March 29, 2020

Some of God’s Beloved People

Hope4Congo continues to forward reports to our readers. Today’s post includes two different perspectives.

Pastor Quarantined in Kinshasa

A Congolese pastor among the quarantined in Kinshasa sent an update via email on March 27. The following are translated excerpts from his update.

“I do not know how the States with their leaders at all levels guide you, but I would like to share with you our painful news in the DRC.

“(Authorities) have made the decision to confine the capital city of Kinshasa for 4 weeks. Let’s say near the end of April 2020. Kinshasa is in a state of emergency . . . isolated from other provinces . . . no flights of aircraft . . . no vehicles, no exits, no entrances . . . to save the 22 provinces not reached (by the coronavirus).

“Thus Kinshasa and its 12 million inhabitants are under quarantine. The big problem . . . the economic crisis which involves the non-payment of wages . . . People live day by day . . . rising food prices . ..

“The brothers and sisters in Kikwit, Mukedi, Kandale, Kamayala, Tshikapa, Kalonda, Nyanga, Mutena, Banga, Ndjoko-Punda, Kananga, Mbuji-Mayi are not affected.

“However, we are mourning 2 Mennonite brothers and 1 sister who died of a long and painful illness:
Rev. Pasteur Ndala of the CEFMC, Former Enos Kangu Swalala, and widow Maman Francoise Kanzenze (aunt sr Colette Ramm).”

MPH Guesthouse

On March 25, the Dunns updated their FB page. The following are excerpts from their message:

Things in DRC change daily and even hourly due to the pandemic. The government announced all domestic travel by plane, road and river will be stopped. Only cargo will be moving.

Because of travel restrictions three guests are stranded at MPH:
A German missionary (Fr Friedhelm, from the Vanga mission hospital, Bandundu) is in mandatory 14 day quarantine since he came back from Germany March 13th. Paul and Marty Law are on a voluntary 14 day quarantine since they arrived from the U.S. They can’t get to Lodja.

The Dunns have kept their distance from their quarantined guests by putting food on disposable plates outside their doors. Once the quarantine is over, the Dunns will ask these guests to help share the chores.

The U.S. Embassy arranged the last evacuation flight for Americans on Thursday night, March 26.

The guesthouse is adequately supplied with food stuff. But there are other challenges. Because the government has limited the number of people in taxis and busses, transport is hard to get and drivers have jacked up prices. The Dunns had to increase what they pay their sentries to reflect the increase in transport.

If the Dunns or their guests catch the virus, there is NO MEDICAL CARE for any of them. They will have to isolate themselves from one another and self-medicate the best they can.

The Dunns testify: “We know that God is Sovereign and nothing surprises him. We use the wisdom he has given us and the faith we have in HIM, to pull us through.”


The pastor quarantined in Kinshasa sent a scripture passage to edify all confined to their homes:
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. ~II Chronicles 7:14


Praise God for his faithful servants of all nations who continue to work for the kingdom of God.
Prayer requests for all those in Congo.
• Pray that this pandemic passes quickly.
• Pray about MPH finances. The costs are hitting MPH hard.
• Pray about how you might be able to help.
• Pray for those 12 million quarantined inhabitants in Kinshasa.
• Pray that God would grant wisdom to the Congolese authorities and they would implement it.

The Dunns offer prayers for their family and friends around the globe who are affected by this virus.

The quarantined pastor also sent this prayer: “May our God also keep you, all of you, our brothers and sisters in Christ, scattered throughout the world.”


© 2020

Elda Hiebert

Elda Hiebert, a retired missionary midwife, went home to Jesus on December 13th. As a child in rural Goessel she attended the Tabor Church. Frank Manning, a missionary with a big booming voice, told exciting stories that influenced her decision to be a missionary.

After her training and education, Elda began her service in 1964. Her first term was a troubling time for missionaries. What courage it must have taken for a single woman to be on the field during that time of revolt.

Carolyn Graber (sister to Brad and Stan) recalled meeting Elda for the first time. “I was in eighth grade. Following Christmas break, my siblings and I had traveled to Mukedi to board a Missionary Aviation plane for the return trip to boarding school. The evening before we were to leave, the missionaries gathered to share a meal and discuss the looming dangers. I was introduced to Elda, my new missionary aunt.

“I was so scared about leaving my parents and worried about what might happen at the mission station. Yet here was this new missionary Aunt Elda, a single lady who had come to Mukedi to serve as a nurse. She was a kind and attractive young woman whose bravery I admired.”

During that time of uncertainty Elda later told family members that rebels burned villages, killed their own people, and government officials.

She described house arrest, slipping past soldiers and rebels as well as viewing the destruction as she escaped. Elda said, “I thought of the prayer group with Mother and Helen Janzen praying for missionaries and I knew their prayers were being answered that day.”

Among her duties as a missionary midwife, Elda not only delivered many hundreds of Congolese babies, she also taught a six-month midwifery course to the African women. She and others taught child and maternal health, medicine use, and how to assist in the birth of a baby. She proudly stated, “We also had a Bible Class taught by our hospital chaplain.”

During her last term, Elda helped to start a four-year nursing school. She acquired letters from a local doctor, her church leadership, and permission from government offices to go to diamond buyers in Tshikapa to solicit funding.

Word must have spread among the populace. One day Elda encountered six to eight young men. She was aware they’d been watching her. One tried to intimidate her by tripping her. However, Elda looked at him and greeted him. He backed off.

“In the end I got 1,000,025 Ziares (local currency). God was with us in many times and ways, and many circumstances. He is faithful.”

That nursing school opened in 1989. God was indeed faithful to her and through her service.

For Elda Hiebert’s complete obituary and service details please visit Petersen’s Funeral Home website:
If this link fails for any reason, please copy and paste it into your browser.

Memorial Service: 11:00 a.m. Friday, December 20, Zion Mennonite Church, Elbing, KS

© 2019 Hope4Congo