In late November, a rebel group called M23 overpowered United Nations and Congolese army troops and captured the city of Goma (population 1 million) along the eastern border of Democratic Republic of Congo. This is about 300 miles from ourmission in Kisangani, but with no direct connecting roads.In spite of unrest in Kisangani and university student riots, Congo Frontline Mission’s operation has not been significantly affected by this recent violence. Our team members are safe, although we are keeping a watchful eye on events. We praise God that the rebel force of 1,500 is now withdrawing from Goma due to international pressure. The university students have calmed down and we do not expect violence to come to Kisangani.Sadly, our work in the east among the Pygmy tribe has been the most affected by rebel activity. Although we have capable Congolese leaders overseeing this work, we have been unable to visit the work in 2012 ourselves due to political instability.Thank you for your prayers that there will be no disruption to God’s work from this temporary instability.
by Nadège ApatoutArriving at the city center early that morning, all was quiet and peaceful as we gathered for a business appointment at the radio station (also the site of the SDA elementary school).Then around 9:30 A.M. we heard a slight commotion and Pastor Mtenzi ran down to bring the car inside the compound. Discontented university students were beginning to march through the city because the eastern town of Goma had
just fallen to the M23 rebel group. I did not understand our group’s concern, as back home in France, students demonstrate yearly. But soon I would share their concern. Street merchants were running in the streets, quickly packing away their merchandises. “It is going to be violent,” I heard somebody say.Unaware of the developing situation, Luke and Chantée, two visiting friends of Keith, were arriving in town. Thankfully, they received the news just in time to return safely back to the CFM compound. Pastor Mtenzi’s children also returned safely from school.As the demonstrations escalated, concerned parents gathered at the locked gate and pleaded with the teachers to release their children. Reluctantly, the teachers hesitated until the shout sounded, “The university students are coming!” Within seconds frantic children rushed to the sturdy, locked gate as parents gathered outside yelling, “Open the door! Give us our children!” Complete chaos ensued, some children climbing up and over the gate into the arms of their parents, and others trying unsuccessfully to crawl under.My heart was aching. My eyes could not but let tears fall down my trembling cheeks. I wanted to shout, to do something—but what?Meanwhile, as the university students set fire to a political building near the school, the teachers finally unlocked the gate and the children ran outside like a troop of wild buffaloes. I was amazed at how mothers could grab an arm, a shirt, a skirt and pick the right child.Within a few minutes, the school was empty and so was the street. Nothing but an occasional motorbike broke the silence. But the students continued rioting and were moving in our direction. Then, Pang! Pang! The police were shooting! I started to get nervous, but when the Lord reminded me of Psalm 91, my heart went back to peace.We managed to finish our meeting and our people left, but Pastor Mtenzi and I
were going to be stuck for a while as the rioting continued. It was not safe for us to leave. Eventually, we were able to call a friend and ride home with him on his motorcycle through the safer back streets. By now the time was close to 3p.m. Rocks, broken chairs, and other rubbish filled the streets and the market was vacant of goods and people. After avoiding a street with one last mob, we arrived safely back at the CFM compound.This experience showed me how easy it is for a war situation to develop here. I realized again that we are not in a safe country. But this gave me more zeal to carry on working in this harvest field because the night soon cometh when we will not be able to work.
