Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas message

We are happily planning for our family being together at Christmas. Michelle and Jeff are here in the Denver area. Andrew has just flown back from Australia. Amber will be flying in from Seattle. Jeff’s parents are driving from Illinois and his brothers Dustin and Brian and sister in law Saka live here in Colorado.

In 1990 the Christmas pageant put on by the high schoolers on our mission station of Mulungwishi ended with the slaughter of the children of Bethlehem. It was a particularly poignant political statement since that year General Mobutu, the military dictator, had had killed over 300 university students in a neighboring city. This perspective, of suffering linked with Christmas, is the other side of the coin from niceties that we decorate our Christmases with here in the United States. Peaceful manger scenes, wise men following a star, shepherds and sheep adorn our houses, our churches and our thinking. Killing of children, wars and refugees are also part of the Christmas story.

The world today is a very dark place. Christmas will be celebrated this year in Congo where over 4 million people have lost their lives and continue because of power and greed over minerals that God has placed in the country. Christmas will be celebrated in refugee camps (just this past week another 60,000 were displaced because of fighting based on ethnic differences in the north eastern part of the country). Levels of insanity pervade our own country where shooting of innocent people seems to be a daily event. Sorrow over lost love ones on all sides of the conflicts of Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East and the list goes on and on.

Why celebrate Christmas when there is so much suffering? Because IT IS God’s ANSWER and REALITY to the darkness that we have created. God by sending JESUS IS bringing in LIGHT to the obscurity with which we cloak ourselves. He has come to save us from ourselves and from the atmosphere of self centered greed and hatred we have created. We celebrate because this is real HOPE! God loves us! God is with us! God wants to participate in every part of our lives as individuals! God wants to live out His life through us to the communities in which we live! God in Jesus is here to change us and the world we live in! Let us celebrate and join with the choir of angels, “ JOY TO THE WORLD, THE LORD HAS COME!”

Please continue to pray for the following:

  • Our travel and sharing in the churches
  • Our family
  • A new academic year at Mulungwishi
  • Six of our faculty members coming to General Conference
  • Preparation of work teams coming to join us
  • Peace and justice in Congo

We wish you all of the Lord’s blessings for this Christmas Season and for the coming year.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Satellite view of Mulungwishi buildings

Google Maps now has a great new feature -- a "Terrain" map option. Here's the link to a terrain map of the area from Lubumbashi to Mulungwishi (upper left area).

Also, David helped me locate the Mulungwishi campus on Google Maps while he and Lori were in town. So I have created a special Google map showing the various campus buildings that appear in the satellite view.

As Google obtains better resolution maps of the eastern part of the campus, other buildings will show. At least the current maps do show all the main buildings and even two red poinsettia bushes!

  • A satellite view without the building "icons". Here's a missions area idea -- print a nice 8"x10" photo of the campus area using the above map. Make sure it shows the main buildings. Then place it on a poster board and use colored yarn and map pins to link from a building or complex to a description on the poster board around the photo.

December prayers

The 2007 Mulungwishi Ministry calendar asks all to pray for the Persons family -- David & Lorene, Michelle & Jeff, Andrew, and Amber.

Pray for personal support as well as for David and Lori being our and the Lord's representatives to the Congolese Church.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Home for the holidays

We are on our way home to Denver. We are looking forward to the time with the children. Andrew is flying back from Australia and Amber is coming from Seattle. Michelle and Jeff live in the Denver area. Jeff's parents will be coming in from Illinois and his two brothers and sister in law live in Colorado. We are so looking forward to this family Christmas celebration.

We will be glad to get back into our own beds after three months on the road. We are so grateful to the churches and families in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas and New Mexico who provided hospitalllity and fellowship. We also want to thank you for the prayers for safe travel over some 9,000 miles.

God bless you all and we wish you a Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Serious electricity problem at Mulungwishi

We have a serious problem at Mulungwishi, with an urgent need for funds. There was a serious electrical spike along the rail line which provides electricity to the mission station. Several transformers along the line were damaged including that of Mulungwishi. We estimate that it will cost about $10,000 to repair.

The current situation is the following, the burned transformer was a 250KVA unit. The railroad is renting us 65 KVA off of their transformer for $700 a month. We are therefore working with rolling blackouts scheduled in order to continue to function. You can imagine the great inconvenience this posses to everyone and all the projects. There are some 800 people depending on this electricity.

