12/02/2017: To the Ends of the Earth
To the Ends of the Earth
God uses 10 years of service in the Congo to bring about 7,000 baptisms and the pastor’s reconversion.
Kasongo, a city of about 63,000 in the remote area of east-central Democratic Republic of the Congo, has the largest Muslim population of any city in Congo. In the 1800s, the slave trade flourished there. It has long been a challenge to reach this secluded area with the gospel.
To visit Kasongo from my home in Kisangani is a journey of nearly 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) on rough and treacherous roads, most of it on motorcycle. Early this year, I took my family as far as Kindu where I left them at the home of Pastor Kisunzu, our coordinator for the church planters in that area. Our journey had already been exhausting, and my kids were excited to take a rest and make friends with the local children while Mama Kisunzu took good care of them.
Before I left Kindu for Kasongo, we inaugurated our new center of influence: two buildings and a well that will serve as an evangelism training center like we have at Kisangani and provide the local community with health care and education seminars. The health center is up and running with a Seventh-day Adventist doctor and a trained dental care provider.
After opening the center of influence, Pastor Kisunzu and I started off together to visit Kasongo. We spent Monday night at the Kayuyu church plant and preached the next morning before climbing back on our bikes and heading out again.
When I arrived in Kasongo I was overjoyed to see the small company of believers in their newly built church. My interest grew even more when I learned that two women awaited baptism across the river at Samba. I still had 500 kilometers to go to visit Lubile before the weekend, but I decided to take a day to visit the church in Samba and baptize the waiting candidates.
One of the baptismal candidates, Mwayuma, had been threatened and persecuted by her own husband for her faith, but she had stood strong in her decision to follow God even when her husband left her. It reminded me that suffering for the gospel binds us to Christ in a precious, close tie. What a joy it was to help seal her decision to follow Jesus in baptism!
The following day, we left the house before dawn and arrived at Lubile in the dark. The roads were rough and the rain came down in torrents, but by God’s grace the rain came where the road was good enough to continue on slowly. When the front bearing went out on Pastor Kisunzu’s motorcycle, we found a bearing and a repairman right there on the side of the road—providential!
We arrived saddle sore after the hardest, longest motorcycle ride I’ve ever experienced, but enjoyed rest and fellowship as well as two more baptisms! I baptized the two candidates, both men this time, in a pond in the valley. Then we went to preach at the small bamboo church the members have built.
In the two years since my ordination, I’ve been privileged to baptize dozens of people. As an organization, we’ve baptized over 7,000! But what warms my heart most is that God has used my 10 years here in the Congo mission field to reconvert me.
The Lord of the harvest allows difficulties to come and then He strengthens us to stand through the trials. At each point along the way we can look back and see how the path we’ve been given to travel pulls us closer and closer into the bosom of the Father.
Keith is the president of Congo Frontline Missions. He serves with his wife and four children.
To learn more visit: congofrontlinemissions.org
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Pray for the Mosier family and for Congo Frontline Mission’s health workers and church planters as they spread the gospel in the remote areas of Congo.
Donate to Congo Frontline Missions. Needs include: training church planters, new church buildings, treating dental patients, Bibles, bicycles for gospel workers and church planter support. Send your check, with “Congo Frontline Missions” as the memo to:
Outpost Centers International, 5132 Layton Lane, Apison, TN 37302
For online options, visit: congofrontlinemissions.org