We recently received the latest Africa Leadership Coaching Network newsletter. In it, Charles Buller invited ministry members (including collaboration partners like Hope4Congo) to share insights into how God is using the current pandemic’s disruption.
Andre and Mbombo Kalenga (our co-workers at Njoka Punda, who are currently quarantined in Kinshasa) shared the following:
“I never imagined that one day in virtually the whole world, schools, churches, national borders, planes, economic markets, and even all the big soccer championships would be shut down by this terrible social massacre [of Covid-19]. We meet God among those around us every day, and we share [Christ] perhaps more than ever before.
“A lot of people are becoming interested in God even if this time is presenting tremendous challenges for them. We are all limited before this situation, and so we must all fix our eyes on Christ for the answers we seek.”
Did you catch that?
In the midst of this pandemic:
They are sharing Christ, perhaps more than ever before.
A quarantine can NOT stop God’s activities, nor our prayers. Ministry continues as we each look for ways to share Christ in our daily lives. It is possible to have a conversation from six feet away, through a phone call or via the internet.
Once the quarantines are lifted, projects that were paused will again be pursued and fresh work considered if we have the resources to move forward.
Please pray and consider how you may support our ongoing efforts here at Hope4Congo and through other ministries of the collaboration team.
It is clear that neither height nor depth nor Covid-19 can stop the love of Christ from going forth.
To quote Charles’ latest letter:
“All the best to you . . . as you . . . hold forth hope to those around you.”
© 2020 Hope4Congo
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.
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.
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.
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.
• Evaluation with local leadership of and follow-up to the seminar/clinic
• Wash clothes, vehicle repair, and possibly start for Kahemba
• 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
• 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
• 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.
• 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
• Coaching introduced in the context of the marriage relationship
Marriage requires a relationship that supports, encourages, and builds in accountability
• Movie night for clinic
• Activations and partner exercises along with significant ministry time
Pray for Outpouring of God’s Spirit
• Youth Soccer games follow seminar
• 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
- Continue to pray for peace in Congo
- Please pray for the Christian church in the DRC’s northeastern region. They have been under attack from radical Islamic violence.
- Charles Buller asks for prayer as they piece together their transportation for the upcoming Transformational Leadership Coaching Seminars in Gungu and Kahemba in February.Torrential rains in the region have swept roads away with no repairs in sight. This makes transportation of the team very tricky.Thank you for joining in this prayer for a way where there seems to be no way.
Some wandered in desert wastelands,
finding no way to a city where they could settle.
[but . . . ]
He led them by a straight way
to a city where they could settle.
We hope you continue to keep DRC in your prayers.
© 2017 Hope4Congo
Those of you who’ve been following Charles Buller’s summer saga know his ministry trip for Congo Leadership Coaching Network was delayed for several weeks.
Praise God he was finally able to travel there in September with two other men from his church.
Charles recently made a video report of Congo Leadership Coaching Network’s trip and ministry to our dear brothers and sisters in Congo.
The video report is approximately 30 minutes. Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and pull up a chair. You will be pleased to hear about this mission outreach. Click on the link below when you’re ready to watch:
© 2016 Hope4Congo
A Word from Brad…
How often do we see someone or some situation that moves us to help yet just don’t know how or what we can do!
Our family evacuated Congo in 1964 along with many other missionary families. My brother and I returned for a visit in October 2007.
At the end of that visit we left Congo feeling helpless to help. We didn’t know how, when or where to begin.
The words of James came to mind: “Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, ‘Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well.’ ”
We knew we were going back to a life of abundance and warmth and food in America. We were leaving our brothers and sisters with only words and no observable action.
We were convicted that we needed to act. Out of this conviction Hope for Congo was born.
Since that time we have been blessed to provide safe drinking water, generators, carpentry tools, medical equipment, hospital beds, educational assistance, computers, Bibles and the list goes on. All this with monies received from caring individuals such as you who have heard of the need and have chosen to express your faith through the action of giving. Hope for Congo is simply a conduit, through which we, as people of faith, can move beyond mere words.