We are particularly concerned for water provision because our pump runs by electricity, the dispensary and the university porgram (particularly the computer school). We are fortunate that this has taken place during this time of year because it is the rainy season and people can catch water off the roof for their needs

Please pray for the this situation and if the Lord moves you to help, gifts can be sent to the GBGM as an Advance Special to Katanga Methodist University #14431A and label it "Transformer".

Please also email us so that we can thank you.

Monday, November 26, 2007

David, Lori near mall shooting

Lori called at 1:12pm to say that they were OK and now in their mini-van, but that they'd both been near a shooting at a Douglasville, Georgia mall.

David had just passed a man that was shot and Lori was headed in that direction as they went to meet up after some shopping.

Atlanta TV web sites say that a security guard and a suspect have been shot and that this seems to be an attempted robbery of a Brinks security person unloading cash from an ATM machine.

After the shooting, police locked down the mall and people were not even allowed to return to their cars. When Lori called, they were in the mini-van but waiting to get out of the area and back onto Interstate 20.

Lori told another member of our church that when law enforcement people checked their vehicle for a possible second suspect, one remarked, "Well, if he's in there, he's mighty uncomfortable." You should see their mini-van -- it's packed "to the gills" when the travel around the U.S. on speaking tours, with bags and boxes from floor to ceiling in the back and the second row seats piled high too.

What with continuing Congo conflicts, you'd think that David and Lori deserve a break from violence. We praise God that they are both unharmed.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Speaking in Atlanta

Mululngwishi cross and Bible display

David and Lori were invited to speak at Avondale Pattillo UMC in Decatur, Georgia on Sunday, November 25th. A combined Sunday School listened with sad hearts to the DR Congo's history of violence and the resource pillaging by former dictators as well as international companies, and countries.

The assembled crowd found relief in the uplifting DVD about Mulungwishi's success in training and sending forth pastors and their wives. Many parts of the video brought wide smiles, and the enthusiasm of graduates of the Seminary and Women's School was infectious.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Radioactive ore dumped into nearby river

Radioactive copper and cobalt ore were illegally dumped into the Mura river near Likasi. Levels of radioactivity in the water registered nearly 50 times over legal limit. The government has warned people not to drink water from the Mura river due to the contamination.

Likasi is the city below Mulungwishi station.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Travelling is such fun!

Travel re-packing

As David and Lori travel around the U.S. telling the Mulungwishi story, they often need to reorganize the many bags and boxes that fill their mini-van to the very top.

In the photo here, some of the dozens of bags and boxes are laid out on a host's living room floor while David and Lori (hiding around the corner) decide what goes where. This was the evening prior to their trip to Chicago to see family for Thanksgiving.

"Oh ... don't take a picture," Lori said. "Do take a picture," a smiling David said in a low voice. You can see who won.

The Hands Cross

Mulungwishi Hands cross

Mulungwishi has an inspiring hand-carved cross that's heavy with symbolism -- the "Hands Cross".

The cross symbolizes the creative hands of God (at the top), through the redemptive hands of Christ (at the left and right parts of the cross) and the power of the Holy Spirit (the dove), to the hands of the world (extending down from the center).

David's late father, a former missionary at Mulungwishi, conceived of the cross and comissioned local wood carvers to create several. Those carvers have died and Mulungwishi needs to find others who can create these marvelous and unique crosses.

Click on the photo to see larger versions and see our Flickr photo albums for other Mulungwishi cross photos.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

November Prayer Focus

United Methodist Church at Mulungwishi

The 2007 Mulungwishi Ministry calendar asks us to pray for the Mulungwishi church life during November. Pray for the pastors. teachers, and lay leaders.

Also pray for the Mulungwishi District churches and schools being established in the villages around the mission station.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

October prayer focus

Agricultural workThe Mulungwishi Ministry 2007 calendar asks us to pray for the Development and Agriculture Program. Pray for Director MWenze, the staff, and local farmers. The Development and Agriculture Program helps educate local farmers in improving their farming skills.

