This quarter, we have put an emphasis on the distribution of pamphlets. As a result, many have begun studying the Bible. Among these, seven of the students regularly visit us. Sister Justine Pitho is one of these Bible students.
Sister Justine was five months pregnant when she received our message through the pamphlets. One day a few months later, a nurse called me asking me to come to the hospital to help Sister Justine.
When my wife and I arrived, we discovered that Sister Justine was in labor, but that she had become very tired and was having difficulty delivering the baby. The nurse asked us to take Sister Justine to the city of Kara, 40 kilometers away, where she could go to a big hospital and have a cesarean section. Before leaving, we prayed with Sister Justine. When we finished, Justine asked for a drink of hot water. Then we loaded her into the car.
As soon as we arrived in Kara, just outside the door of the hospital, Sister Justine gave birth without undergoing an operation! Now Sister Justine is preparing for baptism.
God works through His workers. Pray of our workers in the field. Thanks for supporting the workers in Africa!
Have you desired to be a better soul winner for Christ? You may have thought about attending a Bible Worker training school to help improve your skills to teach others about Jesus. There is one talent that we all possess that, if used, will win many to the truth. Proverbs gives us this specific instruction. “A man who has friends must himself be friendly…” Proverbs 18:24 Do we all have the ability to make friends with people we meet? What example did Jesus leave us in regard to making friends? “Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him.” Mark 2:15 Jesus was the friend of sinners and highly sociable. Jesus’ main purpose in connecting with those of the world, was to share the message of hope. He accepted invitations to dine with the noble and the learned as well as the poor and afflicted. “He was social in His nature.” Desire of Ages, 150. Jesus was the greatest soul-winner this world has ever witnessed and following His example will reap the same results. The importance of developing friendships in and outside the church cannot be overemphasized. This will bring vibrancy to a church like nothing else can. The results of bringing a person in through friendship evangelism is that they have a greater possibility of staying in the church and maintaining a strong connection with the Lord!
Pastor Agamah and Paca, the Bible Worker, have taken friendship evangelism to a new level. When I first met Paca, at an evangelistic meeting in 2009, he was training to be a powerful witchdoctor in his local village. Now he is using the power of the gospel to win people to the truth. While distributing truth-filled literature, he and Pastor Agamah met a man from the Baptist church. Pastor Agamah and Paca started visiting him in his home and struck up a friendship with this man. Several weeks later, while visiting this man, he told them that he believed the message that was being taught in the material they left him. He then revealed that he was the senior Pastor and leader over all the Baptist churches in the north part of Togo. Pastor Simliwa was in a serious dilemma. If he should join the Seventh-day Adventist church, he would lose his handsome salary, his position and influence in his church and all the friends he had made. After much prayer, and study of the Bible, he took his stand for the truth. The other church leaders immediately removed him from his position and cut off his salary. There were some of his former church members who have read the material that was given to Pastor Simliwa, and have taken their stand with the Lord. Many more will follow his path of self-denial. They will pick up the cross and follow Jesus no matter what the cost. “It should ever be manifest that we are reformers, but not bigots. When our laborers enter a new field, they should seek to become acquainted with the pastors of the several churches in the place. Much has been lost by neglecting to do this. If our ministers show themselves
friendly and sociable, and do not act as if they were ashamed of the message they bear, it will have an excellent effect, and may give these pastors and their congregations’ favorable impressions of the truth. At any rate, it is right to give them a chance to be kind and favorable if they will.” Evangelism, 143. Please pray for Pastor Simliwa and the other gospel workers as they minister to people in their remote villages, where the gospel has never been heard. If you would like to support the gospel workers please mark your donations, “Togo Workers.”
Village chiefs and ancestor worshippers accept Jesus as their Savior in rural Africa.
The Waldensian motto, “Lux lucet in tenebris” means “Light shines in darkness.” This is exactly what happened during Brother Joel Mapamu’s mission journey to the Sankuru Region, a remote, impoverished area in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in July–September 2016.
