Monday, October 31, 2016

Mission update

We are back in the States after being in Congo since June. As you know we were to leave in April but Lori's surgery delayed us until June. We want to thank you for supporting us in prayer and financially during this time of ministry. We also want to thank you for your continued support of the Seminary and Women's School at Mulungwishi. Your partnership in training pastors for the fastest growing part of the United Methodist Church is of key importance.

It was good to get back to our home and our community at Mulungwishi. There were some new faces and lots of babies! The leadership team has continue to direct the University, Seminary and Women's School. We dived into our courses with David teaching Contextualization, Inductive Bible Study, Leadership and Church Growth. Lori taught Nutrition, John Wesley and lots of sewing at the Women School.

At the end of July, 18 couples graduated from the Seminary and Women School. It is always fun to celebrate graduations!

One of the graduates is George Kahilu and his wife, Tchijika Kaluma (Marni). We asked the question: "What did the 3 years at Mulungwishi mean to you?" Without hesitation, he said that he had a new life because of coming here. He had continued to grow in Christ through a good theological education and working with our local church in prayer groups, Bible studies and being the evangelist for the church.

Marni attended the Women's School for the three years. She felt she developed so much through her classes in Bible, Health, Nutrition, French, etc. and practical courses in cooking and sewing. George shared that her new understanding of budgeting helped them save for a sewing machine. She can sew for her family and others to help augment the family finances.

George has been appointed to a chapel in a new growing suburb of the city of Kolwezi. Up until now the chapel has only had lay preachers. The Conference felt that it was time for it to become a church with a pastor. We asked them what their dreams and plans were for this church. George wants to help build a new church. He sees this as a tool for evangelism within the neighborhood. People would be
challenged seeing the church that was being built by the members themselves. George also sees the need to be passionate about the care of his flock. Marni, of course, sees herself as passing on what she has learned to other women in the neighborhood.

Lori always works with the nutrition program which helps women and children in the communities around Mulungwishi. At risk children are followed and helped with nutrition and medically for as long as it takes to get them healthy. We have a team that visits families and teach health and better nutrition as well as carry on weekly evaluations of the children.

Our time at Mulungwishi was not limited to the Seminary and Women's School. The month of August was spent with the Kafakumba Pastors' School. This is a month long training program for lay pastors and over an 8 year period leads to ordination. There were some 90 pastors and 18 wives. Loi was involved in teaching the women and organizing the Kitchen. David taught 3 classes.

We had some challenges with the electricity and water. The high intensity cables in some areas were stolen which left us without power for long periods of time and no water pump. So it was back to cooking on charcoal and carrying buckets of water!!! This has always impressed upon us that so many in our world have no electricity or a clean water supply available.

During our last weeks at Mulungwishi, we started our classes for next year. It was difficult to separate from those pastors and their families who were leaving for their designations. They were like our children leaving but we rejoice that they are going to serve the Lord.

Many of you have participated before in UMC#GivingTuesday for the Seminary and Women's School. It will take place again this year on November 29th. Donations can be made through the link Again, we want to thank you for making it possible for us to participate in this ministry and for supporting the training of God's shepherds.