It's crowded spiritually, too. Churches work in a space increasingly encroached upon by Islam and various traditional religions. The Muslims are aggressively proselytizing and taking over business interests, while traditional belief systems remain entrenched and undetected.
There was also practical ministry. They learned the basics of how to maintain and balance finances for the church, in the interest of good stewardship and accountability. They learned that churches should compensate vocational pastors: many pastors have been working full-time in their churches with no salary at all! The earnest in their faces was precious as they realized that one leader had served them for twenty years, without ever receiving a cent.
Couples were ministered to, and some leaders were counseled one-on-one.
It was a fast-paced and beautiful week. Our friends Waldir and Deomilia da Silva, Portuguese-speaking pastors from Pretoria and long-time friends of Pastor Henrique, led the week and facilitated the counseling times. I'm so grateful to have been a part of it: ministering on the Father-heart of God and doing some much-needed computer repair for Pastor Henrique.
We plan to continue training the pastors and leaders in Maputo with one or two more visits in 2018. I am already looking forward!
As missionaries to Southern Africa, our sending team makes everything we get to do possible. We are so very grateful. Thank you to everyone who continues to make this incredible journey possible.
Ps Henrique "went live" with me from outside his home in Maputo!
Where we went
We traveled to Kinshasa, then spent a week in Kananga before finishing our journey in Lubumbashi. Kinshasa, located in the far southwest, is the capital city of the DRC (the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Kananga, a large but profoundly poor city, is the capital of DRC's Kasaï-Occidental province and lies near the Lulua River in the south central part of the country. Lubumbashi is in DRC's extreme southeast, a large city fueled by a booming mining industry.
Who we worked with
Pastor Willy Tshipamba pastors Ambassade du Royaume de Dieu (Embassy of the Kingdom of God) church in Kananga and leads a network of churches that covers most of southern DRC. Pastor Willy invited Pastors Johan and Electa Potgieter of Hatfield Christian Church to continue the Church Development Plan. Chandra and I were part of this team, and we ministered to nearly one hundred pastors between the three cities.
What's the Church Development Plan?
It takes good leaders and healthy churches to effect kingdom advance. As such, the Church Development Plan takes a "hearts, heads, and hands" approach to developing pastors and leaders who will build strong churches. Rather than solely dispensing information, the Church Development Plan focuses first on impartation and heart formation of church leaders. When the heart is healthy, then information (heads) becomes more relevant and useful, and there is proper motivation for increasing practical skills (hands). I also adopted this approach for the worship workshops I was able to give in Kananga and Lubumbashi.
The school in Kananga
Several years ago, Pastor Willy's church in Kananga started a school in their city. They modeled the school after Hatfield Christian School here in Pretoria. They planned for a small beginning of fifty students, but finally had to stop enrollment at one hundred. The school has been so successful that the government has asked its leadership to help them establish more schools based on the same model.
During our stay in Kananga, Chandra was invited to minister to around fifty teachers and faculty at the school. She spoke on the value of a child. There was a beautiful impartation as she ministered, and afterward she was able to pray with many teachers and staff members. We are looking forward to visiting the school next year and building relationships.
I was able to encourage senior pastors and leaders in all three cities on corporate worship and relating to worship leaders. These sessions were fun and fruitful! In Lubumbashi, there were also several worship leaders, musicians, and vocalists in attendance. An extra session was scheduled in Kananga with the local church's worship team and choir. We had a great time practically applying the principles we looked at! I have been invited back next year to host an extend worship workshop in both Kananga and in Lubumbashi.
Visit this album on Facebook for more photos of our time in DRC.