Do It for Me

“ . . . ‘Master . . . When did we ever see you thirsty and give you a drink?’ . . .”
“ . . . Then the King will say . . . ‘Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored . . . you did it to me.’ ”
“ . . . Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored . . . you failed to do it for me.’ . . .” (Matthew 25:31 – 46 MSG)

Nearly one billion people worldwide lack access to safe drinking water. Most are in undeveloped or underserved portions of the world.

Hope for Congo has researched various methods to bring water to the villages we serve in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Village Drill is our choice for the job.

The Village Drill was engineered to offer affordable, reliable access to borehole drilling technology for the developing world. It can drill through most substrates including rock to a depth of 250 feet.

All this can be done manually using mechanically simple and efficient equipment that can be broken down and transported easily from location to location.

Hope for Congo received a $20,000 grant from the Schowalter Foundation to purchase a Village Drill. We are excited about this opportunity to bring life-saving water wells to the DRC using this drill.

Hope for Congo needs to raise an additional $20,000 to begin drilling.
The additional monies will be used to:
• Ship the drill to the DRC
• Transport the unit in country
• Train operators
• Provide material and necessary supplies
• Make our first well fully operational

Estimated cost to drill one well and install a hand-operated pump: $8,000

Our goal is to begin drilling our first well in early 2019. We encourage you to give what you can . . . be it a small or large amount. Please give according to your ability.

We have a tremendous opportunity to serve King Jesus as we give our thirsty Congolese brothers and sisters access to safe drinking water. We encourage you to share this opportunity with your friends and family and your local church so they too may participate in blessing these villages.

Donations may be made via mail to:
Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission (AIMM)
P.O. Box 744
Goshen, IN 46527-0744
Designate your gift as “Hope4Congo”

You can also make an online donation at: http://www.aimmintl.org/
On AIMM’s web page, click on the donate tab. Below the $0.00
Click on the phrase: “Add special instructions to the seller”
In the area that opens, please note you wish your gift to be given to Hope4Congo and tell us where you wish your donation to be used. For example: Village Drill, Farm to Market, Bible, etc. or wherever needed most.

© 2018 Hope4Congo

Life Giving Water

Post
by Brad Graber

One hot day, a thirsty little five-year-old boy came to our mission house at Ndjoko Punda. Mother gave him a drink of cold water from our refrigerator. That delicious cold water left such an indelible impression on his mind that he told me about it years later. He had never had cold water before.

This past year I took the opportunity to ask several Congolese to share the three greatest needs that exist for the average Congolese. Without exception the number one issue was “safe” drinking water.

We take water for granted. We assume our water is safe and we have no concerns. For millions of people in developing countries water is the source of life threatening diseases.

The World Health Organization estimates that safe drinking water could prevent 1.4 million child deaths from diarrhea each year.

80% of diseases in the developing world are caused by contaminated water.
1.1 billion people do not have safe drinking water.

One way to change this situation is through access to well water. Clean water leads to better health, more opportunities, and therefore, a way out of poverty.

We have searched for a drill to meet this need in remote locations. We have found one such tool in
The Village Drill.

Benefits of The Village Drill:
• Utilizes local labor and resources since it is human-powered
• Can bore a 6 inch hole up to 250 feet deep
• Most economical drill available
• Provides pride and ownership for each community
• Provides access to safe drinking water
For more information about The Village Drill please click on this link: http://www.villagedrill.com

Safe drinking water has the power to change lives, reduce disease and begin the rise from poverty. Along with the gift of safe water we can share the story of Living Water as Jesus did when he spoke with the Woman at the Well.

To help meet the need for village wells, please consider giving to Hope for Congo. Let us be your hands and feet for the Congolese people.

Please send your tax-deductible U.S. Dollar donations to:
Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission (AIMM)
P.O. Box 744
Goshen, Indiana 46527-0744

Please send your tax-deductible Canadian Dollar donations to:
Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission (AIMM)
440 Main Street
Steinbach, MB R5G 1Z5

On your donation please indicate you wish your gift to be used to help Hope4Congo drill village wells.

