Internet access at Mulungwishi has been spotty, so these blog posts are running a bit behind. Here's the news through August...
Work team visitsOne of the joys we have had during this time has been the visit of a work team from the New Mexico and North West Texas Annual Conferences. Rev. Derrell Patterson and Tom Stanton have been here on numerous occasions but the rest of the team were new.
Tom continued with the Kindle project with a focus on the Seminary this time. We are working in conjunction with the General Board of Discipleship to develop a French theological library to download into kindles for use in the Seminaries in French speaking Africa.
Dispensary expansionAnother great focus of the team was the dispensary. Charlie, a surgeon for Lubbock, spent several days with Dr. Alain doing surgery. What a great affirmation for this young doctor who is operating in very difficult conditions. One of Dr. Alain’s dreams is to build a surgery wing for the dispensary. He has put in the foundation and the walls. Chuck, an architect from El Paso, came on board with the plans for making the trusses for the roof.
You should have seen the eagerness of constructions workers so see how he planned and show them the best way it could be done. Within a week the trusses have been put up (the team also left money for the roofing which has been put on since). Bud, also from El Paso, brought his welding skills to teach three persons how they could improve their skills.
The affirmation brought by Chuck and Bud was beyond measure in creating a pride the workers had in themselves and what they can accomplish. It was an experience of empowering at a very personal level. Beautiful to watch!
Seminary course videosChuck’s son, Richard (a high school senior) worked with our IT staff on the use of a video camera and editing in order to make DVD’s. This is part of the same initiative with GBOD to provide resources for theological schools in Francophone Africa. Our hope is to make DVD’s of our Mulungwishi Seminary Professors teaching their courses and send them on to other Seminaries as a means of providing a professor to a school that would not be able to have one.
The IT staff real have gotten excited about it and are trying out their filming skills in other venues (e.g. the UMW retreat that took place at Mulungwishi with some 1,000 women who came to pray).
Bishop Bledsoe visits, preachesBishop Earl Bledsoe was also part of the team. This was his first visit to this part of the Congo and came to solidify the partnership between his Annual Conferences and that of the South Congo/Zambia Episcopal Area under Bishop Katembo Kainda. Bishop Bledsoe preached the opening of the South Congo Annual Conference.
He also preached the graduation for the Katanga Methodist University at Mulungwishi. It was a real bash. So much joy with over two hundred students graduating in IT, Psychology, Agriculture and of course the Seminary and Women’s School.
It is so beautiful to see people bringing the gifts God has given them and share them with other people. Instead of sitting on the side lines, each one has gotten involved in some way in what our Lord is doing in the earth. It is so good to be a part of it.