We are celebrating two big answers to prayer this month. So many individuals and churches came together in different ways to meet these needs, and we are amazed and encouraged. We want you to celebrate with us, and hopefully there will be more updates in the future when we return to Congo.
…Drumroll, please! The first answer to prayer is the completion of the needed funding to purchase a new Land Cruiser. The Department of Evangelism’s current Land Cruiser, affectionately called “Tshikunda” (older woman), has a strong engine but is not so reliable these days. Bob has spent countless hours sitting at the mechanics shop while it was worked on to prepare for rural travel. We have numerous stories about breakdowns – like driving without breaks, using soapy water to sub for clutch fluid, and being delayed 3 days for a rural presbytery meeting because we could not get parts. We realized that when we were spending more time and money repairing the vehicle than we were actually traveling in it, it was time to get a new one.
This year, as we visited churches and described the work of the CPC in Congo, one need that we emphasized was the need for a new vehicle. Churches and individuals from all over – Myrtle Beach, SC to Menlo Park, CA contributed generously to this need, including two people who encouraged others by offering a significant matching gift. The First Presbyterian Church of Wellsboro, PA rallied together to finish off the final third of this need just last month. Praise the Lord! We are now in process of getting the quotes and logistics for purchasing the Land Cruiser and getting it to Congo.
The second reason to celebrate is that we received word a few weeks ago that Presbyterian Women has awarded a grant to Ditekemena (Project Hope), a ministry of restoring children on the streets into families. Churches in the Kananga area will be trained and equipped to care for children who have been on the streets, and the children will be fed, loved, and given a new chance at life. Bob wrote about this project and its visionary leader, Pastor Manyayi, in our February Newsletter. The CPC leadership hopes that this project will get started in January of next year.
We praise God for his provision, and express our gratitude to the many people who participated in these events in various ways. We celebrate this good news, and look forward to seeing the work of the church in Congo grow in new ways as a result of each of these initiatives!