Brother Joel praises God and thanks His angels for their protection during the mission trip. Traveling mostly by foot like his Master, Joel spent his days teaching, preaching the Three Angels’ Messages, visiting people in their homes and organizing bands of believers. The enemy incited ancestor worshippers and Catholics alike to try to hinder him, but God rebuked their efforts. The Holy Spirit moved upon people who had never trusted in Jesus, but instead prayed to their ancestors, to accept Jesus as their personal Savior. Even village chiefs were converted.
One convert shared: “I want to testify what the Lord did for me during the Bible studies. I was practicing sorcery and during these studies I began to realize that sorcery would bring me to death. I had killed my older brother, a salesman of Kela, and my younger cousin and was ready to kill my mother in order to get more money. As I listened to the teachings of Brother Joel about the imminent coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and about the Antichrist, I began to have nightmares. I went to talk to Brother Joel and gave him all my sorcery objects. Brother Joel prayed for me and with me and I renounced the sorcery. I found peace and my bad dreams ceased. God worked for good in my life.”
Another person wrote: “My brothers and sisters, God is real. Many people of different religious persuasions tried to talk to me, but I chased them all away with my machete until nobody dared to put their feet on my property again. I didn’t want anyone to talk about Jesus after the sudden death of my father, a devout Catholic. He suffered such severe chest pain that we decided to take him to the hospital in Kole. The Catholic people of our village, especially the leading lady of the Mary’s Legion, told us to wait for the priest to come and pray for my father. It took him two days to arrive. After he performed his ceremony with candles, he said, ‘Your father will be healed.’ Four hours later, my father was dead! I was very angry to have wasted time waiting for the priest instead of taking my father to the hospital. I decided I would no longer allow Catholics to visit us.
“But God lives! The Adventist missionary came to us, bringing the message of God. During his sermon he looked straight at me and said that Jesus loves me. I was stunned to hear this, because I didn’t want anyone to talk to me about Jesus. He then repeated, ‘Jesus loves you!’ and invited me to come forward. As I walked toward him, those present believed that I wanted to kill the preacher. They had nicknamed me ‘The Machete.’ Instead I came forward, fell to the ground and began to cry. The Lord transformed me as the man of God prayed for me. God is now my Lord. He accepted me as His son. God is real!”
Though poor in earthly goods, the believers in Sankuru keep growing in faith. May the light of God’s truth continue to shine from their lives into the darkness of superstition all around!
Joel Mapamu Brother Joel lives and works in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (Article written by an anonymous sponsor.)
How You Can Help
Pray for the believers in this region of Congo, who are often persecuted for their faith.
Pray for help for each one who struggles with poverty and lack of physical and spiritual resources.
Donate. For information on supporting Brother Joel’s mission trips to Sankuru, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank You Because of your donations to our poor fund, Mission Projects International was able to help sponsor Brother Joel’s trip and his humanitarian work in the Sankuru region. Donations to the poor fund also help with medical needs and Dorcas assistance in other needy areas.
Gospel workers raise up 17 new churches in Ethiopia. We used to have many Seventh-day Adventist churches in our district in southern Ethiopia. Unfortunately, we did not have many gospel workers to care for them. In consequence, our head office sent instructions that we should only maintain churches at a distance of every three walking hours. One by one, churches were rescinded and combined until just five churches remained in the district.
With such a great walking distance between churches, our membership began dropping. In place of the churches we had closed, new Sunday-keeping churches rose up. These developments upset us all, young and old. We wanted the church to expand, not shrink. Yet, in that entire district we had only two gospel workers!
After we had no other option, we started praying. While we were praying, development started slowly. Daniel Shamebo Sabore, who had grown up in our district, used to ask about the progress of the church when he came to visit. He would listen with sorrow as we told him about the lack of workers. It seemed our region was given less priority than other regions of the country.
