege of distributing 200 French Bibles to pastors without Bibles.
2. We thank God for the contributions from each of you that made it possible.
3. We thank God for other ministry partners, too.

Prayer Requests
*Pray for our DRC brothers and sisters in Christ who struggle to put food on the table and nourish their souls.
*Pray for the financial resources to give more Congolese access to Bibles and other Christian literature.
*Pray for this ministry and other ministry partners on our collaboration team.
*Ask God to guide your involvement with this ministry.

Financial Support – If God leads you to give, we pray you will . . .
+Give according to the measure God enables you.
+Give as an eternal investment in the kingdom of God.
+Give out of your grateful heart.
+Give because you know the abundant blessings provided every time you read your own Bible.
+Give because it breaks your heart to know another Christian could live their entire life without access to God’s Holy Word.

© Hope4Congo 2020, All Rights Reserved

“Someday . . . “

The Graber family, like many other missionaries, were forced to leave the Congo in 1964. Last week we wrote about the family’s desire to return someday. Dinner table conversations revolved around the home they left behind. Those discussions always ended with “someday . . . .”

________________

Forty-Three Years Later
by Brad Graber

God chose not to re-open the door for my Dad and our family to return to Congo. We remained in the United States. But this too, was part of God’s eternal plan laid down before the foundations of the world.

It is our responsibility to keep in step with God’s Spirit. As it says in Galatians 5:25, “Let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.”

I had a dream shortly after we returned to the United States in 1964. In that dream I sat around a fire at night with the Congolese. We talked about the events of the day and the issues of life. Stories from the past were shared and we enjoyed each other’s company.

The dream was all about relationships and living life together and figuring out life together. Over the years, that treasured dream often came back into my thoughts.

In 2007, God opened the door to visit the home we had left behind. My brother Stan and I, along with our wives, traveled to Congo.

Forty-three years after our family was forced to flee Congo,

‘someday’ finally came.

We made our way back to Ndjoko Punda (Charlesville, as we remembered it), the first mission station established under the Congo Inland Mission in 1912.

This photo was taken in August 1912. As you can see, the spelling has changed since then.

This mission station was located along the Kasai River in the Kasai-Occidental province.

Our home was not a hut. We held in our memories the lovely home and mission station we had left behind. It had several well-maintained buildings. The surrounding grounds with our mother’s garden were beautiful.

However, Congo was not the same place we remembered. We recognized many things and places, but the material poverty and spiritual starvation were beyond belief. Our idyllic memories shattered in the face of the current reality.

We came back home to the United States with the satisfaction of having returned to Congo. But we also came home with heavy hearts. Our faith was challenged.

________________

Thank you, Brad. Next week we’ll continue the story. 
In the meantime, please join us in prayer for the people of the DRC.
Pray for:
• Peace
• Protection
• Health
• Wise Leadership

© 2020 Hope4Congo All Rights Reserved

Legacy of Love

As previously stated, our current series regards the beginnings of this ministry. Last week we told you how Chief Baditu grabbed the hand of God. Below is the next installment in the series.

________________

Our Father’s Legacy
by Brad Graber

Harold Graber, known as Muambi Maoyila to the Congolese, did many things during his time in Congo. He was a peacemaker, warrior, missionary, pastor—a fisher of men as God instructed him to be. He learned how to fish from the best fisherman of Galilee. His name was Jesus Christ.

Like all good gospel fishermen, Harold taught with words and actions. We, his children, were some of those caught in the net.

Our father’s love for Congo became our love for Congo. His love caught us and in turn, we caught his love for the country and the people.

In 1964, due to the political unrest, the decision was made to move our family back to the United States. This was a big disappointment for both our parents and us children. The family evacuated from the city of Kananga (Luluabourg) in the early morning hours on a UN plane from the Kananga airport.

After our return to the United States, family conversations around the dinner table always involved our memories of Congo. Our love ran deep.

Over the years, we talked about a return visit to Congo. “Someday,” we always said.

“Someday . . ..”

