Monday, June 23, 2008

New Mulungwishi challenges

David and Lori report that God really blessed their flight from Denver and it was great all the way to Africa. The road trip from the airport to Mulungwishi went very well until the last 25 miles and then the road was so destroyed it took two and a half hours to navigate that stretch.

Since then they have had several challenges:

  • Transformer explosion. While they were in the states, the transformer exploded so they have no electricity and because the water pump runs on electricity, they have no water. David was in Lubumbashi trying to buy a generator as we spoke. This has also caused a critical situation with their frozen food.
  • Email down. They have no access to email at Mulungwishi (presumably until the transformer problem is fixed).
  • Cooking challenges. A work team of 19 from Hobbs, NM has just arrived at the station. Lori is trying to cook meals for all of them over an outdoor charcoal fire and for that many people it is a challenge. The team arrived fine, but they did not get their luggage and who knows when it will arrive or even where the luggage is.
  • Graduation. This coming Sunday is a combination graduation including students from the seminary, the University, and the IT Program. There will be at least 150 dignitaries coming in for this ceremony. Again, Lori will be cooking over charcoal (she says please pray hard). This is also the use for most of the frozen food mentioned above, they are praying they can keep it.

There are numerous other challenges in the area but these are the pressing ones right now. They asked us to forward these to you and ask for lots of prayers. We all know God is so much bigger than all of this and He will provide. It’s just a little overwhelming right now.

Friday, June 20, 2008

New Photos

The Persons

We just uploaded over a dozen photos to our Flickr photo site.

This photo of the Persons family, Christmas 2007, is one of them.

An easy way to keep up with new photosis to "subscribe" to the umccongo "photostream" at Flickr. Only the photos you have not yet "read" (seen) will appear.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

People from 63 countries visit blog

People from all over the word visited the Congo Missions - Mulungwishi blog over 3,000 times from June 2007 to June 2008. They surfed from the 63 countries below, representing 6 continents. Click on the map above to see a larger, clearer image.

  • Afghanistan
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Cameroon
  • Canada (7 Provinces)
  • Central African Republic
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Gambia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong (China)
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Ivory Coast (Cote D' Ivoire)
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • Malawi
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Republic of Congo
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Scotland
  • Slovakia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan (China)
  • Tanzania
  • Togo
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America (49 states)
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Thursday, June 12, 2008

ClustrMap now zooms

The ClustrMap in the "Blog visitors come from..." section at the right now lets you zoom in for a closer look of the locations of our visitors.

After you click on the map on this page, click on any area of the world you want to zoom in to.

Our hearts are warmed that visitors from nearly every continent (come on, Antarctica) find something of interest in our blog of mission efforts at Mulungwishi.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Request for prayers

We request your prayers as we travel back to Congo. We leave Tuesday the 10th and arrive in Lusaka, Zambia on the 12th. We will then be going by car to Ndola. Probably, on Sunday the 15th, we will drive across the border into Congo.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Ideas for using our photos

Children are so important!

Our Mulungwishi photo albums continue to grow from the many fine photos taken by visiting volunteers as well as people at Mulungwishi.

Here are some ideas on how to make good use of these in your local mission efforts for Mulungwishi.

Choose. You can choose to download different groups of photos, such as:

  • Single photos -- your favorites
  • The latest photos posted online
  • Photos in an album (set)

Display. No matter what you download, here are a few of many ways you can display them:

  • Print a small collection for a poster board or bulletin board display at your church.
  • Save the images to a memory card (CFC, SD, or whatever), then insert the card into an electronic photo frame and have a rotating slide show of the photos.
  • Save the images to a computer and project a slideshow onto a screen.

Theme. You can display photos for several different purposes, such as:

  • Photos tied to the Prayer Focus of the month (from the current Mulungwishi ministry calendar -- also get from this blog).
  • Photos about a specific area of the Mulungwishi ministry -- the Nutrition Program, for example.
  • Close-up building photos linked by string to its location on a large photo of the Mulungwishi campus.
  • A "Year in Review" type presentation.
  • A special theme at your church, for which the photo just happens to fit.

Do you have other ways to use these photos? Add a comment and let everyone know what has worked for you or your church.

Friday, June 06, 2008

June Prayers: Katanga Methodist University

Rev. Dr. Kongolo, Administrative Dean and Rev. Dr. Kasap, University President

During May, the 2008 Muungwishi Ministries calendar asks us to pray for Katanga Methodist University. Pray for President Dr. Kasap, the faculty, staff, and students.

