Spring 2018 Leadership Seminars

We think you’ll enjoy the Congo Leadership Coaching Network video log. Click on the link to open. If it does not work. Paste the link in your browser.

Please pray that the good seed sown by the teams’ efforts will take root and bear good fruit. And as always, remember to pray for peace in the DRC.

© 2018 Hope4Congo

April News 2018

Your donations have made it possible for Hope4Congo to send 20 soccer balls and 500 French tracts to the DRC recently. These items will be used to share the gospel.

You may remember our priority to invest in the training and equipping of leadership partners in Congo. One such partner is Kalenga. He proved himself to be a good leader among the youth last year.

This year he will again be involved with the youth. Using his good judgment, he will distribute these soccer balls and French tracts at upcoming youth events. It is wonderful to see our efforts to develop leadership coming to fruition.

The leadership coaching team (led by Charles Buller) is in DRC again this month. They began this month in the Bandundu region conducting transformational coaching seminars. This week they worked in Mukedi and will finish the week in Kikwit.

In conjunction with these seminars, they have conducted youth rallies and soccer practices through which they introduced principles of joining God’s team and winning in life.

The leadership team’s activities culminate in soccer games on Saturday along with the final Kikwit seminar.

Charles Buller stated: “We believe God’s Spirit, our presence, and your prayers will result in great fruitfulness for God’s kingdom.”

Prayer Requests:
• Continue to pray for the seminars and youth rally/soccer events.
• Pray for effective ministry and open hearts to hear and apply the teaching.
• Pray for safe travel as seminar team members return to their respective homes.
• Pray that donation monies spent on soccer balls and French tracts
will bear good fruit—fruit that remains.
• Pray for wisdom, encouragement, and safety for Kalenga.
• Continue to pray for peace in the DRC so that God’s Word may spread throughout the country.
• The town of Beni has faced repeated incidents of violent persecution against Christians from Muslim rebels, including an attack on a hospital. Pray for peace to return to this town and for those who have suffered physical and/or emotional trauma.

© 2018 Hope4Congo

What Does That Mean?

What Does That Mean?
by Brad Graber

Someone has asked me to explain what I mean when I use the phrase,
Put your yes on the table and let God put it on the map.

I first heard the phrase from Ed Stetzer, Executive Director for the Billy Graham center in Wheaton. I am not sure where it originated. However, it has stuck with me because I think it encapsulates the essence of discipleship. Let me explain.

What Table?
The term table is designed to conjure in one’s mind the idea of a conference table.
It refers to a place where ideas are discussed, challenges presented, and decisions made.
When something is on the table, it’s an option, an opportunity, something that could be negotiated.
However, one has not said, yes or no to an offer yet.

What does Put (it) on the Table mean?
To put (something) on the table means it is on display for everyone to see.
It is the opposite of under the table, which usually refers to something that is covert or unlawful.

What does my Yes on the Table say?
It says, “You can count me in.” Or, “I’m in agreement. I’m ready for the challenge, ready to take the risk and ready to participate.”

Typically we like to be sure of something before we do it. We want to know ahead of time what to expect. After all, isn’t good planning prudent? We want to make our plans and decide instead of agreeing to whatever.

However, sometimes God calls us to obey without giving us all the details. Sometimes He asks us to agree with Him before we know His whole plan. That can be quite unsettling for sure.

Then how do we: Let God Put it On the Map?
Mother Teresa is a good example. At the age of eighteen, she said, “Yes,” and allowed God to put it on the map. Her yes is reflected in a prayer request she sent to a spiritual confidant:

“(Pray) that I let Him (God) have a free hand.”

Thus began Mother Teresa’s journey. Eventually God led her to Calcutta, India where she gave wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor.

Are we confident in God? Can we trust Him to orchestrate everything toward something good, beautiful, and beyond what we could ever ask or imagine? The ultimate yes, is committing to God without knowing the specifics, without knowing what He will ask of us.

