April 19, 2020

Farming God’s Way
As part of our Congo Collaboration meeting we heard from a speaker who represented Farming God’s Way.

The speaker grabbed my attention immediately when he asked us all, “What do you have in your hand?”

He went on to expound. We may wish for a tractor, but instead of wasting our time wishing, we can provide for our families with what we have.

“What do you have in your hand?” He repeated.

“The answer is a hoe. We will use what we have and grow food to feed our families.”

Farming God’s Way seminars provide a well-balanced three-fold system utilizing Biblical principles combined with technology and good management. Results from the seminars are encouraging in several African countries. So much could be addressed if the cycle of poverty could be broken.

For more information click on the link. https://www.farming-gods-way.org/home.htm
In addition to the information on that website, you may also click on the FaceBook icon on the lower left of the page. You do not have to be a member of FaceBook to view their account. It is a good way to keep up with their activities.

Our first Farming God’s Way seminar in 2019 was well received and a second one is being planned for 2020.

Farm to Market
Our first Farm to Market program was at Ndjoko Punda. Read our previous blog post about it:
Farm to Market Project

Hope4Congo begins our second Farm to Market program in the Mukedi Community in the Bandundu Province of the DRC.

Prayer Requests
• Pray for all the details to come together for our second Farming God’s Way seminar.
• Pray for the Farm to Market launch at Mukedi.
• Pray for peace, good health, and willing hearts to learn.

© 2020 Hope4Congo

April 8, 2020

It does not sound like the COVID-19 virus has impacted the rural interior parts of Congo. At least not in areas where our efforts are concentrated.

However, a few of our Ndjoko Punda people are among those quarantined in Kinshasa. Kinshasa is on lock down for 30 days. Some reports suggest it may be lifted earlier, but that remains to be seen.

• Joseph Mbuyi leads our farm to market program. He also was overseeing the construction of the school. (You may recall that Joseph and Daniel returned to Ndjoko Punda after their training in December 2018. https://hope4congo.com/2018/03/09/daniel-and-joseph-return-home/)
• André Kalenga recently graduated from the Protestant University in Kinshasa from their school of theology. (This is the same university Daniel graduated from.)
• André’s wife, Mbombo, trained as a seamstress and is certified to teach. The planned sewing classes will utilize the 10 machines we sent in 2019.

Prior to the pandemic, Joseph traveled to Kinshasa for some medical needs and then helped André purchase supplies for the construction project.

André and his family lived in Kinshasa while we supported him through school. He was making arrangements to move his family (the couple have 6 children) back to Ndjoko Punda when the quarantine was announced. So all of them are held up in Kinshasa.

Once the quarantine is lifted, everyone looks forward to their safe return to Ndjoko Punda where they will all work as a team along with Daniel.


We are so thrilled to see our investments in people

and projects begin to bear healthy fruit.

We look forward to beginning the same efforts at Mukedi with the leadership of Leonard Kiswangi who lives in that area.

Praise and thank the Lord with us. Pray this will be healthy fruit that will remain. And please continue to pray for the people of the DRC.

© 2020 Hope4Congo

A School for Ndjoko Punda

Matthew 9:35-38 Then Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. “What a huge harvest!” He said to his disciples. “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!” (The Message)

Ndjoko Punda School circa 1960

Before the harvest can occur, the farmer must first turn over the ground, prepare the soil, plant the seed, and water it.

Wherever the Gospel was taken, this same type of process occurred before the spiritual harvest happened. Missions brought medical aide, education, agriculture, and industry. Missionaries sought to improve relationships and the overall quality of life in the communities they served.

Ministry to the whole body, mind, and soul . . .
Resulted in schools, hospitals, print shops, bookstores, etc.

History reveals this pattern of ministry to be true for many mission efforts around the world. It is seen throughout all of Africa wherever the Gospel was taken.

