10/31/2009: A Testimony Of God’s Grace

This is the true story of Brother John Albert’s own testimony, which he has given in order to share with the brothers around the world what the Lord has done for him. He was the very first brother in this area to be touched by Adventistm.

Since 2001, the Adventists in Koshi, were seen as a pernicious sect, because of their keeping and calling the seventh-day the Sabbath. This message of the Sabbath caused much confusion in the area churches. The ministers and members of these churches announced that the only way to avoid being deceived by this very pernicious sect was to avoid any contact and communication with Pastor Kasongo. They said that the messages were so captivating that it was impossible to resist the error when one subjected himself to listen to Kasongo speak. However, the new converts in Koshi had an easier time visiting from hut to hut and sharing the truth that they had newly embraced.  Gradually the number of members grew, and we began meeting for thorough Bible study at my house three times a week. Finally on March 2, 2002, we had the dedication of our new church. Thirty people joined us that Sabbath from eight o’clock to noon. It was truly a high Sabbath.

Brother John Albert was one of these first faithful members. In 2004, when Brothers Cody Francis and Nathan Clark of Mission Projects International visited, they had the opportunity to meet Brother John Albert and see for themselves what a fine Christian he had become. At that time he told them and us that he would like to take this precious truth that he had embraced to his home in the Mokomor sector of the western part of Congo.

He shortly made good on his plans and went there. When he arrived, he was very sad to find that his mother and father were both ailing and needed to be cared for. His father passed away only six months after John Albert arrived at his home. Neither John nor his brother had the money to pay the hospital bills that were incurred at the end of their father’s life.

The next thing that John felt needed to be taken care of was his mother’s living situation. His father, due to his illness, had not been able to keep their hut in good repair. The roof was falling in and the termites were pretty much eating the place up. Brother Albert decided to build his mom a new hut, but again he ran into the problem of no means. Believing that it was his responsibility to provide for his mother, he decided to go to Kinshasa and sell cassava. During six months of selling cassava, he was able to save enough money to build his mother a new hut and to put a metal roof on the new hut. He returned to his home village with his money and immediately set about to accomplish his task, which he was able to do in short order.

It had been John Albert’s intention that once he had his mother taken care of, he would then begin his missionary endeavors. Sad to say, like a man who had tasted alcohol, he couldn’t pull himself away from the money making that he had begun. He began to think of more and bigger plans that he would be able to do with the money that he could earn. So he returned to his business. Gradually during this time, his relationship with his Heavenly Father began to slip. He read his Bible less and less and avoided praying. He knew that he wasn’t keeping his promise made to God.

For about two years, the Lord repeatedly gave John Albert evidence of His presense in his life and reminded him of what he was supposed to be doing. Two times he was involved in a terrible vehicular accident. Once all of the other passengers died and once all of the other passengers ended up with broken bones. Both times John thought about his narrow escape and knew that the Lord had intervened and had a purpose for him, but he still didn’t change his course. Then his mother passed away and left him in grief. Then a big wind came through his mother’s village and blew the metal roof right off of her hut and twisted into a tangled heap of metal. Brother John knew that the things he was working for were just vapor and that he should return to the service of the Lord, but still he did not.

Finally he had an experience that shook him up. He became close friends with a Catholic priest, who was very determined to turn him away from his Adventist beliefs. He wanted John Albert to become a Catholic. One day this friend cast some sort of a spell over John Albert, which made money to just appear in John’s pocket and all kinds of magical things like this. John realized that he was playing with danger. He knew that this was not the way of God; that this was witchcraft.

He also became friends with a university professor, who had been part of Mobutu’s government. One time, when John Albert didn’t obey something that they commanded him to do, he also cast a spell on John, causing him to loose his mind. He walked around for quite awhile like a madman. John also realized that not only was he not doing God’s business, but also he had now stepped out of God’s protection from evil spirits.

Finally John Albert realized that he better make the change in his life that he knew he had been avoiding. He knew that he must make good on his promise to God and start sharing the Three Angels’ Messages with his villagers.

After two more years, John Albert came to visit us in Koshi. He wanted to share with us what had happened during his absence and he wanted me to come visit his village to see for myself what had happened there. In the two years since he returned to his Lord and begun to dedicate his life and time to the Lord, Brother John Albert, by the grace of our Lord, had raised ten churches and eight Bible workers who were working.

I went. I wanted to see for myself, if these converts had a living experience and had truly and completely turned their backs on heathenism. This is what I found, of which I am very excited to report: indeed, there are ten churches comprised of an average of eighty dedicated members each. Praise the Lord! That was accomplished in two years.

The eight Bible workers were the first converts in Mokama that accepted the Three Angels’ Messages in December of 2007. They have been faithfully sharing what they have learned. These have now come for a time to Masango with me so that they can have some in depth Bible worker training. Four of these Bible workers were formerly Baptist ministers who lost their jobs as Baptist ministers upon their acceptance of the Sabbath. They have continued to work for over a year as Bible workers without any salary, which in itself is evidence of their dedication to this message.

While I visited Mokama, I gave out fifty Kikongo Bibles: one to each of the Bible Workers and five to each church to be shared amongst its members. I also left forty Bible study sets with each church. We need many more Bibles to pass out in this new mission field.

It was thrilling to visit and see how the Lord has blessed this new mission of Mokama. Please join with me in prayer for the work in Mokama, for the converts there, for the eight dedicated Bible workers and for John Albert. Pray that they all will remain faithful and that the needs of the work could be met, namely Bibles, Bible studies and Bible worker salaries.