Friday, October 05, 2007

More new old photos

Grads of Doris Bartlett Women's SchoolI have finally finished scanning in all the print photos I have received and uploading to the Mulungwishi Ministries' Flick Photo Blog. Next will be enhancement and uploading of Katanga Methodist University, Seminary, and surrounding area digital photos I have received from a Hoover. I have also added a photo to a few of the postings in August and September, so you may want to check them out also.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Stateside, remembering Mulungwishi

David & Lori

Forgive us for being out of touch for awhile. These last months have been full and hectic. Since May, we have had all the closing of school events, several bouts of malaria, four VIM teams and the everyday happenings! Eighteen students graduated this year and are now going to their designations. Some of you were able, through the blog, to see the video of graduation on line.

VIM teams

Our VIM teams were such a blessing to our Mulungwishi community.They helped paint, plumb, teach, work in the dispensary, and share their love of Christ in so many ways. One group helped a team of youth do a VBS for 450 kids! Each person seemed to have been sent at a particular time to help in a specific situation so we praise the Lord for their coming.

Stateside travels

Now we find ourselves back in the States, preparing to itinerate, to complete the second half of our furlough that we began last year. David starts in Michigan in September and then Lori will join him at the beginning of October. For the next months we will be in Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, West Texas and New Mexico and returning to Denver for Christmas. Our email remains the same:

Rough road for students

Our thoughts and prayers are with our Seminary graduates, who are now making their way to their appointments to begin their ministries. The conditions for their travelling are usually very difficult and hard on them physically. Journeys, that we would find very hard to take ourselves, so we are humbled by their perseverance. This past year, one of our students spent 50 days on the train traveling 600 miles to get to Mulungwishi!!! It was continually breaking down and they were always waiting for parts and repairs, sometimes out in a bush area, with no way to pick up extra food or supplies. The same is true of vehicles and trucks.

Maintenance is hard to do when you are out in the bush. Can you imagine loading your family on an already overloaded truck, precariously sitting on the top, bumping along a bush "road"!! Forget air conditioning, cruise control or road services!!! If there is a flat tire or breakdown, you camp at the side of the road until repairs can be made, sometimes for weeks!! Sadly, there have been times when our students have lost children during these trips because of no medical care available. It is with tremendous sacrifice that these servants of the Lord, go to the place they are to serve. We ask that you consider their names now and lift them up to the Lord as they travel. These are the students and their wives:

  • Rev. Lobilo and Mama Lenge -- 415 miles by train, truck and bicycle
  • Rev. Mashilongo and Mama Kalenga -- 425 miles by train
  • Rev. Kaloa and Mama Ilunga -- 405 miles by train
  • Rev. Numbi and Mama Banza -- 300 miles by train, flat boat, bicycle and canoe, depending on the state of the river.
  • Rev. Ngoy and Mama Ngoy -- 565 miles by train, truck and bicycle
  • Rev. Kabange and mama Ilunga -- miles by train, some type of boat, and bicycle
  • Rev. Maik -- 575 miles by train, and truck
  • Rev. Kazadi and Mama Mwayumba -- 375 miles by truck and boat

Others have journeys that are closer but still complicated with our transportation situations.

Please pray for ...

  • Our students
  • The D. R. Congo, the new government and again fighting has broken out in the Northeast involving Ruanda,who have basically never left and want land and minerals
  • Our family and for our travels and speaking
  • So many innocent people around the globe who are suffering and dying because of war and horrible conditions, to give leaders around our world wisdom to enact peaceful decisions for the welfare of people instead of their greed for wealth and power.
Please log on to BBC News for Congo updates and happenings. It will help you understand more of the situation.

Thank you again for your love and support.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

New old photos

Note card from D.R. CongoI've finally found time to scan in, adjust, and upload photos from Mulungwishi that I received a few months ago. If I learn more details about any of the photos, I'll add that information. I'll also be working on photos I have received by CD from a member of the Hoover family.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

September Prayer focus

Kids get breakfastDuring September, pray for the Nutrition Program -- the staff and children. The Nutrition Program provides food for preschool children on the station as well as malnourished children in the surrounding community. This effort regularly touches the lives of about 200 children.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

August prayer focus

Pray for the clinic head nurses, Jean and Alfred, staff, and patients. The clinic at Mulungwishi serves 20,000 people within a 25-mile radius. Medical care includes a full maternity program, health education, satellite clinics, and a vaccination outreach program