The University was founded in 2002, with Schools of Information Technology and Education as well as the Methodist Seminary. KMU prepares its students in a Christian setting, helping them today to garner the skills they'll need to be Congo's leaders of tomorrow.

Returning to Congo!

David and Lori

Greetings! As always time and miles have flown by. We apologize for being so long in writing – it seems that these trips wore us out more than usual! For the six months period we did more that 20,000 miles in the car. Again it was good to renew old acquaintances and meet new friends and see our beautiful country. We have been held up in Colorado due to Lori having medical tests and David translating for General Conference.

As we watch our students graduate each year, you feel like a parent watching our children leave the home. Because of Congo’s great distances, it is hard to meet up with many of our students again. We try through word of mouth and letters to touch base with them. While we have been here in the States we have been contacting our staff at Mulungwishi to keep up with our students. We thought it would be neat to share with you some of their testimonies because you are invested in the lives of those receiving training at Mulungwishi.

IT grad Danny excels, spreads gospel

While at General Conference, David visited with Danny Kapend. What a wonderful story! Danny’s father was a Methodist pastor and District Superintendent in Congo in our southern area. He died a number of years ago of kidney failure. Five years ago a scholarship was given to Danny to attend the new Information Technology School at Mulungwishi. He was part of our first graduating class in the School of IT of the Katanga Methodist University. We were very pleased with his academic work. Then, Bishop Katembo worked it out for him to come to Lon Morris College, a Methodist related Junior College in Texas.

After a year, Danny transferred to McMurry University (again a Methodist related University) in Abilene, Texas. He is finishing his junior year in Computer Science. An internal competition was held in the computer department and Danny won. He is considered one of their best students. All of this speaks well for the education he received at Mulungwishi.

What excites us even more is how he is sharing the life of the Lord Jesus where ever he goes. Strangely enough, refugees from Congo, Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi are being resettled in Abilene. With the help of Rev. Derrell Patterson, the Senior Pastor of Aldergate UMC, who has been to Congo on several occasions, Danny has started a Swahili Sunday School class for the refugees. It just shows how incredible God is in bringing us together around the world.

The ravages of war

The northern part of our Katanga Province has been particularly devastated by the war. Villages in this area have suffered from all sides. They have been burned out and pillaged by the government troops because they have been suspected to have collaborated with the rebels. On the other side, when the rebels come, they think that the people have collaborated with the government and then destroy what is left of the village. A group known as the Mai Mai was formed as a sort of local militia in order to protect the villagers. They in turn became violent and involved with witchcraft to the extent that they became more deadly than the other two. It is into this sort situation that a number of our students have gone to minister.

Woman pastor hunted; God protects

Umba Ndolo Kebele, one of our women graduates, was sent with her children to Kibamba in the Kinkonja District. Her husband, a Catholic professor, remained in Kamina where he was teaching. The Mai Mai came to her village specifically to find her and kill her. God was gracious in protecting her. She hid in a back room of the house with her children and they were not able to find her. As they were looking for her, she was able to slip out of the house with the children and climb a tree where they spent the night. Unable to find her, the Mai Mai left pillaging the village. Umba was rescued the next day and rejoined her husband in Kamina where she is now the pastor of the Umpafu congregation.

Pastor and wife a light in the darkness

Pastor Makobo Young and Beatrice were sent to Kamungu, in the Kabongo District. This area had been particularly had hit by all sides. At the beginning of their ministry, most of the parishioners were hiding and living in the bush, afraid to be in the village. As the war subsided, they began to return. A number of past choir members had joined the Mai Mai and been involved in the atrocities. Slowly God’s spirit showed them the error of their life style. They repented and once again have become a part of God’s people. Makobo and Beatrice have been a light in the darkness helping to heal the wounds of many who have suffered in this war. What a loving God we serve, who brings His Love, His Mercy, and His Reconciliation to whoever seeks Him! How wonderful to have pastors willing to go into the hardest areas to bring God’s Love!!! Now, there are songs of forgiveness, thanksgiving and praise coming from this His family.

Praise the Lord with us, for His faithfulness. How wonderful to see Him use these young men and women in sharing His Kingdom! Thank you for your part and sharing in their lives. You have never met them but you have faithfully given and prayed through the years. Rejoice and give thanks to the Lord.

Request for prayers

As we pack to return to Congo, we want to share these prayer requests:

  • For travel and grace for the trip back to Mulungwishi
  • For the graduating classes this year and the running of the University
  • For the country of Congo: the healing, the restitution and the reconstruction
  • For our family: Michelle and Jeff in Lakewood and Andrew and Amber in Seattle