Letter from Cody: Congo – August 2011
Once again I am battling jet lag, having recently returned from the Democratic Republic of Congo, but as I think of how the Lord has been working in the unreached fields of the Congo, I am happy to take a few days to get my days and nights aligned better. Mike Bauler and I spent three weeks traveling, observing the needs, meeting the brethren and sharing the Word of God in the savannas and jungles of the Congo River basin. Transportation is one of the biggest headaches here. With one main road to Kinshasa and just jungle paths and tracks after that, it is extremely challenging to get to one’s destination. We arranged for a four wheel drive vehicle to transport us to the various churches and mission stations that we needed to visit while there, but it broke down before it even made it to the airport to pick us up. We came across it along the side of the road, the engine dismantled to the pistons! Our only option was to start walking and ask the Lord to help us to make it to as many mission outposts as possible. As we set off for various mission stations, we were always very thankful to see how the Lord is working to reach the hearts and minds of people. For most missions, they have erected a simple bush church and school. With this dual combination, a powerful impact is made in the local village—teaching truth to old and young. The new missions, which are constantly spring up, frequently begin with some of the brethren walking by a village and stopping to ask for a drink of water. As they visit with the people of the village, they give them a set of Bible studies in their own language, and soon the request comes from the village for a teacher to share this Bible message with them, and a new mission is established. It was always heartening as we stopped in a previously unentered village for the night or to wait for a ride of some sort, to see a Bible worker opening the Word of God with the people. For other villages, villagers would walk by a village with an existing church and stop to inquire, which would lead to Bible studies and the request for a mission outpost to be started in their village. The requests have far surpassed the possibility to accommodate! One aspect that is very different from when we first started working in this area is the familiarity with Seventh-day Adventists. Several years ago, no one had ever heard of a Seventh-day Adventist, much less had any idea what they believed. This has changed now. As we would walk between villages, people would ask what we were doing. The believers would explain that we were missionaries, and the next question would always be, “What church?” When the villagers were told that we were Seventh-day Adventists, it was not a shock or surprise; the message had already been carried to that village! Indeed the Three Angels’ Message is going forward in this previously unworked section of Congo—praise the Lord! As we visited churches and schools; talked with Bible workers, believers and seekers; preached, taught and baptized; waited for unreliable transportation; walked for hours and days, it was and is clear that God is seeking to do a mighty work in this forgotten section of the world. I am so thankful that God has raised up faithful believers and workers to carry this work forward, but He also desires our cooperation in this work! Funds are needed to support Bible workers in their work of establishing and planting more churches. For around $60 a month, one worker can be supported. We are hoping to be able to build simple churches to give permanency to the work there. For $2,000, a metal roof can be installed, leaving the local believers to finish the walls, etc. with native materials. One of the most important projects that we are hoping to start very soon is to print portion of Great Controversy in the local Kikongo language. Would you like to help take the gospel to this forgotten area? Please pray for the work there and mark your donation accordingly.
Yours in the blessed hope,