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

KMU Graduation 2007

Masters Degree graduatesFlavier Kongolo notified us that he has placed several videos of the 2007 graduation at Katanga Methodist University on YouTube. Each video is about eight minutes long. The French language is no barrier to enjoying the videos. You'll also glimpse our missionaries in the videos. In fact, one covers the graduates from the Women's School. The first movie starts with a video montage and has background music. While enlarging the video to full-screen makes it a bit blurrier, you get a "being there" feeling if you do. And you don't have all the other distractions of a YouTube web page. Our thanks go to Flavier for his work in getting these videos on the web.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Prayer focus for July

The Mulungwishi Ministry calendar for 2007 asks us to pray for the Masters of Leadership program — visiting professors, church and secular leaders. This program provides adult learning by extension, bringing needed skills to church and secular leaders in the region.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Teaching in Zambia

The last couple of weeks of May and the first week of June found us in Zambia. After David had finished his courses and directing the master’s thesis of one of the students, we were free to go to Zambia to teach at the Kafakumba Pastor’s School. This is a school for village pastors who come for training 6 weeks a year. It is comparable with our Conference Course of Study. The training is over an 8 year period. Some 120 students from the Methodist Church in Tanzania, Senegal, Congo and Zambia were present. This is now the second year that we have come to teach. David taught classes on Contextualization, Leadership and the Holy Spirit. Lori taught the wives Nutrition and led the morning Bible study. She also had a session with all the pastors on Nutrition. It was a wonderful time of fellowship with John and Kendra Enright, who are the moving force behind the Training School. John’s parents were contemporary missionaries with our parents and we grew up together. Kafakumba is also involved in banana and aloe vera plantations as a means of supporting the school and other programs. We have started to partner with them in order to make the Seminary at Mulungwishi more self supporting. While in Zambia, we also had our health issues. David, with quite a number of others, came down with a stomach flew for a few days. Lori had a bout of malaria that delayed our return by a few days. We returned to Congo on Sunday going through the border at Kasumbalesa. More about our border crossing in the next posting. Now back in Congo, David has a mild case of malaria. Please continue to pray for our health and the next few weeks as the academic year comes to a close.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

June prayer focus

During June, please pray for Katanga Methodist University, president Kasap, faculty, and students. The University was formed in 2002 with the addition of Schools of Information Technology and Education to the existing Seminary. The University provides an opportunity to train young people in a Christian setting while helping them get the skills they need to become leaders in the new Democratic Republic of Congo.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sadness and joy

