Our colleagues in Congo have written recently with updates about the Bible subsidy program, which continues while we are in the U.S. this year. So far this year 155 Bible have been sold in Kasai at the subsidized rate. There is a gathering every April of lay leaders (elders, deacons, women and youth leaders), and people come from all over Kasai for that gathering. Our colleague Pastor Mukenge was able to bring 2 boxes (56 Bibles) to that gathering this year, and people from very rural regions who were overjoyed to finally have a Bible. Susanne Meta was one of those people, who said that she had a Bible, but it was so tattered that it was missing the first 2 books in the Old Testament and the last several books in the new Testament. She is a leader in the women’s ministry, and said that having a Bible will help her when they gather for Bible Study and worship.
Another colleague, Pastor Mboyamba, was teaching a seminar in June at the pastoral institute in Bulape, a rural village far from Kananga. He encountered Pastor Mafuata, from another rural village, who described the dire lack of Bibles in their village. He has a Bible, but it is old and ragged and missing many pages. Sometimes when he is preaching, he finds a song in the hymnbook that resembles the passage he wants to preach on, and uses the song as the text since he does not have that part in his BIble. Pastor Mboyamba felt so moved by his plight that he gave Pastor Mafuata his own Bible, trusting that he could get another one when he returned to Kananga.
We are also thrilled to report that more Tshiluba Bibles are coming soon to Kasai, thanks to some generous gifts in the past few months from individuals and congregations, including the women’s Bible study at Grace Church,First Presbyterian Church in Pontiac, IL, and members of the Jesus House ministry in Bloomington, IL. In Tshiluba, there is a common proverb that says “kamue, kamue, wa ba dikumi”, which means that 1 by 1, our little pieces put together become something significant. While one person alone might not feel they can make a big difference with this need, when all of our little pieces get put together, God’s Word is getting into people’s hands all over the central Congo. David says in the Bible “The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold” (Ps 119: 72). May that delight in God’s truth be true for all of us, including our brothers and sisters in Congo!