Bible Distribution Project

Our goal at Hope 4 Congo is to make the purchase of Bibles in the “heart” languages affordable and available to everyone.

The demand for Bibles far exceeds the current availability.

In May 2016 a pastor’s conference was held at Tembo beside the large River Kwango, which is the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola. The famous William Falls are within walking distance.

Thirty-five (35) pastors were expected. Two hundred thirty-five (235) filled the pews the first day. The attendees were asked if they had a Bible to please raise them high. Eight Bibles were counted. Eight!
Let me emphasize that.

235 pastors with only 8 Bibles among them.

The pastors were asked what they used to preach from.

Parts and pieces, was the answer. A few pages of this and a few of that. From this meager supply, they wove a sermon.

Surely God blesses their faithful offering. However, couldn’t they offer even more if they had whole Bibles? No wonder so many came to the conference. They needed more of God’s Word to refresh their own souls and to share nourishment with their flocks.

While there are many needs in Congo, the need for Bibles in the heart language of the people has always been our ministry’s area of greatest emphasis.

Hope for Congo purchases the Bibles through the American Bible Society for $9.00 and sells them for $3.00. Money from the sales goes directly back to buy more Bibles.

Hope for Congo has purchased and sold 10,000 Bibles
in three languages to date:

1) Tshiluba, 2) Kikongo, and 3) Chokwe.

The Bibles are distributed through the local churches. Our goal is to have Bibles readily available on demand in each of the primary languages and sufficient funds to cover the transportation costs to the various communities that request Bibles.

We purchase Bibles as we have funding and opportunity. A typical print run is 3,000 Bibles for $27,000.

For two years we’ve been working toward updating a Bible translation in a fourth language, Kipende.
We are in negotiation with a qualified translator in order to accomplish this goal. Once the translation update is complete we’ll again use the American Bible Society to print the Bibles. The estimated cost for the translation update is $20,000. Printing will cost an additional $27,000 plus shipping.

We have received a request to create a fifth translation in the Teke language for the Bateke tribe. Since no translation exists for this language (that we know of), producing this Bible will involve research and development, which of course adds to the costs and difficulties. Pray that God would provide the resources and a team to accomplish this translation.

It is only through your generous donations that Hope for Congo can continue to come alongside our brothers and sisters in Congo—to walk with them and bring hope to their lives.

Hope begins with the Word of God.

Your donations are tax-deductible.
Make your checks payable to: Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission or AIMM
Designate your donation to: Hope 4 Congo

With your donation, please indicate which of our projects you wish to support. Monies sent to our general fund will be applied where needed most.

Your gift will go directly to support Hope 4 Congo’s mission. This is a non-profit ministry. Everyone who works for this ministry is a volunteer so every dollar you send goes straight to the project you designate or to where funding is most needed.

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

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

Next week we will share the opportunities that exist to help with education.

© 2017 Hope 4 Congo

8 Among So Many

What a privilege it is to have access to God’s Word. Most of us have several Bibles in our homes. If we need another one, we can go to a nearby store and choose one from many translations or get one online. We can even choose from a variety of colors and fancy covers.

If we forget to bring our Bible on a Sunday morning—no worries—most churches have at least one available in every pew. Sunday School rooms often have stacks of Bibles.

Not so in Congo.

On his most recent trip, Stan was told the following story.

In May of this year, Garry and Larry Prieb along with Rebecca Culp and several Congolese flew to Tembo in lower Bandundu Province to hold a pastor’s conference. Tembo sits on the large River Kwango, which separates DRC from Angola. The famous William Falls are within walking distance.

Thirty-five (35) pastors were expected to hear Garry expound on I Corinthians. We were in for a surprise. Two hundred thirty-five (235) filled the pews the first day.

Garry asked anyone who had a Bible to please raise them high. Eight Bibles were counted. Eight.

Let me emphasize that. 235 pastors with only 8 Bibles among them.

Later, Larry asked the pastors what they used to preach from. Parts and pieces, was the answer. A few pages of this and a few of that. From this meager supply, they wove a sermon.

Surely God blesses their faithful offering. However, couldn’t they offer even more if they had whole Bibles? No wonder so many came to the conference. They needed more of God’s Word to refresh their own souls and to share nourishment with their flocks.

While there are many needs in Congo, the need for Bibles in the heart language of the people has always been our ministry’s area of greatest emphasis.

Update on the Bible Project
Hope 4 Congo’s Bible Project began in 2010 with the purchase of 300 Tshiluba Bibles. To date we have purchased DSC00023a total of 9,750 Bibles in three languages:
• Tshiluba
• Kituba
• Chokwe

We are awaiting completion of a Kipendi translation update. Once completed, 3,000 Kipendi Bibles will be printed using donations designated for that purpose. That will bring the total count to 12,750 Bibles purchased by Hope 4 Congo.

12,750 Bibles at $9.00 per Bible equals $114,750.

The freight to ship them is an additional cost. Currently we have spent approximately 7.9% for transportation to various distribution points.

DSC00024
Chokwe & Tshiluba Bibles prepared for transport from Kinshasa to Tshikapa

Congolese Church Leaders have emphasized the importance for individuals to purchase their own Bibles. They have also told us that $3.00 is an appropriate amount to charge. We are grateful for the efforts of church leaders to return this amount to the ministry so it can be reinvested in printing more copies.

We are considering the possibility of printing other requested language translations. We will update you as God directs our paths.

Do not underestimate the power of prayer for meeting the need for Bibles in Congo. God has met our needs thus far and expanded our capacities. We want to keep in step with His Spirit (Galatians 5:25).

Prayer Requests:
• Pray that God will oversee the accounting process
• Pray that God will expand our ability to purchase Bibles more frequently
• Pray that God’s Word will transform the lives of each individual, both at the local and national levels of Congolese society and government.

© 2016 Hope4Congo