© 2018 Hope4Congo

Kandale, Beauty for Ashes

To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
~Isaiah 61:3 (NKJV)

Last week for our Christmas special, we posted three separate articles about Kandale. If you have not read the history of Kandale or if you would like to review it, you can use the following links to do so in order:
Part 1,
Part 2,
and Part 3

Now that you have read each of those posts, perhaps the healing that occurred this past October will have more meaning for you. Below is a re-post of Brad’s report originally posted on November 2, 2017:

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KANDALE
A Story of Forgiveness, Reconciliation, and Restoration
by Brad Graber

The purpose of Hope for Congo’s trip to Kandale was to take part in an event needed to help the community overcome its history. Our interest in the community stems from our childhood connection to the mission station that was part of the Congo Inland Mission, now known as AIMM (Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission).

Originally known as the Kandala Mission Station, it was burned to the ground in 1964 by members of the Congolese-led Simba group. The Simba (Swahili for “Lion”) rebels were born of a new conflict against the four-year-old Congolese government.

The primary leader of the Simba rebels was a man named Pierre Mulele of the Bapende ethnic group. Mulele was an avowed Maoist and was supported by Communist China. Along with a Maoist political worldview the Simba incorporated aspects of their African worldview with its animistic beliefs and practices. They roamed in groups bringing terror, death, and destruction wherever they appeared.

Jeunesse, a French word meaning “youth,” was a common term used to refer to gangs of young men who were dissatisfied with how the official independence of 1960 failed to meet their demands. Their attacks were aimed predominately at government centers. However, mission stations were also attacked because of their close link to the government.

All of this activity became known as the Kwilu Rebellion. Some have referred to it as the “Second Independence,” suggesting it was an effort to correct some of the abuses and injustices that occurred in the four years following the official independence. Thus they viewed it as an effort to realize the original goals and dreams promised by what they termed the “First Independence.”

On a Tuesday evening in January 1964 the Simba rebels approached Kandale. First the gangs set the village on fire. Then they moved to the Kandala Mission Station. There they captured seven missionaries and two young missionary children, approximately seven years old. Next they burned the station to the ground and destroyed the missionary homes. Our parents and youngest sister were among the hostages.

The missionaries were held captive until a negotiated release obtained their freedom. The UN rescued them on Friday of the same week.

Kandala was not the only mission station attacked. The Kwilu Rebellion impacted both Protestant and Catholic missionaries. The most remembered hostage situation took place later in the city of Stanleyville. It included the death of missionary doctor Paul Carlson. His story is recorded in the book, Out of the Jaws of the Lion.

Ultimately the Kwilu Rebellion failed. However, it contributed to the ongoing chaos and instability that continues to challenge the people in Congo today. Mobutu eventually came to power and raped the country of its resources and potential.

The attack at Kandale resulted in a series of broken relationships within the community between those who participated locally in the events of that week and those who did not. Many struggled with a sense of guilt for not being able to stop the destruction of the mission station and capture of the missionaries. The community has been mired in a combination of those broken relationships and guilt for the past 54 years. All of this added up to a sense of there being a “curse” on them for their past.

Church members and church leadership initiated the desire for reconciliation. The entire community including the local chiefs and government officials embraced it. A Christian businessman became the lay leader of the movement.

God, in His timing, brought together a group of individuals from Congo and the United States to play a role in bringing about the needed forgiveness, reconciliation, and a new beginning of restoration for this community. Participants included the Kandale Church and community, the Mennonite Church of Congo, AIMM, Hope for Congo, and REVE Kandale.

A delegation of twenty people in five vehicles made the two-day trip from Kinshasa to Kandale. Others came on foot and via motorcycle. As we neared the site, a succession of painted rocks pointed the way and palm branches lined the road. A large group of people surrounded us as we entered the station. A palpable sense of excitement and anticipation rippled through the gathering.

