Friday, October 10, 2014

Have faith in God

A fellow missionary in Kinshasa recently said, “Getting a new vehicle clear across two oceans to Congo is the easy part; getting the vehicle from the port city of Matadi to the capital of Kinshasa, that is the hard part.”  I would perhaps add, “Getting the vehicle from Kinshasa to Kananga is the even harder part.”  

Four weeks ago Mukulu (Elder) Shambuyi Ngoyi, a CPC driver, and I flew to Kinshasa to pick up our department’s new vehicle to be driven the 1,200 kilometers back to Kananga.  As one can only imagine, the process was anything but simple.  Let me name just a sampling of the challenges we faced:  our colleagues were forced to twice pay a duty due to “changes in the system,”  a computer glitch forced us to pay extra days of storage in Matadi, a colleague failed to buy a license plate in Matadi for unknown reasons, tensions arose between church leaders regarding insurance.  At times it felt like getting the vehicle to Kinshasa and then to Kananga was a herculean feat beyond possibility. 

Yet we serve the risen Lord, who tells us, "Have faith in God.  Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and thrown into the sea,' and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you” (Mark 11: 22b, 23).  Jesus was specifically talking about the destruction of the temple system and Jerusalem when he counseled his disciples as such.  He was sure that God’s will would come to pass (as it did in AD 70).  Likewise, despite the challenges we faced, Mukulu Shambuyi and I were sure that God’s will would come to pass.  In Kinshasa, each morning and each evening we would pray for God’s assistance and intervention.  Time and time again, we saw God’s faithfulness in action. The vehicle was finally released from Customs in Matadi. We finally saw the vehicle in Kinshasa.  We finally purchased a license plate.  We finally got insurance for the

New Land Cruiser (2), Congo    

proper amount.  Mukulu Shambuyi and Tatu Arsen finally started the long journey from Kinshasa to Kananga.  After six days on the road, four river crossings without bridges, paying a fee at multiple “barriers” and a 250 kilometer detour, the vehicle finally arrived in Kananga fully intact with all original parts a week ago Wednesday to much jubilation. 

CPC women gather early one morning this week to worship God and give thanks for the gift of the
new vehicle for our department of Evangelism; they decorated the vehicle with flowers

A few churches and individuals in the US gave generously to the purchase of this new vehicle.  To them and to others who have prayed, we express profound thanks.  Next week we will celebrate in proper fashion with colleagues and friends here who keep exhorting us to “kuela tshiayi” and “kutua tshianga” – expressions which carry the weight of throwing a party.  May God be glorified as this vehicle be used for His purposes. 

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