05/23/2009: 3 x 5 = 3?

“We may attain unto glory and virtue, though weak, sinful mortals, by learning daily lessons in the school of Christ, by becoming conformed to the divine image, by manifesting His excellence of character, by adding grace to grace, by climbing round by round the ladder heavenward, by becoming complete in the Beloved. As we shall work upon the plan of addition, by faith adding grace to grace, God will work upon the plan of multiplication, and multiply grace and peace unto us.” That I May Know Him, 160. “


“I witness to my Lord that the teachings touched my heart. They show my life, as in a film. I have lived a dishonest life-a life of lies and thefts. My family suffered because of this and I understand now that this lifestyle will eventually end in death. I chose to accept Jesus as my Savior and my Lord. I will give back the goat and the sack of rice I stole yesterday in my native village of Dikanda from a widow by the name of Akoli Bernadette.” D. Wembo

“I am stunned to see an evangelist coming from Kinshasa to preach the message of God to my village. Since 1999 several pastors of different affiliations came to us, but they weren’t able to touch so many visitors from the village. A Lutheran pastor came in 2001; he left without success and never returned. Another evangelist from Kasai came in 2003 and failed. But now, when an evangelist of the Seventh-day Adventists came and spoke for three days, the people stayed and didn’t go to their fields to labor. I understood that this church is a true church of God, the Creator. My two children accepted the teachings and gave their hearts to God. I asked the missionary to build a church here in our village, in order to have all the people pray in this new church. We are willing to give a piece of land for this purpose for a church and for other institutions (school, clinic, etc.). I will persuade all our people of the Yenga village to quit worshipping their old gods.” Lohake Sona

“As a military man by formation after the fall of Mobutu, I had to flee the country because of the rebels. I went to Zambia where my situation grew worse every day. I accepted to go back to my country, where I was immediately arrested and tortured. After many interviews I was released and chose to return to my village, to a lost world, without any information about the political situation. During my military service I committed many murders. Of course I obeyed my chiefs, but my life became a life of fear and guilt.

“In 2007 I came across a missionary coming from Kinshasa to our village of Uvungu. After the teachings Brother Joel visited every home in the village, including my poor hut. He asked me to tell him my life story and he prayed with me. He told me to believe in God, who will grant me pardon and give me peace for my soul. He gave me a brochure, ‘Vie Nouvelle en Christ’ (‘A New Life in Christ’), a series of Bible lessons printed by Steps to Life and a Bible, both in Tetela, our language of Sankuru. I am praising God now, because I accepted the sacrifice of His Son. I am now His child, laboring in my field of rice and serving my village as deacon of the new Seventh-day Adventist Church in Lobungo. I am persuading my brethren and sisters who haven’t yet given their hearts to join me in the faith, because the Lord Jesus Christ, who saves from sin, will soon return to take us home, where will be no misery.” Dende Langa

Traveling between churches can take hours.
Traveling between churches can take hours.

What a privilege to share these stories from the Democratic Republic Of Congo, from Sankuru, a province in Kassai Oriental!

Our missionary there, Brother Joel Mapamu, took off from Kinshasa July 17, 2008, to fly to Lodja. He left his family in Kinshasa to go to a people poorer than he is, to Lodja and to some villages in the proximity of this central point. Some villages are located as far as 60 miles away and there are not real roads in this part of the world. We have a modest program of buying some bicycles for a few evangelists. Motorcycles would be more convenient, but the money is also scarce among the people of God in Europe.

Coming to Lodja after a few hours Brother Mapamu was met by our people, united in the faith. The seminar started the next day and arrangements were made for a special Sabbath School Seminar. He slept in the modest church village together with brothers and sisters who came from distant places. The

Children of the Congo.
Children of the Congo.

conditions were very difficult, but our Lord didn’t have a place to rest His head and taught us the way of self-denial and sacrifice. On August 3rd he had a meeting with pastors, elders, deacons and responsible people of the departments: Youth, Dorcas, etc. He then left Lodja, as planned, to teach the Word and win souls. The Lord accompanied through His Holy Spirit.

Upon arriving at Dikanda, a village 13 km (8 miles) away from Lodja, Brother Mapamu and team preached to twenty persons who made the decision to accept the Savior into their lives. Among them were two children of the chief of the village. During the morning hours they went to encourage the people in their decisions, this time in their homes. The chief came to see the missionary and his team and gave them two lots of land, one in the forest and another in the bush, where they can build a church and a school. Brother Mapamu reports: “I was touched by this decision and am praying that God gives means to Brother Minea to help us.”

A kitchen in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A kitchen in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

This scenario was repeated in five villages, where the messages of the Three Angels are preached, the same old Adventist message. This is why the heavenly mathematics are different from ours: 3×5 = the same message preached and accepted for Eternity.

This is the fruit of the labor from this trip: five brethren were left responsible for the progress in the five villages where the chiefs donated land. Committees were organized and a young active brother by the name of Ahanga received a bicycle to visit, exhort and help his brothers and people from other nearby villages. He is faithfully sending a monthly report of his activities. Our main concern is to make disciples after the manner our Lord and Savior did when He called His disciples on the shores of Galilee. There is a big ripe field in Sankuru, but the laborers are few. The people of Sankuru are very poor, but they are laboring in their fields of rice to have something to eat. Let us cultivate and harvest the grains there for the Heavenly Chamber!

Here are listed the villages where land was donated to build churches and later schools: Dikanda, Yenga, Lushima, Ngolo, Uvungo. For you, readers, these are simply names, but for Brother Joel they are filled with living souls. And for God they are His children who want to be saved for Eternity. The activity report of Brother Joel Mapamu is full of missionary visits (65), Bible studies given (15), Bible Seminar held (1), families visited (55), sermons preached (11), books distributed (45), pieces of clothing distributed (25), baptismal candidates taught (125), prayers offered, sick persons visited, widows assisted, relief money given, churches visited (13). Brother Joel worked from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Some children pose for a picture.
Some children pose for a picture.
Of course the school of Lodja still has many needs. We helped them after a big storm, unusual for Lodja, tore down some fifty sheets of tin from the roof of the school, where now 540 poor children are studying, all of them taught by faithful Adventist teachers, who were taught by Brother Joel how to integrate the Bible into their curriculum. The roof was remade through the grace of the Lord and now we have the big challenge of building five new churches and five new schools.

By Samuel Minea, Democratic Republic of Congo.

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