Sometime later, Daniel moved to the United States. Then, from afar, he began to hire gospel workers in our district. The gospel workers began establishing new churches, and they also helped revive the old churches. People started getting excited and motivated, and wanted to do something themselves to help our churches grow. The fire started to kindle! Now, instead of closing churches, we decided to establish new churches in as many different places as possible.
As the gospel workers and church members worked together, the number of churches in our district grew from five to 22—better than 300% growth! Of these congregations, 14 are established churches and eight are branch Sabbath Schools. We have plans to establish five more branch Sabbath Schools, besides, which will put our total number at 27!
Some of these groups worship in rental houses. Some meet in the homes of individuals. Other groups have decided not to join the organization until we can find a worship shelter for them.
In 2013 and again in 2016, Daniel Shamebo Sabore and Pastor Cody Francis came to southern Ethiopia to conduct prophecy seminars. Their efforts stirred up even more interest throughout the district. Strong gospel workers began penetrating previously unentered areas. Their converts have included some very strong evangelists from Sunday churches who have been able to share with their previous members, bringing many to join our church. Under God’s blessing, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in our area is growing faster than ever before.
Four times a year, we hold gospel seminars with the help of 16 gospel workers and 45 laypersons—government employees, merchants and farmers. We give these believers training seminars and then send them to different areas to knock on the doors of believers and non-believers everywhere, encouraging people and preaching the message. These gospel campaigns last ten days. The laypeople actually take that much leave from their occupations to volunteer in gospel work! Often, these seminars will bring 100 people into the church.
Three years ago, when I was appointed as district leader, our total membership was 1,225. Currently we have 1,875 members! May God bless Daniel and his family and all who have donated to this work. Your support has motivated the people here to plan, organize and labor—and God has brought the increase.
Pastor Ajabo is the district leader of the Tambaro and Jacho zone of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ethiopia.
How You Can Help?
Pray for the gospel workers and laypeople in southern Ethiopia, that through the Holy Spirit’s work they may continue establishing congregations in the remote villages of their area.
Support the Ethiopian gospel workers or help build churches for the new congregations by sending your contribution to Mission Projects International marked “Ethiopia workers” or “Ethiopia churches.”
Adopt a gospel worker. For details, email email@example.com.
In response to Cody Francis’s DVD appeal, you sent over $4,250 for the work in Ethiopia. To see the video, visit www.missionspro.org or contact us to receive a copy of the DVD.
As Joshua faced the promised land, the Lord gave him a solemn charge and promise: “Be strong and of a good courage. . . . This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” Joshua 1:6, 8. God still desires “good success” for His people, but we must remember the principles that make true success possible. “As God’s workmen bear responsibilities and carry burdens in the great harvest field let them remember that true success comes from God alone, and that every particle of the praise and glory belongs to Him.” Manuscript Releases vol. 21, 400. While we must depend wholly upon the Lord for success, factors in this life affect success, as well. “Diligence, honesty, thrift, temperance, and purity are the secret of true success.” “Success in any line demands a definite aim. He who would achieve true success in life must keep steadily in view the aim worthy of his endeavor. Such an aim is set before the youth of today. The heaven-appointed purpose of giving the gospel to the world in this generation is the noblest that can appeal to any human being.” Education, 135, 262. Like Joshua, we have the highest aim of all set before us. As we seek to take the gospel to the world, following the principles outlined in His Word, God will give true success in this worthiest of all pursuits.