Ministry to the whole body, mind, and soul is still relevant today. The youth of the Democratic Republic of Congo are the leaders of tomorrow.

For the children at Ndjoko Punda, school is the opportunity of a lifetime.

Problems Prevent Children from an Education:
-Children are needed at home to help the family
-Lack of money to travel for school
-Lack of educational resources
-Lack of nearby classrooms

For several years Hope for Congo has been waiting for the right opportunity and time to build a set of primary classroom buildings at Ndjoko Punda. The time and opportunity has arrived now. “Seed” money has been provided for us to build the first building, which will provide three classrooms.

Only a few buildings remain of the original school complex which once existed. They are in ruins as the attached photographs reveal. They were destroyed by age, neglect due to lack of resources, and damage from periodic storms. This building project will replace the old school buildings.

The complete building plan calls for a total of four buildings in the complex. Two buildings with three classrooms each, one administrative office, and separate lavatories for both boys and girls.

The total project is estimated to cost $56,000. More money is needed to construct all the buildings and to furnish the classrooms and administrative offices. Your prayers and tax-deductible donations can help make this possible. 

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

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

© 2018 Hope4Congo

Kalenga’s Testimony

IMG_2065
Left to Right: Stan, Kalenga, Brad

Kalenga Andre was born at Ndjoko Punda in 1980. He went to both primary and secondary schools there. The following is his translated testimony edited for clarity:

In 1993 when I was thirteen years old I was baptized. My father died that same year (a rough time for me). From my baptism onward, my desire has been to serve God. I sang in the choir for two years beginning in 1994. After that I was elected Chorale Leader and served in that role for two additional years.

Mbombo Anne and I were married in 2002. My wife and I have six children, 3 boys and 3 girls.

I was devoted to my church at Ndjoko Punda and became a deacon in 2004. When Dr. David arrived to mentor the youth in Ndjoko Punda, I worked with him and was elected to be the President of the youth in our church. I also served as a steward at the hospital. So I had the opportunity to work closely with Dr. David in both capacities.

Stan and Brad Graber along with Fred Suter came to work on the Congo Water Project. It was my privilege to work as their Director here in Congo.

My heart’s attention is drawn to advance the good work of evangelization and develop our Congolese youth. I have been preparing toward implementing this desire through my studies. The reason I came to study in Kinshasa is because of my desire to know the mind of Christ and to share this knowledge with others.

History has proven through the work of the Congo Inland Mission in Ndjoko Punda (originally the area/district called Charlesville) and the American Mennonite Church that when the Good News is preached it will bear fruit. We are summoned to continue this legacy.

If Christians are awakened intellectually to study their Bibles they will see God’s Word provides the best way to live. I hope to raise awareness among the Christians in Ndjoko Punda in particular and in the larger district community in general.

Thank you Kalenga. It warms our hearts to read of your service from a young age and of your continued desire for growth. May God richly bless your studies and fulfill His desires for your ministry. May He also bless and protect your family.
***
Regarding future testimonies: We have been awaiting the arrival of Joseph’s testimony, another young man we’ve helped to support. However, we recently received word that he has been sick. Please join us in praying for Joseph’s recovery.

© 2016 Hope4Congo

Daniel’s Testimony

The past two weeks you heard from Brad about Hope4Congo’s goal to multiply the ministry through the discipling and training of Congolese youth. Today we’ll introduce you to the first of these young people we’ve been supporting. His photo is below followed by his testimony.
IMG_2118My name is Daniel Ngalamulume. I was born at Ndjoko Punda, the historic first Mennonite mission in Congo where I spent my childhood. I completed my primary and secondary studies there. My father was a deacon in the local Mennonite church. I was orphaned when both my parents died. My life became very difficult as I was practically rejected by my paternal family.

I was a chorister in an independent evangelical choir, but I still was not converted. I led a life of debauchery, drugs, and delinquency.

