Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Finishing up in Devner

We are back in Denver busily doing last minute purchases and packing to return to Congo. We covet your prayers for us as we leave on May 1st. We have been delayed while David has had treatment for squamous cell cancer on his arm.

Jan., Feb. Southwestern U.S. visits

In January, February and part of March we have been visiting supporting churches in Northwest Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. We are so grateful for all of you and your continued interest, love and partnership in the work in Congo. In February, we made a quick side trip the Huntsville, AL to be a part of their first missionary conference. It was a wonderful experience to see the many different ministries that are reaching people for Christ and experience a Church Family wanting more and complete commitment to spreading the Lord’s kingdom around the world.

Growth lacks enough shepherds

During all our travels and time in the States, our minds and hearts are always connected to Congo and the ministry there. As we have always shared, the Church is growing fast and just our Methodist congregations alone in our province number over 600,000 members! Praise the Lord! But this growth represents many without a shepherd, without a teacher to help then grow in their faith and to really understand the kingdom life in their lives. All our years at Mulungwishi, has been focused on this. This is where the Seminary at Mulungwishi has and is having an impact. Our hearts cry is to be able to continue training men and women to be that Light. The Lord is leading and calling His own to labor with Him.

Chief curtails local witch doctors

Joseph Mutombo was one of our Seminary graduates this year, and his is a powerful story of God working in the life of a person and calling him into the ministry. A number of years ago, Joseph felt God’s hand on his life and that God wanted him to be a pastor. He took the entrance exam for the Seminary and was admitted as a student for the next year. However, in his home village and territory there had been much disturbance, witchcraft, and no chief. The people in the village asked Joseph if he would become their chief to bring peace to the area. Joseph accepted the responsibility to help his people and passed on his place to an alternate candidate for the ministry.

Joseph was installed as the chief for his village and the area. An invested chief has a great deal of power because he represents the ancestors. This power extends not only in the political arena but also in the realm of the spirits. Within this position, Joseph was able to curtail the activities of the witch doctors and their evil practices. The Lord blessed and helped him and as a result, a long period of peace reigned in the area.

However, Joseph was dissatisfied with this position as a chief and continually felt that God was calling him to be a pastor. He continued to pray and ask God to make it possible. Jealousy around Joseph’s success began to spring up and several began to accuse him falsely to the paramount chief. After a time, the paramount chief decided that Joseph should be relieved as chief and his position given to another. Instead of feeling betrayed, Joseph rejoiced that he was now free to pursue the original call God had put on his life.

Once Chief now Pastor

A year later, Joseph and his family came to Mulungwishi to begin his seminary training. Again, his leadership qualities became apparent and he was made class president every year of his seminary time. His wife attended the women’s school and his children attended the elementary and high school on the mission station. Joseph and his wife graduated in July and have been given a church by the Bishop. We are thankful for Joseph’s steadfastness in his calling and his obedience! Praise the Lord! Be PRAYING for them as they have now started the work that the Lord has called them to do. Again and again we see the Lord raising up leadership for His people! We praise Him!! We are thankful for these special pastors who in a land of violence and instability are shinning a Light!

This can only happen with your continued support for the Seminary. It is still difficult to have the funds necessary come from the local national church. The Seminary celebrated 60 years in 2011! Think about this! To us it represented an ongoing miracle, an ongoing revelation of the lord’s faithfulness! We Praise Him! It represented the lives of Bishop Springer and those who followed his vision and gave their lives to serve! You have been part of this miracle and we ask you to have faith to continue.

Mulungwishi serves more than seminarians

Mulungwishi is not only a center for pastoral training but also a place where young people can come to study at the other schools of the University. Over 400 students are now in the school of Information Technology and 100 in Education. This last year the school of Agriculture began. All of this means that Mulungwishi is a key center to influence the future of Congo through these young people. Your continued support and prayers for this ministry is so vital.

Sense of urgency fills the air

We feel a sense of urgency that we have not felt before about Congo. The mining going on in Congo is like a global attack and it is and will reap untold disastrous consequences for the people and land! People think this a way to become rich or benefit quickly but that is only for a few! With China at the fore front, the mining has brought a false sense of hope. There is no planning for the future or protection for the people. We see companies around the world benefiting from the harvest of Congo’s riches but not much coming back to the people themselves! It is also a real prayer concern for the Church has they face these issues for their future! It is also important for us as consumers to know where our products are coming from! It is important that things are legal and conflict free.

We are praying...

As we prepare for Congo and the ministry there we are also praying for General Conference this month in Tampa. Many delegates are coming from the Congo and members of our faculty will be there participating. Be praying that the Lord will be lifted up, that the Holy Spirit will lead his people in the decisions for the future!

Again, we want to thank you for being such a part of our lives and what the Lord is doing in Congo. We also want to thank all who have sent us letters and cards during this past year. Those have been such a source of support to us. We pray that the Lord will continue His ministry through you and bless you.

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