In the African country of Malawi, the Lord is blessing His work with success through the labors of Brother Golden and other faithful workers. Even in the difficult Islamic areas, the Lord is giving Golden the key to reach many hearts. When he first goes into the village, he introduces himself to the village chief and tries to discover the needs of the villagers. He then begins to minister to the people’s needs—supplying food, clothing or other needs. Because of this humanitarian work, the chief will frequently endorse Golden’s work, which opens the people’s hearts to attend Golden’s gospel meetings and hear the Three Angels’ Messages. When Golden presents the truth of salvation through Jesus, he often shares how Abraham took his own son to sacrifice. This beautiful story becomes a bridge for sharing how God gave His Son to be sacrificed on our behalf. In the villages where Golden and the other workers have entered, dozens have decided to be baptized and stand for the truths of the Adventist message—and thus new churches have been started. Recently, the team worked in a village that was home to a Muslim army officer who was so opposed to the preaching of Christianity that he hired a gang of youth to throw stones and shout during the meetings. This continued for several nights, but the evangelistic team kept praying that the Lord would eliminate the distraction. One evening, the officer and his wife visited the meeting location to see if the unruly youth were doing their job. As he heard the message, the Holy Spirit began to convict the man’s heart. He called the leader of the gang to stop the distruption and come listen to the meetings. As they continued attending each evening, the Lord continued working on their hearts, and the officer, his wife and some of the youth they had hired all made the decision to be baptized!
Please pray for Golden and his evangelistic team that the Lord will continue to bless them with “true success” for His Kingdom. If you would like to help them with their work, you can mark your donation “Malawi.”
One of Jesus’ most famous promises is this precious assurance of answered prayer: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Luke 11:9. Just prior to this special promise, Jesus gives the parable of the friend coming at midnight asking for loaves of bread. The midnight friend proved very persistent because of an important reason: He was asking for bread to give someone else. Through this parable, Jesus illustrates not only our need of persistence in prayer, but also the true spirit of prayer—asking to give. The Lord loves to answer our prayers and desires us to bring all of our burdens, joys, perplexities and challenges to Him. Still, it gives Him special delight to answer the prayers we offer in His spirit, asking to be able to give to others! How many around us are hungering for the bread of life—bread that we do not have, but do know how to obtain. Like the persistent friend, Jesus invites us to come to Him pleading for the bread of life to share with everyone we know. The promise is sure: “Those who beg at midnight for loaves to feed the hungry souls will be successful.” Christ Object Lessons, 148. Why? “The honor of His throne is staked for the fulfillment of His word unto us.” Ibid. Let us learn that it is not what we have, but what God longs to give that will feed the hungry world with the bread of life!
I am still praising God for the blessings He gave us in Ethiopia last month and for how He is spreading His work in this part of the vineyard. Concurrent with the evangelistic meetings, we held a training program for the gospel workers in the locality. In the afternoons, many of the workers took us out to their churches to meet the believers and see how God is continuing to bless their labors. Meeting new workers who had recently found the Seventh-day Adventist message and new churches rejoicing in the truth were the experiences I enjoyed most. One new worker named Desta Boke shared his testimony of how the Lord has been leading in his life. As a minister for another church, he was working with an association for helping community orphans when one day he interacted with a Seventh-day Adventist who gave him a pamphlet. His first response was, “Why are you giving me this trash?” Yet in the evenings, when he studied his Bible, he picked up the tract and began comparing it with the Scriptures. As he studied, he concluded that this was the truth from the Bible. He began to attend Sabbath services by himself and became convicted that he must follow this truth regardless of the cost to himself. When all his former church officers and many members from southern Ethiopia gathered together, he shared with them the truth he had found and resigned his position. It was not easy for Desta. Not only was he now without a job, but his wife opposed the message as well. His former superiors offered him a larger salary and a larger operating budget if he would stay, but he knew he had found something more precious than gold! With his decision made, he began to share his faith with his former church members. Yet the challenges were not over, for his former church sued him, seeking a legal injunction against him sharing his new faith. At court, the Lord prevailed when the judge upheld Desta’s religious liberty to share his faith. Desta has persevered and now even his wife and children have joined him in happily living and sharing their new faith. Today, Desta is a church planter sharing the Three Angels’ Messages. Please pray for Desta and other gospel workers like him who are sharing the Adventist message in villages where this truth has never been heard. If you would like to support these faithful workers, you can mark your donation “Ethiopia Workers.”
