The newsletter of Bill and Sonia Shaw,
currently serving the Lord in Lubumbashi, DR Congo
We trust that all you who have faithfully supported our ministry to the people of Africa over the past 37 years enjoyed a blessed Christmas and are preparing to begin 2022 with a renewed sense of God’s calling on your own lives. We do not know what the new year brings—as the sudden rise of the omicron variant over the past few weeks has demonstrated—and life and ministry continue to bring challenges on both sides of the Atlantic. (This photo is from the IBTAD team’s Christmas celebration.)
The last service of the year for the English/international congregation in Lubumbashi was a huge “family of God” event with the usual extended worship that takes place the last Sunday of every month, baptism of seven new believers, a baby dedication, communion, the welcoming of ten new members to the congregation, plus a short message of hope from Bill for the coming year.
Here on campus, we have completed the year with the installation of a new 63-KVA generator, provided by generous donors to Africa’s Hope, which is large enough to cover the needs of the campus for years to come. We also upgraded security measures on campus to guard against another robbery like the one we experienced in October. Diploma level classes will begin again on January 10th, (we admitted a record 68 new students this year!) and during the coming year the campus will host two promotions of B.Th. students for the WAAST extension.
We close this missive by repeating two unusual requests (for us). The Provincial Representative (District Superintendent) of Haut Katanga, where Lubumbashi is located, has a vision to plant churches in areas where the church has not yet reached. In DR Congo one of the unreached people groups is the pygmies, located deep in the Congo Rain Forest. A team from his church has been making trips into that area for evangelism. They have planted several churches and are training pastors to lead them. To make these churches self-supporting, he has asked if we would be willing to help him purchase a large Husqvarna chainsaw to be used for logging. A locally purchased genuine saw (not a Chinese knock-off) costs $2,100. If any of you would be interested in helping these new congregations become self-sufficient, a donation towards this purchase would be most appreciated. Thank you to those who have already donated towards this project.
Wishing all of you a blessed and happy 2022 filled with God’s purpose!
Bill and Sonia Shaw