Showers of Blessings

h4c-damsylvie-relax-kahembaIt’s been a busy interesting week in Kahemba for the Congo Leadership Coaching Network team (CLCN). Thank goodness they had a rare moment of refreshment on Saturday morning before they began this busy week.

On February 18, Charles wrote:

“Our team had an open time to simply worship without having to cut it short for another meeting or engagement. I have no idea how much time passed as we poured out our hearts to God and experienced an unprecedented infilling ourselves.

“Lots of tears, deep worship, silence, persons simply being overwhelmed with the sweet intimacy and love of the Father. Just what ‘the Doctor ordered’ after experiencing deep fatigue from the past week of teaching in Gungu.”

More information about both the Kahemba and the Gungu seminars will be forthcoming upon their return. The team has made plans to cut their trip short.

On February 22, Charles explained why:

“Another productive seminar day here in Kahemba. Around 11:00 a.m. we got hit with a vicious downpour that brought everything to a halt (so loud on the tin roof that we couldn’t even hear ourselves speak) and soundly put out the charcoal fires that were cooking the fufu, catapillars, and pondu for lunch. Needless to say, lunch got pushed back by a solid 2.5 hours.

“But once again we felt the Wind beneath our wings as we engaged the content. It has been beautiful to watch times of worship deepen as the seminar unfolds and we are all seized by the fresh revelation of our participation in the community of God (aka the Trinity!).

“The youth soccer games were held today instead of their scheduled time on Thursday due to our decision to leave tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. in an attempt to make the village of Mukoso by dark. Between Kahemba and Mukoso are some very nasty roads and bridges, so we deeply appreciate your prayers.

“So much good is happening here on a daily basis–both in the seminar and around that I simply don’t have time to write about. But please know that this great labor of Love in which we are all joined is not in vain. Thanks again for your prayers and encouragement!

“As I write these words, another thunderstorm rumbles in the background and will soon be upon us. With that in mind, may God’s blessings rain down upon you wherever these words may find you.”

We pray the same for you Charles, as well as all the team members and participants.h4c-jacque-worship-leader

Prayer Requests:
• Praise God for the times of refreshment and strength He has given the team
• Praise God for the mighty work of the Spirit among the participants
• Pray for travel safety for all the team members as they navigate through the poor road conditions.
Be in prayer as soon as you read this.
The team leaves tomorrow, Feb 23rd at 1:00 p.m. considering the time difference of 6 hours it will be approximately 7:00 a.m. EST. Remember that they are all traveling by different conveyances. Those of you who have spent any time in Congo know how bad the roads can be normally. These torrential downpours will only make the situation worse.

Charles sent his thanks for holding the team before the throne of grace and mercy.

We praise God for your prayers, too.

© 2017 Hope4Congo

Come & See, Part 2

h4c-clcn_2-2017_floodedrd
Flooded roadway on the way to Gungu

This week the Congo Leadership Coaching Network team has conducted a seminar and soccer clinic for Gungu area churches. They’ve spent significant time on ministry. On Tuesday, Feb. 14th Charles updated us via Facebook:

We’ve had two very intense but powerful days of seminar. I feel our team is working together at a much deeper level which has been beautiful to watch and to be part of. The afternoon sports clinic has been drawing a lot of youth. Today has been surgery on marriages with Antoinette and Bercie bringing a powerful teaching on leaders’ marital life. Thanks again for carrying us in prayer. Deeply appreciated!!

After today’s work (Feb. 16th) they’ll adjourn to enjoy the youth soccer games. All are invited to these games. This provides a significant outreach to the community.

Why Soccer?
Perhaps you’re wondering why CLCN has been conducting soccer clinics. Charles Buller explained in his recent newsletter below.

From the outset of the leadership seminars, our desire has been to target the emerging leaders within the CMCO community. Coaching team member Robert Irundu also serves as CMCO’s national youth leader and has been periodically hosting soccer clinics in different regions as an evangelistic tool for reaching youth. This vision originated out of a providential meeting between Dwight Short and Robert at the centennial celebration in 2012.