Children’s deaths hurts, angers It's Sunday, the 7th of May, and we are standing by a simple dirt grave of a child, in a clearing of bush, close to the village of Mununu. People are singing hymns in Kisanga and the relatives and friends are crying. A small wood cross will mark this spot until it is worn away by weather or ants. There are mounds of dirt graves all around, marked recently, showing how fragile life is here. When it is over, we will go back to the family dwelling and the women will sit, inside on the dirt floor, with the mother and the men outside. There will be exhortations, prayers and songs to encourage the bereaved. People will spend the night, for three nights with the family. It is the second time in a week we have buried a child in this graveyard!! This one, a girl baby, of one and a half and last week one of our "adopted" grandchildren, a boy of seven! Rodrigo died of complications of typhoid that no one seemed to have followed through on. We have watched him grow since a baby and he has been going to school. Mujinga, the baby, died from complications of meningitis. Both mothers are graduates of our Women's School and live and work in the village. We have also lost three kids from the Nutrition program in the past two weeks. It all hurts and you feel anger and hopelessness ....the five year old, Louise, hit me the most, of our nutrition kids. We have been trying to keep her going, and turn her around, for four weeks at our dispensary. It was just too late!! She was literally just skin and bones with huge sores on her back because of the malnutrition and skin breaking down. Her face was almost hollowed out as the skin stretched over the bones. She mostly slept but every once and awhile she would rally and half way sit up and want to eat. Her parents had had her far away, in their gardens, and even though she seemed half dead, they felt they needed to stay. Finally, her grandparents came and brought her to the hospital. We trust that Jesus is holding these children near to Him and they are feeding on heavenly food!! So, these weeks, have as usual, come with "the ups and the downs", cycles of life that seem to pass too soon for these and other children. We just ask the Lord to help us be faithful in what we can do and how to help and we ask for your prayers also. “Ups” include teaching, nature in bloom Some of our "ups" have included just being back and getting into the swing of things and teaching our classes. Of course, the Seminary graduates are hard at work with papers and thesis and the women preparing their remaining projects. We are at the end of the rainy season so flowers are still in bloom and everything is green. We especially are enjoying the white poinsettia plants which look like bridal veils. New Mexico team adds running water We have also had two VIM work Teams. A crew from New Mexico-West Texas Conference, some pastors, a doctor, a lawyer and mix of medical roles and were here two weeks. We were encouraged by their fellowship and work as they went about finding what they could do and help with. As usual Congo had a "hiccough" and we could not find any paint for the designated projects so back to another plan!! For us, it came as a surprise that they were gifted in many different areas and one was plumbing. We now, with our running water, have a new toilet that actually flushes!!! Maybe not a big item in your lives, but for us another first!!! They were able to minister in our early morning prayer group and share with the graduates of the Seminary, for this year. WA Pacific team of women sews and quilts Our next Team was here just a short time...3 days ...but they were nine women who came with many creative and sewing gifts. They came from WA Pacific conference. We spent a complete day having them work with women on quilts and pastor's stoles....these kinds of things do not need much translation but smiles and laughs as we work together. In a short time there was already a bond built and more so because they shared about being mothers and grandmothers together. Prayers Please, keep the ministry here in your prayers and especially those graduating as they come to the end of their studies. Pray for their growth in the Lord and Spiritual life. We are in the process of also working on the new Internet service. Pray for this. ---Remember we are still not hooked up and your email messages are being ferried by Jeff, back and forth from Lubumbashi when he comes to teach. So keep calm if we do not respond to your email in a hurry! Continue to pray for the country and the new government and for Bishop and his council as they prepare for five annual conferences. Those needing pictures please check our Flickr photo blog and the Mulungwishi ministry website. We have no way of sending things at this time. Those working on supplies for the Women's School and baby clothes please email Terri Hobbs at or call her at 360-675-0102 or 360-320-1323. Thank you so much for your efforts and remember to pray for the women and babies and the container. Thank you again and keep praying.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

May prayer concerns

The 2007 Mulungwishi Ministry Calendar asks for prayers for the Women's School, Mama Lorene, Mama Kat, the teachers, staff, and students. The women's school provides education and training for the wives of seminary students and others from the surrounding area. It prepares them to be women of God.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

April prayers for Mulungwishi

The 2007 Mulungwishi Ministry calendar asks us to pray during April for the Methodist Seminary professors and students. The Seminary was created in 1951 and is the first seminary at University level for the United Methodist Church in French-speaking Africa. As the years have progressed, an increasing number of faculty are Congolese. Since 1976 women have also entered the ministry.

News roundup

Recent news about D.R. Congo and Africa:

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Now - Email subscriptions

You can now get the news from the Congo Missions - Mulungwishi blog three ways:

  • Read this blog on the Web.
  • Subscribe using a feed reader, FireFox, or Internet Explorer 7 (which include readers).
  • Subscribe to get emails of each new posting.

To subscribe to get emails -- the newest way to read the blog -- look for the "Email Subscription" section in the right column of the blog web page.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Lori sick, Internet access down

We have been back at Mulungwishi a little over a week. David is in Lubumbashi to pick up a work team coming in from New Mexico. Lori stayed in Mulungwishi, as the last few days she has been down with a case of malaria and has not been feeling well. Be praying for her. The Internet is still down at Mulungwishi so we ask your patience since we will not be able to answer you as quickly as we would like. Since David is in Lubumbashi for the next 48 hours, we are able to post this, but he will headed back to Mulungwishi tomorrow. Andrew has just left for Australia. He will be there for 7-8 months. He will be trying to see if he can get a job with the movie industry there. Be praying for him. We are settling in. There is a lot of unpacking to do. We are in full swing with our courses. It feels good to be back with the students. As a last reminder, since the Internet access to Mulungwishi is currently down, we'll be out of contact for about a week.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Back in Congo ...

