Lay Evangelism Training Program
Our Plan is to provide a lay evangelism training program that will supply church planters and Bible workers for the Congo River basin. This school will serve as an example for starting other satellite schools and mobile training courses to energize laymen across DRC to finish the work.
Blessings to Date
Now that our evangelism training school is complete, we can accelerate our lay training. Up to now, we have provided evangelism training to 215 laymen. Many of these laymen are now winning souls to Christ. We include agricultural training and simple medical missionary training in our courses. We are honored that the training curriculum that we submitted to Division leaders has been approved as the official global pioneer training program for the ECD division. This year, ASI is helping to sponsor training sessions in the far east, south and west of DRC.
Due to the poverty of the church members, we are not able to charge tuition to our students. Please consider sponsoring students at $100 each to attend our evangelism training and to learn to win souls for Christ.
Church Planters in Un-entered Areas
Our Plan is to place church planters throughout the Congo River basin. The 10 year war has left 5 million dead and many longing for a message of hope.
Blessings to Date
We now have a total of 52 church planters and 2 Bible workers. Many of these have been placed in Lingala speaking areas to the west and north of Kisangani. These are very dark areas and need much prayer to break through the witchcraft, fornication, and alcoholism that prevails in these areas. Our church planters are equipped with bicycles, Bibles and picture rolls to help establish the work.
Up to now, our church planters have established about 60 new congregations of various sizes in these areas and we have seen over 1,200 baptisms. Hundreds more are studying the Bible with our church planters. We thank God for these good results. We are now building One Day Churches in as many new areas as we are able.
Launching costs for our church planters is a challenge. Moving families far into remote areas is costly. Acquiring land for farming, homes and churches in each area is also expensive. Finally the cost of building a new church for them to worship in takes resources. We thank those who are sponsoring church planters at $80 per month. We seek people who are willing to help with the $600 cost of launching each new church planter into a new dark area.
Gospel to the Pygmies
Our Plan is to take the three angel’s messages to the downtrodden Pygmy tribe.
Current Pygmy Situation
Although there are many sad stories to tell from Congo, one of the saddest is the plight of the Pygmy people. Certain other tribes actually considered them as less than human, and up until only 50 years ago they were cannibalized by these tribes. Very few can read and write as they have clung to their traditions and avoided civilization.
They moved frequently to follow the game in the forest. Their traditional houses look like small domes in shape, made of sticks with leaves laid over the top. The men went to the forest daily, hunting with poison arrows in their bows. Women built the houses and cared for the children.
Now, their world is collapsing around them. The war pushed the Pygmies out of their traditional areas. Rebel soldiers terrorized their villages, leaving a trail of death and rape. As the war ended and the roads were repaired, lumber companies invaded huge sections of forest, cutting down the big trees. The illiterate Pygmies watched helplessly as the trees disappeared and the game disappeared.
They own no land legally, so they often work as laborers for farmers or loggers. With no education and skills, they carry lumber like human mules or hoe in the hot sun for miniscule wages. Although they still hunt some, most are living in utter poverty with pitiful clothing and few cooking utensils. Medical care is usually unaffordable. Most of the 900,000 Congo Pygmies are animists.
Now, for the good news! They now see the need to educate their children in schools and are very open to the Gospel. Now, the door is open to reach them for Christ.
Blessings to date
A Korean man named Mr. Yang started gospel and education work among many Pygmy camps a few years ago. When he was unable to continue the work, the church asked us to take it over. We currently have five Pygmy pastors and 1 church planter working among 30 Pygmy camps. Education is their greatest hope for the future and we have five primary schools operating in these camps.
This will not be a short and simple project. It will take years to truly reach their hearts with the truth. They are the poorest and most primitive people we have ever encountered. Please consider sponsoring teachers at $80 per month and Pygmy pastors at $150 per month to help reach these beautiful little people.
Radio and Television Ministries
Our Plan is to use radio and television media in Kisangani and across DRC to rapidly spread the truth while we are able.
Blessings to date
We praise God for the partnership we have with Adventist World Radio. They have agreed to provide equipment for a radio studio here in Kisangani. At the end of 2010 we acquired a license and an FM frequency and Three Angels Radio was born! Our radio tower is now going up and we already have our transmitter. We expect to be on the air soon broadcasting the truth to Kisangani and a large surrounding area.
We are so thankful for Frank Ricks, who accepted a call to come here and run our radio station. He will soon be joined by Tanzanian Emanuel Henry who will come to handle the day to day operations. We have seen many miracles of God’s leading in the startup. The latest has been from the East Central Africa Division as they are assisting with a transmitter and helping to install the tower. Keith Christiansen from America helped us to wire and soundproof the studio. Almost everyone listens to radio here.
Soon, we will be producing programs in French, Lingala, and Swahili. There are numerous other Adventist stations in Congo, but none is producing any programming. Thus, our programming may be used over and over again.
The costs ($20,000) to get the license and get started has been high. We really need help to cover our $1,000 per month operating cost. The Lord will provide. Division personnel are pleading with us to also add television as soon as possible. The same tower would work and our studio is large enough for both. The other SDA television stations in DRC are simply rebroadcasting English programming even though almost no one can understand English. They desperately need French and Swahili programming and feel we are the perfect ones to provide it. We know that media is the fastest way to spread the message to the 60 million Congolese people.
Our plan is to bring the hope of the gospel together with last day truths to the people of DRC through the printed page. We want them to be able to have access to tracts and books in their own language. The surest way to stabilize the faith of our members and win new converts is through publications.
Blessings to date
By God’s grace, we have translated the 15 part Bible Studies “Search the Scriptures” into Lingala. Then, Light Bearers Ministry provided us with a 20 foot container filled with French, Swahili, and Lingala Bible studies. We are distributing these studies through church members, church planters and colporteurs.
We are now printing 3,000 copies of The Great Controvery in Congo Swahili and plan soon to print Steps to Christ into Lingala. We have other books in Swahili and French on hand. We are thankful to ASI for helping us with $20,000 this year to translate and print books for this region.
Due to huge distances, colporteurs will need bicycles to assist them in accessing the un-reached millions. Please pray for the publishing work as it is surely a sleeping giant. Consider helping with funds to revive this work and put truth into the hands of people.
Medical Missionary Work
Our plan is to use medical missionary work to not only treat the suffering people, but to open their hearts to the gospel. We hope to establish simple medical canoes that will carry a doctor to treat people in the villages. This will be particularly important in areas where we have established church planters. After we establish our new campus, we will establish a small clinic in the area. Some day, if the Lord opens the way, we would consider an airplane to facilitate emergency service in the jungle.
It is hard to understate the urgent need for medical treatment in the jungle. Malaria, sleeping sickness, and typhoid are common. One out to five children will die before age 5-generally from malaria. Drinking boiled water is unheard of and worms and dysentery are just normal life. There is almost NO treatment available out in the jungle. People just die. Each one that dies is another person that will not be reached with the gospel.
Blessings to date
We have acquired a forty foot canoe and an outboard motor to navigate the Congo River. We have investigated a similar medical missionary canoe operation from ADRA in Mbandaka (far down river from us) and understand what is needed to do the work. We also have established contacts in the capital city to acquire medicine for treatment.
All that remains to start our medical work is staff and funding. Due to language issues, we will begin with a Congolese doctor. We pray that the Lord will send funding to help us start saving lives. Please consider this need in your prayers.