I smiled broadly as I watched my friend Tchomba eagerly accepting his diploma on graduation day. Our ten week evangelism training session had ended and now 36 graduates would return home to implement their new skills in soul winning. This was an exciting session as eleven of our students were new converts from our church planter work. Tchomba was one of the eleven. What a joy to watch these “first fruits” being trained to win even more souls for the Kingdom.
The two evangelistic campaigns–used as their practical training at the end of the school–were blessed and we baptized 75 new members into two new church plants in Kisangani.
Even more exciting is that twenty-one of these graduates accepted calls to work for us as church planters in unentered areas. Now, they are returning home to collect their families and move to remote areas to start new congregations.
“Batone, how long will it take you to reach home in Nebasa?” I asked in Swahili as I prepared money for him to use for moving his family.
“Seventeen days,” he replied.
“Wow!” I thought. Over two weeks just to reach home. Then, after resting a few weeks, the family will begin the journey by bicycle to their new station near Buta (far to the north of us). In two months they will finally arrive in Buta. What a journey!
DRC is a huge country and the roads
are still in terrible condition–usually with no public transportation available. I admired their dedication as I watched them leave. They are going deep into unentered territory, where there is little medical care. Just last week, Frederick-one of our existing church planters had come to collect his monthly stipend. While here, he received word that his 22 year old son had died back at his work station. We wept with him over this tragedy.
How will these new families feel moving deep into the bush, far from home? Into the unknown–trusting only in Jesus. The Bible says, “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bearing his sheaves with him” (Psalm 126:6). Oh, what joy there will be when Jesus returns soon to collect His own!
Thanks for your prayers and support for our church planters. Our goal during this school year is to launch 30 new church planters (including these 21 new ones) at $600 each. So far we have funds to launch sixteen, but we still need to raise the launching cost for fourteen more ($8,400). Will you consider launching one of these brave new church planters to open a new congregation in a dark area?
Graduation day for our 36 students