We are back in Congo after very good trip. We left Denver on the 15th on British Air. The "check in" people were fantastic helping us save 30% on our extra baggage!! After a 7 hour lay over in London the flight to Lusaka was also good. One piece of luggage did not make it and by the time we had filled out all the paper work for the lost luggage, the customs people had left and we just walked through without any hassles. Kabinga, a Zambian colleague working with our friends, the Enrights, met us with the van to drive us to Ndola. Before leaving Lusaka, Lori was able to buy much needed sewing materials for the women’s school. We spent several days on the Copperbelt of Zambia making purchases and our lost bag caught up with us. Our pickup was there waiting for us and on Sunday, we crossed the border. There were hundreds of trucks lined up on the road on the Zambian side (approx 200+) at the border waiting to cross but due to some new regulations in Congo there were many more stuck then usual. It is hard to describe the border and how trucks are parked every which way in the ‘no man’s land’ in between the two posts. These are the trucks that have past one border but waiting for the other to let them through!! There is never a straight line and you ‘zig and zag’ through and actually have to have trucks move to make a way!!! We were able to drive right through the middle of them. It was like Moses parting the Red Sea!! Jean Pierre, our protocol helper was waiting for us and helped us through the border in 20 minutes!! Yea!! You know how much we dislike border crossings!!! We praise the Lord!! We thank you for your many prayers for the travel and all the ‘fun stuff’!! :) In Lubumbashi, we are continually greeted by smiling joyful faces. Friends and church acquaintances are happy to see us back. It is also nice to have warm Congo weather and not more snow as Denver is receiving today!!! :( Last evening while checking our e-mails, we were overwhelmed by the news coming out of Oklahoma. During our itineration in the fall we shared with three churches in the Oklahoma Annual Conference (Ardmore First UMC, Stillwater UMC and Tulsa First UMC) of our need for a new Internet satellite connection at Mulungwishi. The server that we had was from Kinshasa (the capital of Congo, over 1,000 miles away). It has never worked the way the way it was promised and with the distance they have been reluctant to come the 1,000 miles to take care of problems. They have been very negligent for the price that was paid!! :( Five months ago they changed satellites and our antenna was pointed in the wrong direction. The result has been that Mulungwishi has been without Internet connection all these months. Just two weeks ago a technician was sent to make the adjustment. Nothing like a local house call!!! He was never able to make the connection and finally gave up saying that there was nothing he could do and our contract was through. We have been in contact with a couple of other providers here in Lubumbashi and they are ready to come in and provide us with what we need. Lubumbashi is the large city 100 miles south of our station. The problem was the expense of a new system. It has been very difficult for the IT program and for the rest of the University to not have the system running. It is doubly compounded by the fact that that we have taken 52 new students into the computer school this year. Last night when we opened our e-mails, the news from Oklahoma that these three churches (particularly Stillwater) had raised over $18,500 for the new system. Praise the Lord! J What great news we have to bring back to Mulungwishi that the new system will be paid for. What a miraculous and generous God we serve and what a privilege it is to be tied in with God’s people who are so compassionate and giving. We are humbled and just plain spoiled to be a part of this wonderful adventure. Some of you have probably read about fighting in Kinshasa this past week. This was from part of the party of Jean Claude Bemba, the man Kabila defeated for the Presidency. There is still strong feeling in that area that Bemba did not win. We have not had a complete picture of what happened but many people were killed….many innocent by stray bullets. So please keep praying as this country tries to pull together and solve the massive problems of the war and heal the hurt. Continue to pray for us as we travel up to Mulungwishi next week and get back into the swing of the academic year. We are stuck a couple of days here working with finances and supplies ….as always things run slow!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Persons' March news

