December 2020 Update

Thank you for your patience as we’ve been in the process of upgrading our website.

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.

Thanksgiving
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.

Prayer Requests
*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

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
***
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