In our previous post we spoke about the daily hunger of those growing up in Congo.
Today we want to speak about another kind of hunger—the hunger for God’s word.
The people of the Democratic Republic of Congo are starving for the Word of God. Brad shares below from what he has seen in the twelve years he has walked alongside our brothers and sisters in the DRC.
On our first trip to Congo in 2007 we attended a meeting for leaders who represented a collective body of over 200,000 members. Following the meeting we had a conversation with Fransisca, a leader in women’s ministries. Fransisca told us the biggest challenge for the church was discipleship.
Since that time, the discipleship crisis in Africa
has deepened because the people lack access to Bibles.
God’s Word—which is alive and powerful and able to go down deep into the very depth of souls and create transformation—is absent in Congo. The suffering in Congo on so many levels, is compounded by spiritual starvation.
People come to Christ, but they have no nourishment to carry them forward. No nourishment for growth in their Christian Life. No nourishment for daily living because they do not have God’s Word to study.
I have seen people with Bibles literally falling apart—old, worn, tattered and stained from years of use—handled and protected with greatest care.
In 2016 a pastor’s conference was held along the Kwango River which separates DRC from Angola. thirty-five pastors were expected to attend. 235 sat in the pews the first day! The pastors were asked to raise their Bibles high. Only 8 Bibles were counted.
Only 8 Bibles among 235 Pastors.
Later, they were asked what they used to preach. Parts and pieces—a few pages of this and a few of that. From this meager supply, they wove a sermon. (We wrote about this story in September 1, 2016.
8 Among So Many Please click on this link to read that full story.)
During my trip this past March, 2019, I heard the following story told by Senior National Vice President of Eglise Du Christ Au Congo, (National Protestant organization in Congo). Bishop Nyamuke Asial’ubul Idore recently returned from a rural area close to the provincial city of Kikwit. While there he learned about two pastors from two separate churches.
Two churches, two pastors and one copy of the Bible.
Those two pastors divided their one copy of the Bible into two sections—Old Testament and New Testament. They passed their copies back and forth. This allowed them to preach from the Old Testament for a period and then to preach from the New Testament for a period.
Amazing! Thank you, Brad for bringing us up to date.
As you read the stories of this hunger for the Bible, I hope your heart is moved as much as mine by this deep need. Getting Bibles to the people is the first step to address the discipleship crisis.
Update on Hope4Congo’s Bible Projects
Since the project’s beginning in 2010:
11,742 Bibles have been sold
$105,000 spent to purchase Bibles
$7,600 spent on distribution costs (cost to ship them to the various DRC locations)
Hope4Congo is collaborating with AIMM and Wycliffe Translators on a Kishelele Bible.
The translation team in Congo is working on the final editing of the New Testament.
We are also in contact with Oasis International, publishing a French translation of the Africa Study Bible. This first of it’s kind study Bible, authored by African theologians within an African context, should be completed in 2020.
If you would like to contribute to any of Hope4Congo’s vital Bible projects, please send your tax-deductible gifts to:
Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission (AIMM)
P.O. Box 744
Goshen, IN 46527-0744
Make your checks payable to AIMM or Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission.
Designate your donations to: Hope4Congo’s Bible Project
If you would like to read some of our previous posts in our latest three-part series: Congo Daily Life,
you may click on the following links: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
Also, in case you missed it above, here again is the link to the story:
8 Among So Many.
© 2019 Hope4Congo