While these clinics have been successful, we have been inspired to explore ways of being more intentional about both incorporating regional youth leaders in our main seminars and upgrading the soccer clinics to be something of a youth camp for local youth—introducing them to the basic principles of following Christ through the paradigm of playing soccer.

We will expand these clinics from one to four sessions with the youth, including a movie night. While we are still in the initial phase of developing the model, we hope to take advantage of the gifts of the entire coaching team to inspire youth to begin a life of radical discipleship.

Since the church leaders are already present for the seminar, they will be invited to attend a portion of the camp and even to engage in some of the soccer drills as a way of building bridges between them and the youth.

Andre on right
Andre on right

Our hope is that by introducing the youth to the principles and practices of discipleship, they will over the course of three such clinics (one every two years over the next six years) embark on a serious journey to become leaders among their peers as future apostles, evangelists, pastors, and teachers in the church.

As you can imagine adding this component to our already full schedule is a giant step of faith. It means purchasing additional equipment (soccer balls, micro-projector, energy sources, cones, etc.) printing more materials, and a greater amount of communication not to mention planning.

The soccer clinics will follow the same basic format this coming week (Feb 20 – 23) for the Kahemba area churches as they’ve utilized in the Gungu area. Monday and Tuesday there will be soccer clinics, a movie night on Wednesday and conclude the week with youth soccer games on Thursday. An open invitation is extended to the community for the games.

Prayer Requests:
Pray for wisdom, favor, and fruitfulness as the team introduces these expanded soccer clinics.
Pray for Andre who is leading the soccer clinics since Robert was unable to attend.
Pray for the CLCN team leaders:
Andre, Jacque, Bercie, Charles, Leonard, Antoinette,
Damien, Sylvie, Albert, Aberteen, Joly

Calendar of Activities:
As you pray through the calendar below, please be mindful of the time difference. All Congo/DRC times are 6 hours ahead of our Eastern Time zone (EST) in the U.S.

February 17th
• Evaluation with local leadership of and follow-up to the seminar/clinic
• Wash clothes, vehicle repair, and possibly start for Kahemba
February 18th
• Arduous 14-hour journey with roadblocks, sand and mud pits, few bad bridges,
and some nasty roadblocks
• Goal: to arrive in Kahemba by Sunday morning or before
February 19th
• Ordination of several pastors; a region-wide celebration is planned
• Sit-down session with church / youth leaders
to work through myriad of details for the seminar / clinic
February 20th
• 200 leaders (men and women) signed up for seminar
Great Grace required for all aspects: food, lodging, protocol in seminar
• Soccer clinic at 4:30 p.m.
February 21st
• Kahemba is a relatively remote region that has often been left out of CMCO events and opportunities
Pray for healing and crown of honor
• Soccer clinic again
February 22nd
• Coaching introduced in the context of the marriage relationship
Marriage requires a relationship that supports, encourages, and builds in accountability
• Movie night for clinic
February 23rd
• Activations and partner exercises along with significant ministry time
Pray for Outpouring of God’s Spirit
• Youth Soccer games follow seminar
February 24th
• Travel back to Gungu and God-willing, as far as Kikwit
• Albert & Aberteen begin motorbike journey back to Tshikapa
visiting churches & leaders along the way

The Congo Leadership Coaching Network is a ministry in partnership with Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission (AIMM). In addition to praying for the team’s work you may donate to their ministry by contacting AIMM.

If you’re unfamiliar with AIMM, you may read their Statement of Faith here.

© 2017 Hope4Congo

“Come and See!”

Guest Post by Charles Buller

h4c-bibleThese simple words were spoken twice at the outset of Jesus’ ministry (John 1). Once when two of John’s disciples inquired of Jesus where he was staying (v. 39), and again when Philip responded to Nathanael’s doubts whether “anything good could come out of Nazareth” (v. 46). In both cases, rather than giving heady explanations, they issued an invitation, “Come and see.” In other words: Come experience the answer(s) your heart seeks.

These three words sum up the spirit with which we hope to conduct the upcoming transformational leadership seminars in Gungu and Kahemba. Rather than multiply words and elaborate theologies, we seek to create a space where leaders interact with one another and with God through simple acts of faith, hope, and love.

