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The New Adventure Begins May 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013 • • General
2013 May Update
The
Next Adventure Begins...

Kinshasa. The capital of the DR Congo. Estimated 12.8 million inhabitants. The second largest city in Africa, and the second largest French-speaking city in the world, after Paris. If things keep moving with the same demographics, in seven years it will be the LARGEST French-speaking city in the world. Au revoir, Paris!
 
30,000 souls come to live here every month.  EVERY MONTH.  We were souls number 22,241 and 22,242 when we landed at N'Djili International Airport on March 22nd.  This is a teeming mass of humanity.  We are eons away from dusty N'Djamena, and its two lane thoroughfares as we drive down the Boulevard de 30 Juin, all eight lanes of it, with its automated stoplights installed by Chinese contractors that even count down the number of seconds before the light changes.  However, turn a few corners  off the Boulevard and you pass through the veil of modernity to find the Africa we know all too well from our time in Chad.  We are here for another week or so as we work on the last of the government paperwork such as residence visas and driver's licenses.  We plan to fly to Lubumbashi, our eventual home, Market scene in the citysince there are no passable roads between Kinshasa and the second largest city in the Congo.  

Pat and Suzanne Hurst, area directors for Central Africa have been great hosts as we shook of the jet lag and settled into the rhythm of living again as little white dots in a sea of black.  We are also meeting with church leadership here in Kinshasa.  You can pray these meetings go well and there is a good agreement on what we should be doing with your investment in the future of this nation.  There are many exciting and good things to do, but we want to center our energy on what is the most strategic use of our resources. 
While waiting for our paperwork, Bill was asked to teach first year diploma level students on the main campus of the pastoral training network of the Assemblies of God, Congo.  With students' names like MAWETE Lundalu and MIANDABU Mutekmena something tells him he is no longer the missionary in residence at Northwest University.  What a privilege to invest in the ministries of 54 very dynamic young men and women whose future, in the eyes of the world, is anything but assured, but from the viewpoint of their CBill in the classroom teaching Intro to Doctrinereator is as bright as the equatorial sun. 
Multiplication is what missions is all about.   

One of the students came to Bill after chapel on campus in the first week of classes.  Moved with emotion, she shared how the Lord had called her to work with Muslims.  She expressed the concern and fear she had about being totally inadequate for the task.  We prayed for her future and for God to open doors that no man would shut.  You can also pray for her.  Her name is KAPINGA Kwete Frandie.End of session class photo.  In case you can't find Bill and Sonia, they are the couple in the middle! 

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Sonia has spent most of her time peering over her laptop, cranking out her thesis project for her MA degree in Missional Leadership.  Her tome focusses on the effective use of short term mission teams.  She is now looking to where she will invest her time and creative energy, possibly using her experience in ESL or working with at-risk young women. 

We are also visiting local churches together on Sunday mornings, preaching again in French and most times having an interpreter for Lingala, the lingua franca of this side of the country.  Our first service was our third day in the country.  Pastor Jean-Marie WBWEBWE (and no, you cannot buy a vowel!) invited us to come to his Sunday service prayer time at l'Arche de l'Alliance AG in Kinshasaone-year old church in the Kasa-Vubu neighborhood of Kinshasa.  The beauty of their current installation is the main door of the church opens onto the sidewalk.  As Bill was preaching he was able to watch people walking right past the door and cars in the street dodging the muddy potholes.  That is where the church needs to be- at street level, and accessible.  

Bill finally earned his "Real Africa Missionary" merit badge a few Sundays ago, having been served grilled caterpillars for lunch with a local Congolese pastor.  These critters were once crawling on plants and spinning cocoons.  Their next stop, after the skillet, was into full-time ministry...Plat du jour- grilled fish and caterpillars- tasted a little like.... chicken?

 

 
For those who have been praying for us, thank you.  One would think after 28 years of living the missionary life leaving "home" would become old hat.  For some reason our departure from the US was one of the more heart-wrenching.  However, after
stepping off Ethiopian Airlines flight 501 and walking across the tarmac it felt quite normal that we were once again on this great continent.  Distance is a relative thing.  You can be in the same room with someone yet be miles apart.  I remember when we first started using email, and then cell phones.  Now it is Skype calls and smart phones.  I would imagine our older missionary colleagues, most who have preceded us, would be shaking their proverbial heads wondering how they ever did it in the  era of Rex Rotary mimeographs, carbon papered manual typewriters, and transatlantic telegrams.  

We would like to thank all our donors and partners in this great adventure.  We are here because of your faithfulness.  Every month we marvel at the great number of people and churches who contribute something to the work we are doing.  Without you this whole machine grinds to a halt, so we want to let you know how important it is to have you on the team.

 

Until next time,
 
Godspeed 

 
 
   

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