Yours in asking for and sharing the bread of life,
One of Scripture’s greatest promises is combined with an equally amazing commission: “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:18. We have been reconciled to God by Jesus’ life, death and resurrection so that we can reconcile others to Him. What a great privilege and responsibility! “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them…. We pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:19, 20. What a precious message to give to the world, that God has taken the first step in reconciliation and now we are to grasp ahold of His reconciliation. Not only do we have this message to give, but we have a message to live, as well. We are “ambassadors for Christ,” to represent His thoughts, words and character to the world. “Let them regard themselves as only threads in the great web of humanity, and without delay redeem the time and represent to the world a pure, unselfish benevolence. Representing in character the attributes of Christ, they may carry forward to a glorious completion the work which He left them of reconciling the world unto Himself.” The Medical Missionary, June 1, 1891. As ambassadors for Christ, we are to give a message of Jesus’ love for a lost world, and we are to live Jesus’ love for a lost world. The “ministry of reconciliation” requires us to demonstrate the loving character of our Savior. I am so thankful that we have been reconciled by His blood. May we demonstrate this beautiful “ministry of reconciliation” in our lives and always remember that we are reconciled to reconcile!
This month, I would like to share about a work that is progressing not so far from the United States, in the Caribbean islands. In the country of Dominican Republic, the Lord is bringing His people to the knowledge of Himself through the ministry of reconciliation. In several out-of-the-way villages and towns, Sister Nelly Severino and her team have been sharing the message of God’s love with some of the poorest outcasts of the society. The Lord is blessing Nelly’s team’s efforts. For several years, they have been operating a bakery that educates people on the benefits of healthful living and helps to provide funds for ministering to the needs of the poor and disadvantaged. Recently, they have been able to remodel and properly furnish the bakery so that it can provide greater service. Another major component of their work has been reaching out to the neglected, looked-down-upon community of migrant Haitian workers. Several years ago, the Lord opened the doors for them to begin a Sabbath afternoon Bible study in the Haitian camp, and now fruit is being seen from their efforts. Recently, after a ministerial student held an evangelistic series in the area, two of the
Haitians that Nelly and her team have been working with followed the Lord to the waters of baptism! One of those baptized had opposed the baptism of his family members earlier, but now has made his decision to follow Jesus fully. The work continues to go on at the Haitian camp with the Bible studies becoming more popular and being attended by a larger group. Additional people now desire baptism, and Nelly’s team is hoping to get a Creole-speaking evangelist to come and do an evangelistic series specifically for the Haitian group, with hopes that many more will respond to the message when it is preached in their own language! Please pray for the work of Nelly and her team as they seek to minister to the “least of these My brethren.” Matthew 25:40. If you would like to help their work, you can mark your donation “Dominican Republic.”
“Know therefore that the Lord thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations.” Deuteronomy 7:9.
Working in the Lord’s vineyard, we have experienced God’s faithfulness, goodness and love in many ways. His promises are clear; we just need to claim them. What a wonderful God we serve!
Our year has been full of challenges, but we have not been left alone. Instead, we have claimed His promises for our own: promises like the ones found in The Ministry of Healing, pages 248, 249. “We are not to let the future, with its hard problems, its unsatisfying prospects, make our hearts faint, our knees tremble, our hands hang down. ‘Let him take hold of My strength,’ says the Mighty One, ‘that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.’ Isaiah 27:5. Those who surrender their lives to His guidance and to His service will never be placed in a position for which He has not made provision. Whatever our situation, if we are doers of His word, we have a Guide to direct our way; whatever our perplexity, we have a sure Counselor; whatever our sorrow, bereavement, or loneliness, we have a sympathizing Friend. If in our ignorance we make missteps, the Savior does not forsake us. We need never feel that we are alone. . . . In the way that leads to the City of God there are no difficulties which those who trust in Him may not overcome. . . . There is not a sorrow, not a grievance, not a human weakness, for which He has not provided a remedy.”
