© 2021 Hope4Congo. All Rights Reserved.
Sometimes the slow pace of progress in Congo makes it difficult to persevere in hope.
Isaiah 40:31 (KJV) reminds us: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
But what does it mean to wait upon the Lord? Does it mean sitting in a waiting room like a doctor’s waiting room? Ugh! I don’t think that is anyone’s favorite pastime.
According to Strong’s the word translated as “wait” (#H6960) can and has often been translated as hope, or look. The verse has been translated in other versions of the Bible as: They that hope in the Lord or they that look for the Lord . . . .
The primitive Hebrew root of the word is qavah (pronounced kaw-vaw´) which means: “to bind together (perhaps by twisting) or to collect or gather.” This implies weaving or braiding like someone might twist or braid or bind together a rope.
Now that gives us hope.
We are not just sitting around a waiting room—or beside our computers—twiddling our thumbs. Instead, we are waiting while God weaves things together.
Prayers & Praises
Recent news and photos from our team in Congo remind us to put our hope in God for we shall yet praise Him.
Indeed, we do praise Him!
- Thank God for encouraging people to give financial support.
- Thank God for encouraging the Congolese in their work to complete the school.
And we thank you for your continued support and prayers for the advancement of God’s kingdom.
© 2021 Hope4Congo. All Rights Reserved.
Africa Leadership Coaching Network seminars are often held during the rainy season in the DRC. You may wish to turn down your sound at certain points.
May revival rain down all over the world!
© 2021 Hope4Congo
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
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.
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.
*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
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.
• Wise Leadership
© 2020 Hope4Congo All Rights Reserved