Many attending these events will come from considerable distances. And almost always on foot. There is nothing convenient about the journey or even the stay, as there are no hotels or restaurants to accommodate large groups. In many cases, the blanket and the tin plate they pack in their travel bag will serve as their room and board.

I, too, am eager to ‘come and see.’ The past four seminars have taught us that God’s Spirit never does it the same way twice. As unique as we all are, the Holy Spirit tailors these seminars to the unique needs of each group and to our own growth as a team. We feel very much as if we’re in a grand, unfolding experiment where both great love and great suffering serve as the primary catalysts. ~Charles

_____________________

The Congo Leadership Coaching Network team is busy with the details for this February’s seminars. Charles arrived safely in Kinshasa earlier this week. The team went right to work preparing copies of the manuals for the seminars and the soccer clinic.12112198_10153540203524473_5436124667136037704_n

A thousand other details and connections must be made. Logistics are difficult as always in the Congo. Teammates and seminar participants will arrive at the seminar locations via various vehicles (plane, motorbike, local bus, 4×4, and on foot across rivers, sandy savannahs, and dense jungles).

Please be in prayer for the teams’ and participants’ safe travel and physical health. Also for the following list of what needs to occur between this week’s blog post and next week’s update. The first seminar will be held in Gungu area churches Feb 12-17(Remember all times are 6 hours ahead of EST):

• Eight team members will eventually meet in Kikwit and travel to Gungu
• Upon their arrival they hope to met with the team coming from Tshikapa
• Many trouble-spots on the road including crossing the Kwilu River.
• Coaching team members will be dispersed to preach among several different local churches
• A session with church/youth leaders to work through details for the soccer seminar/clinic
• Feb. 13th Pray for open hearts for the opening seminar
• Pray for the Soccer clinic at 4:30 p.m.
• Feb. 14th Pray for participants’ willingness to work with God on their transformation and their relationship with their spouse; Soccer clinic occurs again
• Feb. 15th Seminar work on the marriage relationship; Movie night for clinic
• Feb. 16th Partner exercises along with significant ministry time followed by Youth Soccer games, all are invited.
• Feb. 17th Evaluation and follow-up of the seminar/clinic; vehicle repair; possibly start for Kahemba
• Continue to pray for a peaceful political climate throughout Congo

© 2017 Hope4Congo

The Heart of a Child

h4c-heartofchildLet’s pray for the upcoming seminars the Congo Leadership Coaching Network will conduct in Kahemba and Gungu in February. May the participants have the heart of a child—the one Jesus referred to in Matthew 18.

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”H4C_2

He (Jesus) called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”  Matthew 18:1-5 (NIV)

We pray for child-like hearts.

© 2017 Hope4Congo

February Leadership Coaching

h4c-roadwashoutPrayer List for the DRC:

  • Continue to pray for peace in Congo
  • Please pray for the Christian church in the DRC’s northeastern region. They have been under attack from radical Islamic violence.
  • Charles Buller asks for prayer as they piece together their transportation for the upcoming Transformational Leadership Coaching Seminars in Gungu and Kahemba in February.Torrential rains in the region have swept roads away with no repairs in sight. This makes transportation of the team very tricky.Thank you for joining in this prayer for a way where there seems to be no way.

Psalm 107:4-7
Some wandered in desert wastelands,
finding no way to a city where they could settle.
[but . . . ]
He led them by a straight way
to a city where they could settle.

We hope you continue to keep DRC in your prayers.

© 2017 Hope4Congo

Soccer Clinic

We’re sharing more from the Congo Leadership Coaching Network this week.

Charles Buller says:
“One of the things we have been doing alongside our Transformational Coaching Seminars is assisting Robert Irundu (team member and President of CMCo youth) to host soccer clinics for the youth. Here’s a quick snap-shot video of the girls and boys soccer events in Nyanga on September 27-28, 2016.” (Put together for the ‘Jeuness Mennonite’ FB page.)

We’re thankful for you, our readers and for your generous support of this ministry. Enjoy your Thanksgiving and while you do, please thank the Lord for His work in the Congo.

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