We want to thank Light Bearers Ministry for helping us to set up our newly translated Bible study lessons in the Lingala language. We have also submitted a proposal to the Union to start a colporteur ministry. We believe the printed page will do a mighty work here in DRC.
Monthly Archive for December, 2008
Although we are still living in rented houses in the city of Kisangani, we can’t wait to move OUT to the country! Kisangani has nearly one million inhabitants and is the gateway to the Congo River Basin. From here, we plan to launch the gospel to the fourteen million unreached people in the jungle. We have just finalized the purchase of 125 acres of land that is seven miles north or Kisangani. We wish we could move much farther out, but it is simply too dangerous. We will locate our new campus and evangelism training school on this land and will soon add another 125 acres to it. Nathan Rittenour is currently organizing a brick making team on our property and mapping out the location of roads and buildings for the new campus.
We are excited and grateful that Maranatha Volunteers International, together with the One-day church project has agreed to send us the steel frames and roof sheets for 22 buildings for our campus. Although we do not have the resources to finish all these buildings, we will complete what we can and finish the others as the Lord opens the way. This will give our project a big boost! We also have a container of building equipment and materials coming.
We plan to host our next lay training session in June 2008, so we need to ship our materials and start building! We also need experienced builders to help erect our new campus. How about you? Please let us know by email if you are interested in coming to help.
Recently Carl Rittenour came to help us produce Sharing the Light in the Heart of Darkness a new 12 minute DVD that shows the challenges facing the Lord’s work in DRC. If you would like a free copy to show at your local church or just at home, please send us your address using the email form right here on the website. You will find it under the “Contact tab” and we will mail it to you. A shortened version of the DVD was presented at the Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) Conference. Thank you Carl!
Unfortunately, for the Congolese, losing your children to disease is commonplace. Our housekeeper Jani is a typical example. She lost 2 of her 8 children in childbirth, 3 more to malaria, and finally her husband died of malaria also. Our watchman Malaise came last week to get an advance on his pay to treat his 8 month old daughter, who had a high fever. We gladly advanced him the equivalent of a third of his month’s salary. The next day, he returned and said the doctors had treated her with worm medicine and she was doing fine. By the time he reached home though, she was already dead––no doubt from malaria. We wept with him at the loss of his precious daughter presumably from a misdiagnosis and lack of proper treatment.
Tuberculosis and sleeping sickness are common here. No one boils their water in the jungle, and almost everyone has dysentery. Aids is on the increase with almost no education available. It is estimated that 45,000 are dying every month from disease. Won’t you consider helping us start a medical canoe ministry along the Congo River that can save lives and bring hope into the hearts of the people? Each death is one more person who will not hear the gospel on this earth.
In late November our seventeen church planters gathered for a special training session in which the topics of self support, more effective evangelism, natural remedies, etc were presented. This was a great help and encouragement to them and at the close we gave them clothing, Bibles, seeds, mosquito nets, and other tools to help them in their work. The people of the DRC, through no fault of their own, have descended to such depths of degradation and ignorance, that it is only with the utmost effort and God’s abundant grace that they can be raised up to a higher standard of faith and living. Please pray for our church planters that through the mighty agency of the Holy Spirit, they can lift people out of “the pit” and deliver them from their degrading heathen customs.
When the Konga family arrived for the training session with their one year old twin girls Zipora and Marta, they were deathly ill with malaria. We treated them with the medicine we use for malaria but to no avail. In the hospital Marta was treated twice with a quinine drip and by God’s grace the second treatment finally knocked the malaria out of her system. PTL.
I just got to the States and I’ll be here for about a month. I wanted to send this out to let you know where I’ll be speaking so that if any of you are in the area you can come and hear the Mission Reports.
Sabbath Dec. 13 9:30 A.M. Sabbath School Mission Report Meadow Vista SDA church in California.
Sabbath Dec. 13 11:00 A.M. Main Service at Colfax SDA church in California.
Sabbath Dec. 13 3:30 P.M. Concert and Mission Stories at Meadow Vista SDA church in California.
Thursday Dec. 18, I’ll be sharing a 10 minute Mission Report at the Generation of Youth for Christ Conference in San Jose CA. This will be available to watch on 3ABN television network.
During Late Dec. or Early Jan. I may be sharing at a church in Northern Minnesota. If you have any questions please email me for the details.
Sabbath Jan. 10 11:00 Main Service Mission Report at Dodge Center SDA church in Dodge Center MN.
I’m happy to be back in the States sharing about the many wonderful things God has done for us in the Congo in the Last 4 months.
May God Bless each of you during this holiday season.