by Barry MosierThe Bible encourages us to be not only hearers of the Word, but also doers. In May of this year, I spoke in the Rochester, Minnesota Church about the camp meeting that Keith attended in Kirundu, DRC a year ago. I explained how our members there were cut off from our world church during terrible war years and became backslidden.They were thrilled to have a missionary come to minister to them again after so many years. At the peak of their meetings, about two thousand people had gathered. Keith asked them to hold their Bibles high in the air and only about 50 people had Bibles to lift up. This lack of Bibles deeply hurt Keith, knowing how desperately they needed Bibles for revival. At least in Kisangani, Swahili and Lingala Bibles are available, whereas they are not in outlying areas.That morning in Rochester, Amanda Voeltz, a newly wed bride (and brand new Christian) thought of her fellow believers in Congo without the most basic tool of the Christian-God’s Word. She made up her mind to DO something about it! She talked to her husband Brian about it and then to other young people in the church. Her enthusiasm was contagious and soon others joined her in the cause. Together, they decided on a bicycle trail ride in September as a fundraiser for Bibles. Amanda’s goal was not small. 2,000 Bibles at $9 each was $18,000.They organized, they advertised, they promoted….and they prayed. I am embarrassed to say that I was skeptical that they could raise more than a few thousand dollars- which would have been a great blessing anyway. The day of the bike ride was beautiful and many came out to ride or roller blade with us over the trails near Lanesboro, Minnesota. Participants between seven and seventy years old wore Bibles for Congo T shirts as they raced along the trails. In fact, Keith and the team in Congo held their own bike ride with us that day.
In the end, with God’s rich blessing, $14,000 had been raised for Bibles!!! We praised God together as we thought of all those who would receive Bibles in their ownlanguage- many for the very first time! Can you imagine their joy as they read God’s Word each day in their homes? Thanks to all of you who have made it possible over the past five years to put Bibles into the hands of each of the 3,000 people who have been baptized through our church planting work.James 1:25 urges us not to be forgetful hearers, but DOERS of the work. I am so thankful for Amanda and the many lives she will touch. Perhaps there are some readers out there who would like to be doers also, and join Amanda in reaching her goal of 2,000 Bibles? If so, just follow the instructions of how to send funds in the “Needs” section of the newsletter. Blessings to each of you for your prayers and support of the work in Congo.
By Elisha VandeVoortWhen I was asked in early June to be the speaker in July at one of the six Share Him sites in Kisangani, my first response was, “No way!” Public speaking is terrifying to me. Ever so slowly, God used the verses in the gospel commission to continually call to my heart. Every possible excuse I could think of, (and there were many), God had a rebuttal for, and so a couple of weeks before the series, I decided with God’s help, to be the main speaker for 19 meetings at the Kibibi evangelistic site.Much could be said about those two weeks. Oh, how I prayed and studied-more than I ever had before! Almost every night more than 400 people came to listen, many of them hearing the gospel for the very first time in their lives.My team worked very hard, inviting people to come, giving Bible studies and praying with people in their homes. My incredible interpreter spent many hours going over messages and praying with me for God to use us simple vessels of clay to convey His powerful life changing truth to others. Many came forward during the appeals and it was an amazing experience to see God working in the hearts of many who have lived lives filled with the unspeakable horrors of war!Many also came forward in response to the Sabbath message. One woman was really excited and recounted the following story. Several months before, an angel came to her in a dream telling her that the true Bible Sabbath was on the seventh day of the week and not on Sunday. The dream deeply impressed and troubled her so much so that she went to her Pentecostal pastor and shared with him what she had been told. He told her that she was crazy and never to come to his church again!She began to study the Bible for herself to see what the Bible really had to say about the Sabbath. Soon, others joined her in her home several mornings each week and on Sabbath to study the Bible together and to pray. She was thrilled to learn that night in our meeting how the Roman emperor Constantine changed the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday in AD 321 and how the church and state united to severely persecute all those who would not conform to this new day of worship.Soon, she brought those who were studying in her home to the rest of the meetings. Dozens gave their hearts and lives to Jesus and nineteen were baptized at our site. Please pray for the many who are still being studied with. Thank you all so much for your prayers and support as we continue to spread the gospel in this dark, dark place. May God bless each of you is our prayer at CFM.
We were blessed in July to have six Share Him guests with us for over two weeks. Share Him coordinates people (mostly laymen) from first world countries to travel to third world countries to do evangelistic meetings. It was our first time to host a foreign team this large at Congo Frontline Missions.
