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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

Fishers of Men

Jesus called His first disciples from their fishing boats and nets. He said . . .

Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men. Matthew 4:19

As part of our website update we will be posting a series of articles about the beginning of Hope4Congo’s ministry.

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Fisherman’s Club
by Brad Graber

Hope4Congo traces its beginning to the story of my father, Harold Graber, one of God’s fishers of men.

Harold was born into the family of Peter and Emma Graber in Pretty Prairie, Kansas, a small Mennonite farming community. He was the youngest of six children.

Dr. Theodore Epp (Founder of Back to the Bible radio broadcast in Lincoln, Nebraska) preached a week of revival meetings at Harold’s church. Dr. Epp preached the Good News of salvation.

Harold was in high school (1937-1941) at the time of these revival meetings. Following his conversion, Harold and a group of friends decided to form a club they called, “Fisherman’s Club.” Their goal was to tell their friends about Jesus Christ and the Good News. This pivotal time in Harold’s life led to his determination to serve Christ wherever God called him.

Following World War II and his graduation from Bible College, God called Harold and his wife, Gladys as missionaries to the Belgian Congo, now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Praise God for calling and for Harold following. Thank you, Brad, for sharing this early story.

Join us next week for the continuation of this series. In the meantime, please continue to pray for and support the Congolese people.

We at Hope4Congo long to provide:  Hope For the Next Generation of Congolese.

Blessings,
SuZan

© 2020 Hope4Congo.com

 

Holding Forth Hope

We recently received the latest Africa Leadership Coaching Network newsletter. In it, Charles Buller invited ministry members (including collaboration partners like Hope4Congo) to share insights into how God is using the current pandemic’s disruption.

Andre and Mbombo Kalenga (our co-workers at Njoka Punda, who are currently quarantined in Kinshasa) shared the following:

“I never imagined that one day in virtually the whole world, schools, churches, national borders, planes, economic markets, and even all the big soccer championships would be shut down by this terrible social massacre [of Covid-19]. We meet God among those around us every day, and we share [Christ] perhaps more than ever before.

“A lot of people are becoming interested in God even if this time is presenting tremendous challenges for them. We are all limited before this situation, and so we must all fix our eyes on Christ for the answers we seek.”

Did you catch that?

In the midst of this pandemic:

They are sharing Christ, perhaps more than ever before.

A quarantine can NOT stop God’s activities, nor our prayers. Ministry continues as we each look for ways to share Christ in our daily lives. It is possible to have a conversation from six feet away, through a phone call or via the internet.

Once the quarantines are lifted, projects that were paused will again be pursued and fresh work considered if we have the resources to move forward.

Please pray and consider how you may support our ongoing efforts here at Hope4Congo and through other ministries of the collaboration team.

It is clear that neither height nor depth nor Covid-19 can stop the love of Christ from going forth.

To quote Charles’ latest letter:
“All the best to you . . . as you . . . hold forth hope to those around you.

© 2020 Hope4Congo


April 19, 2020

Farming God’s Way
As part of our Congo Collaboration meeting we heard from a speaker who represented Farming God’s Way.

The speaker grabbed my attention immediately when he asked us all, “What do you have in your hand?”

He went on to expound. We may wish for a tractor, but instead of wasting our time wishing, we can provide for our families with what we have.

“What do you have in your hand?” He repeated.

“The answer is a hoe. We will use what we have and grow food to feed our families.”

Farming God’s Way seminars provide a well-balanced three-fold system utilizing Biblical principles combined with technology and good management. Results from the seminars are encouraging in several African countries. So much could be addressed if the cycle of poverty could be broken.

For more information click on the link. https://www.farming-gods-way.org/home.htm
In addition to the information on that website, you may also click on the FaceBook icon on the lower left of the page. You do not have to be a member of FaceBook to view their account. It is a good way to keep up with their activities.

Our first Farming God’s Way seminar in 2019 was well received and a second one is being planned for 2020.

Farm to Market
Our first Farm to Market program was at Ndjoko Punda. Read our previous blog post about it:
Farm to Market Project

Hope4Congo begins our second Farm to Market program in the Mukedi Community in the Bandundu Province of the DRC.

Prayer Requests
• Pray for all the details to come together for our second Farming God’s Way seminar.
• Pray for the Farm to Market launch at Mukedi.
• Pray for peace, good health, and willing hearts to learn.

© 2020 Hope4Congo

MPH Guesthouse–Urgent Need!

We received news of an urgent need from the MPH Guesthouse. Please read their letter below. Then pass on the news to anyone you think would be interested. Also, please pray and consider how you may help them in their need.

Kinshasa, April 10, 2020
Dear Friends of Congo,

Greetings from Kinshasa and MPH where things are very quiet as parts of Kinshasa have gone into lock-down for 14 days and likely more. We trust this finds all of you well in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are writing all of you with a very unusual appeal on behalf of the MPH Guest House & Conference Center! The ability of MPH to survive this crisis and pay their workers and fixed costs is being heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and by the lack of visitors and income. All of the passenger flights into and out of Kinshasa have been suspended indefinitely! MPH has no income, but does have ongoing fixed expenses that must be paid if it is to continue to exist and be able to open again when this crisis is over!

We are writing this letter to ask each of you to consider supporting MPH with a limited time financial contribution each month for the next 6 months. Without some supplemental support MPH will have to lay off staff in May and potentially close down permanently before long. MPH needs about $8,000 per month to stay operational. They need for those who have benefited from their services in the past and who plan to use them in the future to make it possible for them to stay open. Personal contributions as well as gifts from churches or other ministries will make the difference. You might know people outside our Congo circles that you could encourage to participate in helping with this urgent need as well.

At this point, MPH’s reserves and the small savings from 2019 are not enough to pull it through this pandemic, so we are asking you to help MPH. If you would like to make a one-time gift or a monthly donation to help MPH pay staff and bills through this time and enable MPH to open its’ doors when the pandemic is over, you can send a check to Appointment Congo with “MPH” in the memo. The address is PO Box 98764, Raleigh, NC 27624.

You can also use PayPal by going to our web page at: www.appointmentcongo.org. Appointment Congo is a 501 C, 3 Tax Exempt organization and has offered to channel donations to MPH without any administrative costs. You will receive tax receipts for all donations. Or, you can contact Cindy at MPHCongo@yahoo.fr for the information regarding how to send your gift directly to MPH.

Clay and Cindy are doing a fantastic job managing MPH through this period. We are grateful for their courageous service, but they cannot do this all alone. They need our prayers and financial support! We appreciate your love for the Congo and for your engagement with the church and partners here. Nearly all of us have benefited from MPH’s ministry and will need for it to be here in the years ahead. We pray for God’s protection and provision for all of us through this challenging time.

Blessings,
Paul and Marty Law
Missionaries with Appointment Congo

Please consider how you may help in this urgent need.
© 2020 Hope4Congo