The next day at 9:00 a.m. the delegation met with the local chiefs to communicate and acknowledge the past with an eye to the future. We were given symbols of a renewed relationship and a new beginning. This was followed by a large celebration at the church on the mission station from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (Congolese time).

The celebration included singing, dancing, and stories of God’s goodness and faithfulness. An estimated crowd of 1000 people inside and outside of the church building shared the joy of what God was doing in that moment.

At the end of the celebration on Friday, a shade tree was planted in front of the church as a symbol of new life. It will be a memorial to the day’s events—a visible reminder that can be passed down to future generations.

Following the day of celebration we interacted with the community for two more days. Communion was served after the Sunday morning service to bring closure to our trip and to remind us all of our oneness as the family of God.

We left late Sunday afternoon and arrived back in Kinshasa at 3:00 a.m. Tuesday morning. Tired? Yes! But grateful and carried along by God’s presence each step of the way.

Poverty is a reality that is experienced by all on some level of their lives. I believe it begins with spiritual poverty, which leads to relational poverty, which in turn results in material poverty. The integration of all three can become so convoluted that it is difficult to separate one from the other. Such is the story of what happened in Kandale.

The Kandale story is not an isolated one. I have been told there are other places in Congo with a similar history and a similar need for forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration. What makes this story unique is the miracle God unfolded. In a miraculous way He orchestrated the events leading up to the day of celebration. He answered the prayers of His children. It is now a story that revealed the heart of God and His desire for restoration. The grace of God reached down to lift people out of their broken relationships.

Hope for Congo’s goal is to provide tools and resources to our Congolese brothers and sisters, to provide them with the opportunity to participate in the process of lifting their communities out of poverty through the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Thus a shared lifting of assets can occur in each community to minister to both the body and the soul of each person.

Your prayers and donations to Hope for Congo are ways that you can actively participate with us and make an investment that has eternal impact. The Kandale story could be one among many stories of God at work in Congo.

How will you be part of those stories?

© 2017 Hope4Congo

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For Blog Roll, Click on this link and scroll to the bottom left

Prayer Requests:
• Praise God for the healing He sent to us through His Son, Jesus.
• Pray for the people of Kandale.
• Pray for our ministry, Hope4Congo to work effectively for Christ’s Kingdom.

© 2017 Hope4Congo

Kicking for Christ

Youth Soccer Evangelism Camps
by Brad Graber

An exciting movement involves soccer as a way to communicate The Gospel and connect with young people in the Congo. This idea started during the Centennial celebration of AIMM, held at Tshikapa in 2012 when Robert Irundu met Dwight Short. Together they introduced the evangelistic soccer clinics.

Since that time Robert has taken this idea to many areas of Congo with incredible success. He continues to provide leadership for future projects. You can view a video of this work at:
https://vimeo.com/175415244

Eight Successful Soccer Camps Held Since 2012:
• Tshikapa (at the 2012 celebration of AIMM)
• Mukedi
• Nyanga
• Mbuji Mayi
• Ilego
• Gungu
• Kahemba
• Ndjoko Punda

Hope for Congo’s goal:
Raise additional money for “Kicking for Christ” to reach more young people
$4,000 can reach as many as 4,000 youth for Christ

Opportunities for your involvement in these Soccer Camps:
• Say YES to help Robert financially with one of the venues this coming year
• Say YES to possibly take a team of young adults to the Congo to help with this ministry

It is only through your generous donations that Hope for Congo can continue to come along side those in Congo who wish to reach the next generation for Christ.

Your donations are tax-deductible. With your help we can be more strategic in our gospel outreach among the youth and follow up more effectively with discipleship efforts.

Make your checks payable to: Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission or AIMM
Designate your donation to: Hope 4 Congo and indicate “Kicking for Christ”
Monies sent to our general fund will be applied where needed.

Send your U.S. Dollar Donations to:
Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission (AIMM)
P.O. Box 744
Goshen, IN 46527-0744

Send your Canadian Dollar Donations to:
Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission (AIMM)
440 Main Street
Steinbach, MB R5G 1Z5

______________________________

Thank you, Brad. Next week we will share an exciting strategic initiative to impact eight regional communities in Congo’s West Kasai province.