Congo Frontline Missions
Dear Friends and Supporters of Congo Frontline Missions (CFM),
This is the first update I’ve sent since returning to Congo at the end of the summer. Many of you signed up over the summer to receive this newsletter and I’m happy to be able to finally send you an update on what is happening here in the mission field. If you don’t want to receive this email simply reply to this address and type Unsubscribe in the Subject line.
From June to August I was in the states traveling and speaking. One of the highlights was to meet old and new friends at each of the places I spoke. My family, having come form their mission post in Tanzania at Kibidula Farms Institute, was in the states during the same time. At ASI we had the privilege of sharing about the miracle God had worked for my family when the plane they were on crashed during take off on April 15 this year. You can read the story at: www.outpostcenters.org/ministries/kibidula/congo_plane_crash
I returned to the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) in late August bringing Nathan and Carl Rittenour with me. Nathan is joining CFM full time as development director. Carl, Nathan’s younger brother, has come to produce a promotional video of the project.
One of the first places we visited upon arrival in the country was Mbandaka where ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) has a project including a large medical work on the Congo River. We traveled with the ADRA doctor for many miles up river, stopping at villages and providing medical treatment. In our short 2 day trip, we learned a lot about doing medical work in these remote areas. One of the tribes we treated was the famous pygmy tribe.
Just on that short trip many lives were saved including a boy who was badly burned in the fire. His parents had no plan to take him to the hospital so we offered to pay the $30 that was the estimated cost of treatment. Still, they wavered, not wanting to take the trouble to go all the way to the hospital. We pled with them and finally were able to persuade them to let us take the boy a few miles down river to the hospital. I have just received the report from the doctor a few days ago in which he told me that the young boy fully recovered. You can see a video of our trip called Congo River Medicine Project at:
It is our desire to open a similar medical project along the river here at Kisangani once we have the funding and personnel to run it. Many die in these remote locations without the most basic health care. We plan to incorporate evangelism with this medical missionary work placing church planters in the villages where we provide medical care.
What a joy it was when in September I returned to my home here in Kisangani. Pastor Mtenzi, our Executive Secretary, has been busy while I was in the states. He was involved in a large evangelistic series right here in Kisangani and has planted a new church as a result. He also moved all 17 of our Church Planters to their new locations where they have begun sharing the Bible with those in darkness.
Another major development is the arrival of my family here in Congo. They moved from Kibidula Farm in Tanzania where they served for 8 years. They will be greatly missed there, but we praise God they are able to join us here. My father, Barry, is the CFM Treasurer as well as Director of Communication. You will see him writing these updates in the future. My mother, Marybeth, is home schooling my sister, April, and caring for Andrew, my little brother. She has also made significant improvements to our diet of burned rice and beans.
We’re happy to be working together to bring the gospel to those in darkness. There have been some problems in the east side of the country which some of you may have seen on the news. The city of Goma - where my family was just two weeks ago on their way here - was almost taken by the rebels last night. They stopped just two miles short of the city and there was confusion everywhere. Almost all the foreigners were evacuated from the city.
We prayed earnestly together that their advance would be stopped. Amazingly, before entering the city, they declared a cease fire and withdrew their army back into the bush. We thank God for this answer to prayer. We are not in any immediate danger here in Kisangani. It does not appear that they really want to take over the country, but instead, want to be left alone to continue their illegal and highly profitable mining activities.
These are reminders that we are living in a dangerous country. We have a window of time in which to share the gospel. We don’t know how big a window it is, but we know that we must work while we have the opportunity, for soon the night will come when no man can work. May God Bless each one of you, and please keep our work here on the front lines lifted up in prayer.
Congo Frontline Missions
Other Developments, blessings and needs:
Location for the project - We have located an alternative property that would be much less expensive to develop for our lay training school. We will keep you informed.
Upcoming Seminar - We will soon hold a 10 day intensive training for our church planters to revive and further educate them.
Praise God for His providence - We hope soon to ship a 40 foot container with supplies to help build our new campus. Kind donors gave us many tools: a used cement mixer, a used Bobcat and trailer to help us with our new project!!! Someone else gave half the funds for a used Fuso truck from Japan to help with our construction. Thank you!!
Help from One Day Church project - The one day church project is planning to provide the steel and roofs to construct many buildings for our new campus. They will soon be shipped and we praise God for this big boost to our project!!!
Needs - We need help with cement, windows, doors etc. to supplement the framing and roofs. With donations for these, we will be able to have our campus well along by next summer.
Bicycles - $120 each
Swahili Bibles - $8 each
Sponsorship of church planters - $70 per month