Dear Friends - Partners with us in Christ, We are preparing to return to Congo. Our Toyota van has seen us through 26 States and some 18,000 miles! We have been encouraged and refreshed during our visits to many of you. Thank you for your welcome and support! Thanksgiving found us with David's brother, John, and his wife Dagmar and their family in Chicago. Christmas was a special time with all our family together and plenty of snow in Denver. Amber was able to fly and be with us again in mid-February. Some of you have asked us "Why are you going back and why do you do this?" We feel that it is a call from the Lord. David remembers during his freshman year of college, feeling the call of God to be in the Lord's service and a call to help bring and make people complete in Christ. He did not know what that meant or how it would work itself out. Lorene also felt a call as she nursed in California, while David was in Viet Nam. When David finished his first Seminary degree, we applied to the GBGM to go to Congo but were refused. We went into the pastorate in Colorado. During that time the Lord worked in our hearts to be willing to go anywhere He lead. Then very early one morning, we received a call, from someone speaking to us in Swahili. It was Bishop Ngoy Wakadillo, of Congo. He wanted to know why we were not in Congo and asked us to come back to Africa to be involved with the growing Church there. God had opened the door for that call some 14 years after we had received it and He is faithful! Congo has gone through many changes since our parents first went in the 1930-40s. Politically and economically it has been a roller-coaster! In our close to 30 years at Mulungwishi we have seen the Church grow and struggle with the country around them. We have celebrated the increased Congolese leadership. We have gone through many different job responsibilities under the Congolese leadership. Our call remains the same, to present each person complete in Christ. The other day, we saw the TV Special on Oprah Winfrey's Dream to build a school for girls in South Africa. We are glad that through her, Bono and others there is now more publicity and an accent is being put on the needs of African children and their future. We also applaud her generosity in making it happen in order to touch the lives of some very needy children. In no way do we want to negate her act of love and compassion but in this letter our purpose is to give credit and applaud so many of you! Similar dreams have been lived out through the United Methodist Church and through you, with very little fanfare, for over 70 years all over Congo! At Mulungwishi gifts from you, over all these years have created schools from Kindergarten, Elementary, High School, a Women's School and now A University! all of these areas touching the lives of hundreds of children and now these schools are directed by the Congolese. We think of Thelma (and the countless others) a widow in a church we served in Colorado, living on a fixed income, giving all she could give to missions. She never had the chance to hug the children she helped support. She will get that chance in eternity! The Lord will also be there celebrating all the hugs! By the Lord's faithfulness you have been faithful! Please continue to support our dream through the scholarship program of the Seminary and the University. We are humbled and thankful to be in partnership with YOU. Several of YOU have been a part of this relationship dating back to our parents. The reality is that YOU are making it possible for us to walk out the call that God has put on our lives and that of our Congolese colleagues. So that is the reason why we return to Congo! Thank you for being faithful and we can Praise the Lord together for who He is and His Faithfulness! Prayer Requests

  • The Church and the ministry in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • The new President, Joseph Kabila and government
  • Specifically the work at Mulungwishi
  • Our family
  • Our preparation and travel
As we continue through this New Year, we ask the Lord to make us all strong and faithful to follow His call. In His Love, David and Lori
IMPORTANT NOTICE! We have changed our way of communicating through email. We will always answer direct e-mails from you. Our satellite system at Mulungwishi has problems now, but we hope to work that out. Until then, we will connect through the Hoovers and Lubumbashi so there maybe a lapse in time. During the last five years of trying to send out a list of over 1300 emails, it became impossible to keep up with the changes! Now, we ask that you visit (or subscribe to) this blog to keep up with us and the ministry in Congo. Through this blog and the web site you will find updates, information, pictures and news articles. You can also order Mulungwishi calendars and cards that contribute to the Seminary.

Headed back to Congo

We leave tomorrow to return to Congo. Be in prayer for us for the next week. We fly first to London where we will have about a seven hour lay over. We then fly on to Lusaka. A vehicle will be waiting for us there to drive us up to the Copperbelt, about a 5 hour trip. Shopping for a couple of days in Zambia wil help us get the supplies we need before driving across the border to Congo. We have so enjoyed seeing so many of you during these last six months. We will be returning at the end of August to continue on with another 6 months of itineration. We are looking forward to seeing those of you we missed at that time. Be praying for us as we travel and settle in to life at Mulungwishi. Love, David & Lori

Thursday, March 01, 2007

News roundup

March prayer focus

During this March, pray for the High School at Mulungwishi. Pray for the principal, faculty, and students. This High School educates 600 students from the region. Program specialties are Education, Math, Physics, and Agriculture. [From the 2007 Mulungwishi calendar. Do you have your copy yet? The beautiful photos are good forever. Request your calendar today!]