Thankfully, Dr. David Ishingu Matala arrived to be the doctor and director of the General Hospital at Ndjoko Punda. At that time the local Mennonite church there was failing.

Dr. David initiated an evangelical movement through Youth for Christ of our Mennonite church in North Kasai near Ndjoko Punda station. Through his teaching, guidance, preaching, and leadership, I decided to give my life to the Lord Jesus Christ and I was baptized at the Mennonite church. I made the decision to serve my God for my whole life.

After my conversion Dr. David recruited me to be a leader of the youth group he had established. I was responsible for evangelism within the youth ministry. During my time of leadership the doctor helped me see I had a gift and call to pastoral service.

My activities at Ndjoko Punda included two Bible camps and many evangelization campaigns among the youth. These different projects were supported by our coach (Dr. David) and by the Graber brothers.

After four years of service to the Lord as a youth, Dr. David decided to take me with him to Kinshasa to look for ways and means for me to pursue university studies. We were confronted with various difficulties: financial and logistical. None of this was easy to overcome. Spiritual warfare was especially strong against Dr. David. This also made it very difficult for me, but the doctor stood by me. He continued to help me and the difficulties were finally cleared away for me to attend university.

I give thanks to my God for touching the hearts of our Christian brothers, Stan Graber and Brad Graber. The Graber Missionary family once lived at Ndjoko Punda station. Their sons, Stan and Brad, in agreement with our coach, Dr. David came alongside to help and support me in my studies. They benefited me and other youth morally, spiritually, and financially.

The Graber brothers supported many projects for the whole Mennonite Church in general by providing Bibles and Song Books. They supported the Ndjoko Punda station in particular through the water project, and by providing the hospital with much-needed new equipment and supplies.

My desire is to finish strong my final year of university. There is much to memorize this year and it is difficult for me. I would appreciate prayers for my memory skills.

Version 2
Dr. David Ishingu Matala

When I graduate my prayer is that God, Stan, Brad, and Dr. David will be present.

After university I wish to get married before entering my professional life. This would be the best way to minister and would be more acceptable in the community.

My primary goal for my professional life is to work with youth through evangelism and coaching. All of my training: through Youth for Christ, through university theological studies, and through the missionary team led by Charles Buller has prepared me for this moment.

Thank you for your prayers and support.

©2016 Hope4Congo

 

Road Trip, Part 7

H4C_18Brad and Stan are trapped at the banks of the Kasai River. A drunken policeman and his equally drunken buddies block their way. Dr. David and youth from the church at Ndjoko Punda (the village across the river) are arguing with the policeman. Stan and Brad have sat down to wait under a tree. We pick up our story as the argument has escalated.

The babble of voices increased to higher decibels as several of the youth joined in the shouting match. Tempers flared. Arms flailed in excited gestures. Enraged shrieks split the night air.

“This is going nowhere fast,” Brad said. “What are we going to do?”

“Yes. It’s dangerous.” Stan thought a moment. “What would Dad do? He’d pray.” Stan rose and stood just outside the angry group. In a loud voice he said in Tshiluba, “Let us pray.”

The arguing ceased instantly. Silence. Startling after so much noise.

Stan continued in Tshiluba, “Lord, we’ve just made a long trip. We’re hot. We’re sweaty. And we’re tired. We’ve come to help the church at Ndjoko Punda and encourage the believers there. We just want to get to the other side of this river so we can go to bed and get some sleep. We know that YOU are all powerful and YOU can solve this problem and get us to the other side. Amen.”

Hushed, the policeman and his friends stepped aside like a parting of the Red Sea.

Dr. David smiled. Brad clapped Stan on the shoulder. They boarded the canoe with all the young men and slipped silently across the river to the village.

***

True stories of God’s deliverance help put daily frustrations into perspective for me.

What about you? What’s happening in your life today? Don’t allow a small problem to get in the way of a big God. Reach for the fire from heaven.

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©2015 Hope4Congo