So what is the Map?
A map speaks of location. However, it can also refer to clarity, direction, arrangement, order, or assignment.

With God we may not always be able to make out the plan or make sense of the plan, but we can trust Him. Why? God delights in the details of our lives. God has promised, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

My brother and I have said yes to God without knowing where it will finally take us. Hope for Congo was born out of our yes. I don’t know what God has in mind. I don’t know how He wants to use our commitment to shape our lives and the lives of others, but I do know that the outcome of this journey is totally in His hands.

I invite you to . . .
Put your yes on the table and let God put it on the map.

When you do . . .
things will happen.

It’s an exciting and fulfilling way to live.


Thank you for the challenge, Brad.

News from Congo: The tribal conflict has claimed more lives. The enemy of our souls is at work.

Charles Buller reported: “Please pray for Adolphine, a dear sister who I got to know well during my last trip to Congo. She serves as the ‘Mama Presidente’ of women for the CMCo family of churches, and attended the AIMM-sponsored literacy training at the same time that I was in Kinshasa this past April. Adolphine, whose husband passed away some time ago, has since been supported in part by her younger brother who has managed a small farm in a village called Inga some 40 miles from Tshikapa. Adophine just found out that her brother, his wife and children, along with other family members were all slaughtered – caught in the tribal conflict going on in the Kasai Region. When I called her yesterday, we ended up weeping together over the phone for nearly an hour. She is broken to the core.”

Prayer Requests:
• Please pray against the evil and for an end to the deceptions, which lead to violence.
• Please pray for God to raise up wise and godly leaders who find favor in the eyes of all Congolese.
• Please pray for the people to receive Christ’s grace and strength to forgive.

© 2017 Hope4Congo

Praise & Prayer Ongoing Need

Youth in Kahemba wait for the movie after soccer clinic

The photo above shows some of the dear ones we hope will be used of God to make a difference in their country because of the difference God has made in their lives.

Prayer Request:
Tensions seem to be heating up in Congo once again. Please remember the situation in your prayers regarding the delayed election. Pray for wisdom and peace.

Read the article at the link below for additional news:

©2017 Hope4Congo


Soccer Success

Would you practice soccer at 5:30 a.m.?

Last week I promised you’d be hearing more about the Transformational Leadership Seminars conducted by Congo Leadership Coaching Network, CLCN). I think you’ll be pleased to read the praises contained in this preliminary report from Charles Buller (CLCN). The following excerpts focus on the success of the soccer clinics.


The soccer clinics were planned with regional youth leaders for more than one afternoon during the seminars. We had several goals for expanding these clinics:
• To reach more youth with the evangelistic message of salvation in Christ
• To present a vision and basic tools for discipleship for those already following Christ
• To broaden the sense of ownership and involvement in the vision for these events among the national youth leadership team
• To interest the leadership of the regional church in the youth and their formation as young leaders
• To deploy the multiple gifts of the coaching team in the soccer clinics.

Our goals were reached far beyond my expectations. These youth events became a significant part of our ministry and had a meaningful impact in many young lives. The leaders gathered for the adult seminars witnessed the importance of youth ministry.

Andre Kalenga (center, white shirt) exhorts youth at the end of soccer practice.

I could write volumes on how and why I believe the clinics were such noteworthy successes, however I’ll condense my thoughts on the subject in two basic observations or convictions.

1. Andre Kalenga became a burgeoning transformational leader. It was exciting to see him develop over the course of the two weeks that we were on the road. Major growth occurred in his life! His presence on the trip meant he also got to take in the adult seminars, which clearly impacted his own life.

Andre teaching at Kahemba

I think he was equally surprised to see how powerfully God used him to mobilize hundreds of youth. He knew he had to step up or it wasn’t going to happen. At first he was a bit hesitant, but quickly took on the leadership mantle. The youth respected and followed his leadership.

His style was authentic to who God made him to be and his gentle, but direct way of leading proved most effective. He modeled the principles of leadership that we seek to impart in the seminars.