Thursday, February 22, 2007

February newsletter

We have just completed our itineration in the California – Pacific Annual Conference. We also made a visit to Church of the Wayfarer, a new church, in Carmel. It was nice to have a break from snow in Denver but some of the cold weather followed us as California had freezing temperatures also destroying many crops!!! We were able to sneak a day at Disney Land and Sea World! We had a quick time in Hawaii speaking and also enjoying the ocean. They had some serious wind while we were there, so we felt that the bad weather followed us everywhere!! Throughout our itineration we have been blessed to see so much of our beautiful country. We have also been touched by the beauty of the lives of so many wonderful people in the churches we visited. Indeed we are very spoiled as God’s children. Congo continues to struggle as they come out of this war period and try to get back on tract. President Kabila is trying to forge the way. Please keep him in prayers and those voted in for the new government. The University and Seminary continue classes. It has been a hard time after the death of Dr. Munene. Dr. Kongolo has now become the Dean of Academics as well as the Seminary and others are taking on more hats to keep the ship afloat. Please pray for them and the all the students. Our packing begins and getting correspondence completed. We had the joy of being a complete family as Amber came for a couple of days. She continues at Children’s Hospital in Seattle. Andrew is looking at going to work in Australia. Jeff and Michelle remain in Denver.


  • The Congo and President Kabila
  • Mulungwishi and the ministry there
  • Our Family and the preparation and travel ahead

Again we want to express how much your prayers and support means to us. Thank you so much and we ask the Lord’s blessing on your ministries.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

February prayer focus

Pray for the Elementary Schoool - Principal Phillip Mwembo, the faculty, and children. The Elementary School serves some 450 children from Mulungwishi station and the surrounding villages. For many children, especially girls, this provides the only formal education they will ever get.

Monday, January 29, 2007

How you can help

You can be a part of the UMC's missions to the DR Congo (Haute-Katanga Province and Mulungwishi) by:

  • Donate to an Advance special:
    • Mulungwishi Theological Seminary Scholarships, #05773A
    • Mulungwishi Women's School, #08112A
    • Katanga Methodist University Professors' Salaries, #14432A
    • Katanga Methodist University Program, #14433A
  • Send a donation for the Mulungwishi Ministry 2007 calendar.
  • Pray. See the Mulungwishi Ministry 2007 calendar for suggested prayers each month.
  • Volunteer your time (Volunteers in Mission, church group mission trips to Mulungwishi, help get the word out at your church, etc.)

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Cell phones drip with blood

The Democratic Republic of Congo is rich in the combination of minerals columbite and tantalite (Coltan for short), which are used in cell phone batteries. African journalist, Kofi Akosah-Sarpong has said, "Coltan in general terms is not helping the local people. In fact, it is the curse of the Congo." In addition to the chemicals being suspected of causing birth defects in families of Coltan mine workers, the mining has cause forest destruction. "Cell phones are tainted with the blood of 3.2 million deaths since 1998", reports an article by the World Rainforest Movement. [Thanks to Barbara Powers for passing this information to us.]

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

January: On the road again

We now find ourselves in California beginning our itineration in the Cal-Pac Annual Conference. It is hard to believe that our time here in the States is flying by so quickly. We arrived back in the States on August 26th after spending two weeks in Switzerland. Two churches had invited us to speak and we have so many friends in Switzerland who have been our colleagues in the work in Congo. It was a wonderful time of sharing. We were joined on the trip by Dan and Nancy Massimer of Canon City, CO. We have been long time friends and their church supports the work in Congo. September 6th saw us begin our itineration in the central and eastern parts of the United States. Our trusty blue Toyota van saw us safely through close to 12,000 miles in which we visited churches in Kansas, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma. All told, we made 104 presentations in 60 churches. Side trips included family visits in Kansas, Connecticut and Texas. We made a quick visit to be with Lynette (many of you know her through our e-mail connection) in the Washington DC area. We were in Atlanta for part of our medicals. Thanksgiving was held in Chicago with my Brother John, his wife, Dagmar, and other members of the family. It was our first Thanksgiving together without any of the parents present. It meant so much to be able to be together to enforce the family bonds we have. Christmas was held in Denver. Amber flew in from Seattle. Jeff’s parents came from Illinois and his brothers live her in Colorado. Michelle and Jeff have moved into their new town home in the Denver area. Andrew is still in our town home. It was good to have both families together to get to know each other better and to enjoy the season. We need to say that Christmas in Colorado this year was definitely white and we were snowed in twice. Because of responsibilities in Congo we are cutting our year of itineration in half. We are doing six months now and will be doing the next when we return this fall. Our plans are to return to Congo at the beginning of March. We covet your prayers for us as we continue to travel and share what God is doing at Mulungwishi.