____________________

Thank you, Brad.

Join us as we continue Hope4Congo’s story in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can read about some of Brad’s childhood on the tab above. Click on: Growing up in the Congo”

And as always, we ask you to pray for the people of Congo.

© 2020 Hope4Congo All Rights Reserved

Gripped by the Message

In anticipation of our website update we are posting a series of stories on the beginnings of this ministry. Last week Brad Graber wrote about how his parents, Harold and Gladys Graber, were called as missionaries in 1950 to what was then the Belgian Congo. Today we continue the story of Hope4Congo.

Then Jesus came to them and said,
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
~Matthew 28:18-20

____________________

Grab the Hand of God
by Brad (Baditu) Graber

Our father, Harold formed a friendship with Chief Baditu, chief of a tribe of fishermen near the Ndjoko Punda mission station.

Over time Harold shared the Good News of the Gospel with Chief Baditu. The chief listened to the message of salvation through Jesus Christ and the message gripped his heart and mind.

One morning, Chief Baditu, with his entourage, walked from his village to the Ndjoko Punda mission station and knocked on the door of our home.

Our father answered the knock and there stood his friend, Chief Baditu.

“I have come this morning to grab the hand of God,” Chief Baditu said.

In that moment, the chief became part of the family of God. He became a “fisher of men” along with my father.

Baditu invited my father to a burning ceremony. He heaped all the idols and paraphernalia associated with idol worship and witchcraft into a pile. Then set all of it on fire. This signified an end to Baditu’s walk in the darkness and the beginning of his new walk in the light.

__________________________

Thank you for telling this story, Brad. Your namesake, “Baditu,” chose well for himself. What a gift you have to be named after this man of God, this courageous new believer.

I am grateful all of your hearts were gripped by God’s message and that in return, each of you grabbed God’s hand.

To Our Readers:
Our prayer for each of you is the same Good News — salvation is available to all who believe on the name of Jesus Christ. We hope that your hearts have been gripped by God’s message and that in return, you have grabbed God’s hand just like Chief Baditu.

We ask our readers to continue your faithful prayers for this ministry and the Congolese people.
Check back with us next week for the next installment of Hope4Congo’s story.

Blessings!
~SuZan


© 2020 Hope4Congo.com

Jesus said, “Go . . . .”

As we stated in last week’s blog post, we are updating our website. As part of that update, we are posting a series of articles about the beginning of Hope4Congo’s ministry.

First God calls us to be His people. Then He assigns our tasks.

Before Jesus returned to His Father in heaven, He commanded His disciples:

Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
~Mark 16:15

_______________________________

Accepting the Call
by Brad Graber

Gladys, Carolyn, Stan, Brad (Baditu) in Harold’s arms

God called our parents, Harold and Gladys Graber as missionaries to the Belgian Congo (now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo) after Harold’s graduation from Bible College.

Our parents went to Congo for the first time in 1950 along with their two small children, my older brother, Stan and my older sister, Carolyn. Our mother was known as Mama Mbuyi. Our father was named Muambi Maoyila.

Muambi Maoyila became a friend of Chief (Nfumu) Baditu. Chief Baditu was the chief of a fishing village, so of course, he and his people were fishermen.

Stan, Baba holding Brad/Baditu, Carolyn



Chief Baditu and our father became good enough friends that when I was born I was named “Baditu” after the chief. From that moment I was forever connected to Congo and Ndjoko Punda.

God in his infinite wisdom was working out a portion of his plan for my life.

_____________________________

Thank you, Brad. Or should I say, Baditu? We thank God for your parents and their obedience to Jesus’ command. We look forward to each installment of the story in the coming weeks.

We ask you, our dear readers to please:
• Continue to pray for the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
• Continue to pray for wisdom for Hope4Congo’s ministry.
• Consider how you may support the Congolese people through this ministry.
• Remember, we are all volunteers at Hope4Congo. No one receives a salary.

Your gifts will be used specifically to encourage the next generation of the DRC.

© 2020 Hope4Congo