This is an effort to bring together several faith-based organizations in a collaborative effort of community development and evangelism bringing hope to the next generation.

Prayer Requests: Please pray about how you can be involved in the soccer ministry to Congo’s youth. Please continue to pray for an end to the political upheaval in the Congo.

© 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

Why Do We Keep Going Back?

Charles Buller explained it well, “It’s what we do!”

The work in Congo is never ending and progress is slow according to western standards, but like the Energizer® Bunny, we keep going and going.

The Congo Collaboration annual meeting took place at Silverwood Mennonite Church, Goshen, Indiana, August 11-12. Our group is made up of about twenty individuals who are committed for the long haul. We have seen and experienced change and growth since we first came together in 2008. We praise God for the way He continues to go before us both individually and collectively.

Collectively, we have helped in these ways:
• Congolese women are provided with access to clean water
• Surgeries are performed and hospital staff encouraged
• Tools and resources are provided
• Bamboo bicycles developed to transport goods to market
• Sports camps for youth
• The Life and ministry of local churches is strengthened

We work with and through the Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission. AIMM serves as a conduit for each of us to work with the various Congolese church bodies represented under its umbrella.

The objective in meeting as a Collaboration Group each year, is to encourage one another unto love and good works. We are about doing Kingdom work alongside our brothers and sisters in Congo. We come together to hear about what God is doing through each of our respective areas of involvement, and look for opportunities where we can work together. We always look out for each other and continue to develop a broader network of contacts beyond ourselves.

Our meeting this August began with a full on Congolese meal, stories and laughter. It concluded with a continued commitment to collaborate with each other where and when we can. We agreed to “put our Yes on the table and let God put it on the map.” (Ed Stetzer, Executive Director of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism)

In addition we committed to:
• Initiate a quarterly Skype communication session
• Revisit the need to develop a more robust communication infrastructure with our Congolese partners
• Seek out and evaluate more cost effective options for transportation and shipping, both personnel and supplies
• Encourage Congolese representation at our next meeting

We at Hope4Congo want to step up our involvement in Congo. To do this, we need to make more frequent trips to Congo. Also, more funding is needed to address the daily challenges for tools and resources both for the Church and the Communities where we have developed ongoing one on one relationships.

To keep up with news of our ministry, please click this link. On the far right side of the page that opens, under the title: “Follow Blog Via Email” enter your email address in the space provided. Our weekly blog post will be delivered straight to your email inbox.

To contact us directly, click here. Fill out the drop down box with your information and we’ll get back with you as soon as we can.

You can also connect with AIMM through their website www.aimmintl.org/

By God’s Spirit and power we are working to turn the parched ground into a pool. Isaiah 35:7
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Prayer Requests:
1. The potential for upcoming elections in DRC has caused a tenuous political environment. Please pray that cooler heads would prevail in any political dialogue. May God grant wisdom and bring peace to Congo.

Albert & Abertine
Albert & Abertine

2. Charles Buller (CLSN) requested prayer for Albert and Abertine Mulamba (tremendous members of their Congo Coaching team) as they travel by motorcycle to minister in remote areas of DRC. They hope to initiate a church plant among the Batwa people. Pray for their protection on this arduous and dangerous trip. May God bless their work and grant them success.

3. Requests for more Bibles continue to come to us here at Hope4Congo. It is one of the primary needs we began this ministry to address and it continues to be our greatest area of concern. To date Hope4Congo has purchased a total of 9,750 Bibles in three languages. Please pray for all the details surrounding this effort: accurate translations, logistics, etc. So that God’s WORD will be in the hands of His people. Once it’s in their hands and they can read it, God will accomplish what He desires and achieve the purpose for which He sent it (Isaiah 55:10-11).

Look for an update on the status of Hope4Congo’s Bible project in coming weeks here on this website. Want to reach us? Fill out your contact information using this link.

© 2016 Hope4Congo