Here at Living Springs, we have seen how God provides for every need and difficulty! We have been praying for God to send us the right help for the farm and other aspects of the ministry. In our area, it is hard to find help during the harvest. God was gracious to us last year because during July and August some relatives came to visit and encourage us, and while here they helped us with the corn harvest. Their help was such a blessing, and the Lord gave us a bumper crop! By ourselves, it would have taken several days to gather the harvest, but what a difference those extra hands made. We are so thankful to the volunteers who gave us their vacation time to come and help, and to those who brought us much-needed supplies. God faithfully sent us the help we needed at the time we needed it most.
The corn harvest reminded us of God’s call to go work in His field. In Matthew 9:37, He tells us, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few.” May God encourage those who are not yet actively involved in some form of ministry to get active! Time is running out and the Lord is waiting for more volunteers.
Besides keeping up the farm, one way we have been able to reach out to our community is by helping those suffering with various heath challenges. Out here in the country, people come to us for help at any time of day and any day of the week. One day as we were getting ready to go to work on the farm, a lady called Aminta and her husband and son appeared at our front door, saying that a friend had recommended our services. Aminta needed help for her brother who had cancer that had metastasized. She said he was getting weaker and more fragile by the day. Even though her brother’s family did not believe in natural remedies and had determined to continue with the chemotherapy treatments, Aminta carefully listened to our recommendations, and tried to help her brother through his terminal illness. Although her brother passed away, she and her family were very thankful for our help.
Later, Aminta brought several other family members to get help with their health conditions. She even brought a brother who is Jehovah’s Witness. After visiting with us and asking many questions, he allowed us to have prayer with him. When we read Exodus 15:26 to him, he took his smartphone and searched for the text in his Bible. After reading it aloud himself, he said, “I have read this text before, but I never realized that it says Jehovah heals us.” He went away very thankful for the help and full of hope that his problem can be cured by Jehovah’s grace.
Another family came to get help for Porphyria, an older lady with cancer of the esophagus and major depression. Porphyria refused any kind of medical intervention until finally the family persuaded her to give God and His remedies a chance. When she came to us, Porphyria could only drink small sips of liquids. Now, by the grace of God, she can swallow capsules and even eat food. Her family and friends are very amazed by what God is doing in Porphyria’s behalf.
We want to thank all our partners in faith who contribute to this ministry and uplift us in prayer. In spite of the many challenges, we have great promises, like the one found in 1 Corinthians 1:9: “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”When God calls, He also fits us for the work and provides for the needs that arise. From the time we arrived in this country, we have needed a pickup truck for the farm, and have been praying for God to supply it. We praise God that He has given us a brand new pickup! We want to thank all those who let God use them to answer our prayers and provide us with this wonderful blessing.
Thank you again to all who help this ministry be carried out. We wish God’s richest blessings to each of you!
By Zaida Acosta of Living Springs of Health and Education. firstname.lastname@example.org. Support for this project may be sent to Mission Projects International, PO Box 59656, Renton, WA 98058, marked “Panama.” To donate online, visit www.missionspro.org.
We left Kinshasa, the capital city of Congo, on July 15, 2015. I knew it would be a long, difficult journey and I wouldn’t be home for many weeks—but the Sankuru District needed to be visited. We would go to the villages and preach the gospel, visiting all our churches and opening new fields.
When we arrived at Lodja, the administrative center of the Sankuru District, I called a meeting of all our fellow Adventists, who received us gladly. The local chief also was happy to see us and listened attentively to the message I preached that day. I then shared with the brethren our plans to travel throughout the Sankuru region, preaching and visiting.
After the meeting I looked over the Lodja school construction. The school usually functions well, but strong winds and rains on October 26, 2014, destroyed one part of the building. The tempest was so strong that tin sheets were actually carried away from the roof and destroyed by the winds. After the storm, the school was unusable, and the children were forced to have classes under the trees. We felt blessed to have such faithful instructors who kept teaching amidst adverse circumstances even though they also had to work to sustain their families through agriculture!
As we surveyed the damages, our brethren asked me to send thanks to all the people who helped them during that tragic, stormy time when many of our brethren were killed. We then took time to pray to God, praising Him and asking for His blessing during my stay in Sankuru.