The needs continue. Our goal is to come along side our bothers and sisters adding action to our faith. Action that will help them become self-sustaining. Someone has said, “If you want to be used by God, find out where God is working and join Him.” Hope for Congo continues to join God at work among brothers and sisters in need.
We need to maintain a long-term view when it comes to living out our life of faith. Without this long view we find ourselves disappointed and disillusioned with God and with others. God’s work is ongoing, moving from the past through to the present and continuing on into the future.
During the next several weeks we want to share life stories of God’s long term work in Congo.
As I heard it said the other day, “Put your yes on the table and God will place it on the map.” Our desire is that these stories will move you to put your “Yes” on the table and watch God work.
• Please continue to pray for the political situation in Congo
• Praise that Charles Buller & his team have returned from Congo (Hope to share news soon)
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© 2016 Hope4Congo
Today we continue Part 2 of Matthew Harder’s guest post. Click this link to read Part 1.
From the Bush to the Bush, Part 2
by Matthew Harder
The environment of the private Christian college I attended fueled my restlessness. I was surrounded by its monoculture, its materialistic, small sliver of humanity and way of thinking. While this did lead to the redefinition of my personal faith, it also made me realize again, despite my appearance, I did not relate to those around me.
During my sophomore year of college we were forced to choose a major to study. As I tried to decide there was a moment when I was struck with the sense that I wanted to return to Africa. I wanted to build roads, bridges and infrastructure there to help those less fortunate.
This verse ran through my mind:
“…From everyone who has been given much, much will be required…” Luke 12:48 (NASB)
The eye opening exposure of my youth impacted my desire to return to assist those in need, to try and make the world a better place. I wanted a combined profession—one that suited my personal altruistic drive and quest for adventure.
I had been given a great growing up experience, an exposure to adventure and a world beyond the American shores that didn’t allow me to settle down. Meanwhile I gained a marketable education in civil engineering. Fortunately, my strong points were in the sciences and math.
For several years I worked in the corporate world going through what I considered the pre-requisite process with my sights set on returning to Africa. The restlessness kept me going—an unquenchable thirst for new countries and adventure.
The years dragged on. Finally I caught a break and was hired by an engineering company. They were building critical infrastructure in the war torn country of South Sudan.
I stepped off the airplane in Africa’s suffocating hot humid air. Sweat poured down my back as I stood there. Unique bird calls, sounds of everyday life and vehicles, the friendliness of people all combined to create something familiar and alluring. I felt welcomed by it all.
Even the headaches were somewhat endearing since this was my chosen adventure. It was all part of the package and I just rolled with it.
To further satisfy my restlessness, I returned to Nyanga when I was twenty-five years old. It had been over fifteen years since I was last in that village, ten years since I left Congo (then called Zaire).
The journey from Kinshasa to Nyanga is a story in itself with all the typical Congolese headaches and problems.
End of Part 2
News from Congo:
- According to Reuters, there have been anti-Kabila riots in Kinshasa this week. Estimates vary, but between 30-40 people have been killed or injured. The Congolese government officials now state they will hunt down and punish those responsible for the riots. Link to the full article here: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-congo-politics-idUSKCN11R1TG
- Charles Buller and his team from the Congo Leadership Coaching Network arrived in Congo this week. He reported: “…given that streets were still largely vacant due to events of the last two days, we made it into town in 40 minutes (that’s fast!). Very thankful for traveling mercies so far. Thanks for keeping us and our Congolese sisters and brothers in your hearts over these next three weeks. By God’s grace we’ll keep walking forward under the Cloud and Fire (Ex. 13:21).”
- Pray for Peace and Stability in Congo. May cooler heads prevail.
- Pray for Safety and Blessing on the Ministry of the Congo Leadership Coaching Network’s team
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© 2016 Hope4Congo