One of our speakers named Mariette Joseph spoke in Mangobo. A lady named Mama Valentine attended and requested baptism. Nadege Apatout tells us a bit of her story. “In 2007 she went through a very tough time when she lost two of her three children (and her only son) at the same time. She hurt so much; it was so hard for her to understand why that was happening to her family that her heart became frozen in bitterness and anger. She decided that neither God nor Jesus existed. She totally shut them out of her life for good… or so she thought.Then a few days ago, she heard that there was going to be a series of meetings with God and Jesus at the center. She turned her back on the idea of attending them. But her curiosity was stronger and on Saturday evening she decided she would come just to see. And she came … and has been coming ever since. After the fourth meeting, the truth of the Lord was powerful enough to defrost her heart. She decided she would become a Christian again. That’s the reason why she wants to be baptized.“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” Jesus promised. For me that was amazing to see how active and very much alive God is. He is working with so much
power and strength to set His children free from anger, bitterness; to draw them close to Him and give them healing, peace, joy and eternal salvation. I had the feeling I could see Him with my eyes tonight. How come He loves us so much … He had sought to win back the heart of this dear Mama Valentine, and now, after 5 years of struggle, He is winning the battle. The truth in the Bible is powerful!”Mama Valentine was one of 157 people baptized during our six series of meetings. Many more are continuing to study their Bibles. We are so thankful for the Share Him team who sacrificed their time and money to come to Kisangani to share the gospel truths with people here. This harvest of souls is just a fraction of the millions of who are hungering for hope and truth in the Congo River basin, but each one is so precious in the eyes of Jesus. Praise be to God.
By Keith MosierWhen Maryann Roberts was in 4th Grade geography class she learned of a large river in the center of Africa called the Congo. The Congo River is now known to be the deepest river in the world and it is second in size only to the amazon. She decided that she wanted to visit this country someday and she held on to this dream into her retirement years. This year in July her dream came true when she led a team of Share Him speakers to preach the Bible in Kisangani.As her plane banked when coming in to land at the Kisangani airport she could see the large Congo River below and it brought tears of joy to her eyes. When she stood up to speak at the Tshopo site she was fulfilling not only a childhood dream, but also a calling from God. Her messages night by night touched the hearts of her listeners and attendance grew to 228 people. She continued to encourage the small group of church members who were actively working in the community each day giving Bible studies and inviting people to the meetings. On the last day of the meetings 19 people chose to join the church through baptism.The total number of baptisms for all six sites was 157. Now, eight more are requesting baptism in the near future. At each site there is Bible instructor helping to encourage and study with the new members. Please pray for these new church members that they would be encouraged and strengthened in the faith.The Share Him Team, from left to right: Anel Obas, Dr MaryAnn Roberts, Mariette Joseph, Shernall Charles, Avril Buncombe, and Jane Mtenzi
Since Three Angels Radio (107 FM) started broadcasting last November, the effects have been far reaching. Our one thousand watt transmitter was supposed to reach out about 100 kilometers, but amazingly, we have regular listeners at 240 kilometers! We can only attribute this to God’s blessing. This gives us a population of over two million people as potential listeners.Jeff Marube, our manager, has organized a good team of volunteers to operate the station and produce programming. At first, our programming was mostly rebroadcast from Tanzania in Swahili. However, we are now producing about 90% of our own programs in Swahili, Lingala and French thanks to the hard work of our volunteers.Although there were ten other radio stations on air in Kisangani when we started Three Angels Radio, investigation has shown that we have quickly become the most listened to station! In fact, when the national radio inspector came and inspected the studio, he told us that our station was the best in Kisangani. He commended us for our excellent programming and for our presenters. He praised the teachings of the Bible that help foster peaceful human co-existence, upholding human values and above all, shaping peoples’ morals in Kisangani and helping people through the health messages.Many have stopped eating rats, monkeys and snakes after listening to our health programs. Others are attending baptismal classes and a few have already been baptized as a result of the station. The awareness of the Seventh Day Adventist Church has been greatly increased and our church planters tell us that the station helps their work significantly. Many come for free literature and Bible studies.Of course, the station is not without its challenges. Other stations are angry at us for taking their listeners. Imported French and Swahili programming is hard for locals to understand as they have their own version of these languages. Locals are quite inhibited to preach in French.We thank those who prayed for Jeff while he returned to Kenya recently to deal with a lump on his chest. He will be returning soon to DRC in answer to those prayers. Although we try to broadcast twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, we are
challenged by inconsistent electricity. We were so blessed by the large diesel generator recently donated by AWR (Adventist World Radio), we are sad to say that we are short of funds to buy fuel to run it.The station operating and start- up costs have greatly exceeded our expectations. We are now expecting a significant shipment of improved equipment from AWR, but it has been delayed due to expected high costs of import and border clearing.We are so grateful for the many miracles we have seen so far in the startup of Three Angels Radio. We are asking for your financial support (monthly if possible) to keep this beacon of light shining in this dark and war torn part of Congo. Your prayers and support will help to broadcast Bible truth into peoples’ homes around the clock. Thank you in advance for your help.