After visiting the school, I made pastoral visits to the homes of the people, exhorting everyone to strengthen their personal relationship with God in preparation for our public meetings. During this time I also helped to organize the repairs of the school. Because the school had such a limited budget, I sacrificed part of our travel allowance to buy the materials to repair the roof. I praise God that we were able to make these repairs. The leaders of the town, including the mayor, expressed their appreciation for the Adventists’ efforts for their children, and we all thanked God and praised Him together.
After this we held an evangelistic campaign. We spoke about our Lord Jesus Christ and His soon return to the Earth, how to mend our broken relationship with God, and the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation. Adventists and non-Adventists alike attended the meetings, and the Holy Spirit brought many souls to conversion. In all, 127 were won to the gospel and 52 former church members were reclaimed for Christ. Many of the new people were eager for baptism, so I asked the local pastor to prepare them thoroughly to be baptized at a later date.
After the visit to Lodja, we went to Dikanda to preach the same messages there. All the residents of Dikanda attended the meetings, leaving their work in fields for five days to hear our messages. After listening to what we had to say, they confessed their sin of heeding the other churches that say the Adventists are a group of the witches. By the end of the meetings, 96 new souls had been won to Christ and ten who had grown weak in faith had come back to the truth. I left the new converts to the care of the older church members to prepare them fully for baptism.
While in Dikanda we also visited our missionary health center. The director shared with me the difficulties of working with outdated medical tools; but in spite of the challenges the workers are doing a good job, especially in treating malaria patients. The institution is a missionary tool to gain souls for the Kingdom of God. After helping the people with their medical needs, staff members take time to study the Bible with the patients—and so far, the patients are enjoying the studies!
Leaving Dikanda, we marched on for the love of our Lord to more remote villages. We had to go on foot to far locations, but God who sent us helped us persevere!
At Yenga, a village three kilometers long, we were sad to see that there was no school. The families are poor, and the youngsters live without any purpose. The children walk about without shirts because they don’t have any. When we preached the Word, we told the people that even though we may have food and clothing, if we don’t know Jesus, life doesn’t make sense and goes nowhere. We invited them to repent and accept Jesus, and we prayed for every family in the village. More than 550 members of our church heard the messages and 167 new converts joined themselves to the Lord. I intend to come back and baptize these souls after they have received more Bible studies!
At the village of Lutahe, 315 people attended our meetings and we gained 103 new converts to the Adventist faith. At Lushimba, of the 223 souls who attended the meetings, 52 new converts accepted the message and nine backsliders were reclaimed. Our brethren were very interested in the messages and only complained that our stay was so short!
I cannot tell about every village we visited because there were 16 in all! We praise God that amongst all these villages, 1,017 new souls accepted the truth and 153 backsliders returned to the Lord. What’s more, we planted four new churches!
In closing, I want to share a few of the needs in this district. The school in Lodja needs funds for basic supplies: notebooks, textbooks, crayons, pencils, chalk, etc. They are also asking for Steps to Christ and Education in French, as well as Bible stories for young and older children. Although they live in difficult conditions, the people believe God will never forget them.
The church at Yenga longs to have a school and a clinic in their village. The church of Mvunga also desires a school, and the believers in Lodja hope to build a clinic. All the churches need printed Bible studies, which we can print here in Congo if we have the funds. We also need 16 bicycles for pastors and workers, as well as some new chemises (shirts) for these shepherds. Every time I return from Sankuru, I have only the trousers and shirt I am wearing, because I give all my extra clothes to the needy people.
At the end of our mission trip, after two months of ministering in the villages, we returned to Lodja. We found my children very sad: Their mother was in the hospital in serious condition, and needed to have surgery to save her life. I rushed to the hospital to be with my poor wife during this difficult time. Praise God, she is at home now. I thank God that our brethren in Europe and America helped to pay for the operation and hospital stay. May God reward all those who shared!
By Joel Mapamu, a gospel worker in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. For more information on how to donate to the projects mentioned, email email@example.com.