In order to participate in this trip, Andre had to seek permission to be excused from two weeks of classes at UCKIN. This was a big price to pay.

I believe his leadership set the course for some new patterns in these sports clinics. He involved the coaching team all along the way and each of us shared in some aspect of the teaching and the exercises on the soccer field.

2. The reformatted clinics, spread out over four days, with the accompanying discipleship and evangelistic content were a powerful one-two punch. This magnified the impact of the gospel and the importance of the church in participants’ lives.

Youth met for workouts in the early morning (note the 5:30 a.m. practice photo above). Then gathered for a teaching at 4:30 p.m. followed by soccer-triangle drills from 5-6:00 p.m. At the end of the clinic a final match day was held. These final games gathered hundreds of spectators.

Reconciling Players after a fight

If a disagreement occurred between participants the coaching team could stop the games and reconcile the players. This added benefit due to the coaching team’s involvement turned the whole event into something of an evangelistic and discipleship experience.


If you’ve been following this blog you already knew that Robert Irundu sent his national vice president, Andre Kalenga to lead the soccer clinics this time. You may not have known that Hope4Congo supports Andre in his Theological studies at the Protestant University.

Praise & Prayer:
• Praise the Lord for how He provided this opportunity for Andre to grow in his leadership skills
• Praise the Lord for the effectiveness and willing participation of all the leadership team
• Praise the Lord that the regional churches saw the importance of youth ministry
• Praise the Lord for the evangelism and discipleship that took place at both the youth and adult seminars
• Pray that the Lord will continue to provide funding for the training of young leaders like Andre
• Pray for wisdom about continued soccer clinics alongside the leadership coaching seminars
• If it is God’s will to continue them, pray that He will bring forward leaders for the soccer clinics
• Pray for God’s direction regarding the potential for more leadership coaching seminars this spring

© 2017 Hope4Congo

Home Safe

Charles Buller made it home (from Kinshasa to the USA) safely at 4:00 a.m. March 1st. He wrote: “Our plane having tiptoed through powerful thunderstorms swirling through Indiana at that time. Grateful to be on the ground and in the arms of mon cheri (he means his wife, of course).”

I think you will enjoy the story of their return journey as told through photos and descriptions provided by Charles.

Caravanning our way back to civilization
Arrival in the village of Mukoso (halfway from Kahemba to Gungu) where we spent the night. We felt dirty and fatigued. The church elders kindly provided heated water for sponge baths and somehow pulled together a fabulous meal for us at 10 o’clock at night.
Enjoying a group meal . . . good to the last drop.
Due to unusual fuel consumption in one of the vehicles, we ran out of fuel, requiring someone to ride out to us with a 30 liter drum of diesel fuel on the back of his motorbike.
Aberteen and Andre looking cheerful in the steaming heat of our 8-hour bus ride from Kikwit to Kinshasa.

Praise to God for His Answers to Our Prayers:

  • Praise God for safe return of the CLCN team members
  • Praise God for the healthy ministry that occurred
  • Praise God for the leadership of each team member
  • Praise God for Andre Kalenga’s willing new leadership

h4c-andre-leadershipCharles wrote: “(Andre), the youngest member of our team, stepped up to the task of leading the soccer clinics and won the hearts of the next generation of leaders. Here they bid him farewell in Gungu, giving him as a gift a live rabbit.”

Charles will fill us in with more details from their trip as he is able.

Since Andre had to step into new leadership so recently after graduating, he has been on my prayer list. I’ve been thrilled to thank and praise God for what He has done through this young man. No doubt there will be many other things for us to praise God. In the meantime, please continue to pray. ~sk

Prayer Requests:
• The political situation in Congo is still of concern
• A Catholic seminary experienced vandalism
• Wisdom and integrity for those involved in negotiations
• Lessons shared by the CLCN team will have lasting affects in Kahemba & Gungu
• Rest & restoration of the CLCN team members

© 2017 Hope4Congo