1. We are excited about the team of four people from Share Him who will be coming from July 20 to Aug 4 to conduct four simultaneous evangelistic meetings in Kisangani. They are part of a group of people who will conduct 20 sets of meetings in Goma, Bukavu, and Kisangani. Even now, Bible workers are preparing these areas for the meetings.2. We are so thankful for the recovery of Jane Mtenzi from her accident. One day as she walked along the side of the street in Kisangani a motorcycle crashed into her from behind at a high speed, throwing her into the gutter and knocking her unconscious. Praise God that she was not killed or seriously injured. The Lord intervenes so often to protect those who are His servants. Thank you, Lord!3. Our well drilling team of Nathan and Elisha just returned from drilling a well last week. Here are some comments from Elisha: “We were very well received there and in less than 2 days had a 160 foot well drilled, pump installed and people trained how to maintain and service it. Mounting the drill rig on the trailer worked amazing and with our new water trough, it has sped up the drilling process a lot with a lot less time and work. Nathan and I are looking forward to going and doing a couple more wells soon as we still have 2 pumps left. We may try and go south of Kisangani on the Ubundu route
to put wells at our churches in 25km and 82km. We have been told the entire villageat 82 has been very sick from the terrible water they are using and so I think that is where we will go next. It is so thrilling to see the joy and excitement of the villagers when pure water starts being pumped. At our well at Bayangene, people are walking 3 km to get water and there are lines from morning until after dark.” Let us know if you would like to help with the well drilling ministry!
Our lay evangelism training course traveled recently to Lubumbashi (formerly Elisabethville) DRC. Pastor Mtenzi and Nadege Apatout crammed their teachings into ten hour days for a week to accommodate the local field far in the south of DRC.They quickly learned to adapt to surprises. They had been told to expect 30 students, they were amazed to find over 100 the first day. Word of mouth expanded the class to 200 by the second day and it remained at this number until the end. One young church elder came from distant Kolwezi over 220 miles away. Young people, old people, men, women, students, office or mine workers, etc. – they all faithfully came drawn by the Holy Spirit to hear the word of God and be trained to be used as instruments in saving souls.Each hour of class was preceded by teaching on Last Day Events - the purpose of it being to first revive the spiritual lives of the brethren and break the ground of their hearts. Then afterwards, through the teachings of Pr Mtenzi, convey a new vision for
their direct or indirect contribution to the advancement of God’s cause and the well-being of the church. They shared principles of church planting and public and personal evangelism. Only the Lord will know the impact of this training as these people returned home trained and inspired to share Bible truth in these last days!Almost immediately after their return to Congo Frontline Missions campus, thirty students arrived for the current session of two month evangelism training here. Thecurrently class is attentive and eager to learn how to do church planting work. We are not able to charge these poor students any fees, and rely on our readers to help with the $100 per student to teach this current session.
Although many of our current students are interested in becoming church planters, we are currently unable to add more due to lack of funds. Won’t you or your Sabbath School class consider sponsoring a church planter for only $80 per month? Or to launch a new church planter for only $600? You can touch the lives of thousands with the truth in un-entered and dark areas with your support. Thank you for choosing to get involved in carrying the gospel banner forward in the Congo.
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