“Help me. Please help me!”
Msafiri Mtenzi slammed on the brakes as he rounded the corner in the road. The mud from the heavy morning rains caused him to skid a ways before stopping. On his way to do revival meetings with two of our church planters about 100 miles from Kisangani, he was not prepared for what lay before him.
Only minutes before, an Isuzu truck loaded with much cargo and many people had lost control due to excessive speed. Now, the truck lay sprawled on its side across the road, with passengers and cargo scattered everywhere. Some of the injured were still crawling off the road through the mud as they tried to assess their own injuries. Others were being helped by uninjured passengers and early passersby.
Mtenzi, a man of action, leaped from our land cruiser to assess the situation. In consultation with others, he learned that three people were apparently dead already. Others needed to get to a hospital as they lay shivering from the cold rain. Quickly, he offered to take as many of the injured as possible back to Kisangani.
Soon seven injured passengers were squeezed into the cruiser. As Mtenzi turned to get into the vehicle, he heard a faint, “Help me! Please help me!” Turning toward the sound of the voice, he saw in the ditch the crumpled form of a woman. His heart was touched with pity as he saw that her left shoulder was badly injured. She lay curled into a ball, shaking with pain and cold.
“But there’s no more room in the car,” he heard one of his helpers say.
“This one goes on my lap if necessary, but she is going with us!” he stated. Mtenzi pressed the accelerator fearing that the lady might not live long enough to reach help. His silent prayers were answered as he reached the hospital in time. Soon all were getting medical help.
After returning home to wash some of the blood out of the car, he was soon on his way to the revival again. The meetings were successful over the weekend and two people were baptized. Two days later, he was thrilled to return to the hospital to find all eight people still alive.
“God sent you to save our lives,” called the woman as he entered her room to visit and pray with her. “We all want to start coming to your church. May God bless you!”
We hear other voices calling faintly from the jungle, “Help us, please help us.” Millions of people in the jungle still don’t have the joy of knowing their Savior. Consider sponsoring a church planter to help carry the gospel truth to unentered villages for $70 per month. Thanks in advance for your prayers as we continue to reach deeper into the jungle with the light.
This week there was a shout of joy when the rented bulldozer reached our property. We had been waiting a long time for this great day. It will fix the road to our property and clear the brush and trees from our new campus.
We are always amazed at how God blesses in so many ways. We had planned to cut the jungle with slashers and machetes, but a friend of Congo Frontline Missions offered to help pay for a bulldozer to speed up the work. What a blessing!
Another special blessing was to find not only deposits of sand on our new property, but also sizable deposits of gravel. Now, we have enough gravel to repair our road and cover all our construction needs. We see more than ever that God prepared this property especially for our mission station!
The One-Day church buildings are on their way crossing the ocean as well as a container with building supplies and equipment. Nathan Rittenour is busy making plans and arrangements for construction.
Soon our new campus will be a reality! Praise God.
Sharing Dreams, Making Plans
The mighty Congo River weaves it way through the jungle on its thousand mile journey from Kisangani to Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Eagerly, it swallows up its tributaries to become the second largest river in the world. Along its route, hundreds of unreached villages are passed by.
Years ago, the gospel was opened up in the Amazon River basin by the Luzeiro medical missionary boats. Could the Congo River basin be opened to the Gospel in a similar way?
At our annual board meeting, we found out that we were not the only people with this dream. Gary Roberts, one of our board members, is also a pilot in Chad who helps open up missionary projects in Africa. This year he brought a guest to our meeting, Dr James Appel, who operates the Adventist Hospital in Bere Tchad. We found these men had similar visions of seeing medical missionary work bring the gospel to the Congo jungle.
We made plans to seek medical staff that will be willing to start this work in our humble dugout canoe. We don’t really have resources to begin, but we know we serve a mighty God. As Jesus looks down on the millions of His lost children in the Congo jungles, we know He has a plan to reach them with the truth.
We trust the Lord will reveal His will to us as we seek the best way to reach these jungle people. Last May we placed two church planters along the Congo River. Just two weeks ago, we baptized thirteen people in the villages of Yaoseko and Yanongi. We can reach these two villages by car, but we are almost at the limits of where cars can go. Please pray that God will open the way to reach the remote people in the Congo River basin.
Gift of Peace
As recently as last November the prospects of peace here in Democratic Republic of Congo seemed bleak as rebel factions continued to fight the government. Peace seemed far away as negotiations reached a stalemate. However, we are thankful that man’s ways are not God’s ways. God has a thousand ways.
Recently, joint military actions between the DRC and Rwandan armies have greatly stabilized the eastern part of the country. Although peace is never a sure thing in this country, we thank God that the current situation looks very encouraging for long term stability.
We continue moving forward trusting in His divine protection. Surely, political peace is a precious gift. Peace in the souls of people is even more precious. We keep praying for both in DRC.
Hand in Hand With the Church
All thirty four pastors from Upper Congo Field (our local field) gathered for two weeks of special training recently here in Kisangani. The training was a combined effort from the division, the union, the local field and Congo Frontline Missions. Some of the pastors have had very little training and some had no idea how to conduct evangelistic meetings.
We requested these meetings last fall as we saw the lack of training evident among the pastors. The division leaders from Kenya came to launch “The Year of Evangelism” which is a special project world wide where each church will conduct an evangelistic series. According to the pastors this was the very first field wide pastors meeting in their history. Many of their wives attended and now feel much more a part of God’s work.
Topics included preaching, church policy and teachings, evangelism, stewardship, self support, etc…. As they left many said they now feel informed about their duties. Prior to this, many were discouraged.
Congo Frontline Missions also gave out spiritual books for them to add to their libraries at home and help in their soul winning work. The pastors were thrilled to receive Spirit of Prophecy books in their own language. We believe these meetings are a big start to building a solid foundation for future growth for this field.
During Keith’s Stay in America he became engaged to Tammy Rittenour of Northern Minnesota. She is no stranger to mission service having served with the Mosier family as a student missionary in Tanzania. Amazingly she felt God calling her to serve as a missionary in Congo years before she and Keith started courting. She will be graduating as an RN in May. Her brother Nathan is currently on staff in congo. Their Wedding will be July 19, 2009 in Dodge Center, MN. All are invited. They are so excited to be following God’s call together.