Dear Friends and Supporters of this ministry,
Here is the report for week nine of this safari. Thank you to those who have written and offered your prayers after last week's report.
I wanted to add to that report that Pas. Makenda did such a good job arranging the food that we had a real feast the last day of the seminar. I must have had four plates of food on my table; a piece of beef and gravy, rice, beans, fried minnows, and greens. And he had money left over to give the cooks some "soap".
I also wanted to explain that, Firdas, my previous guide to go to Fizi had passed away. He taught short term Bible courses in the CADAF church in Uvira. To support himself in ministry, he had started a small butchery. One night, when his worker had gone home, Firdas left the generator going for the meat cooler inside the building while he slept, and he was asphyxiated, then about a year later, his house burned down, leaving his widow very despondent. His oldest son is assuming the responsibilities for the family. It was great to give him some help.
I had a very tumultuous welcome to Kalemie on Thursday, October 30. Kalemie is where we were resident missionaries from 1981 to 1984, and where my daughter, Christine, was born. The boat ride on the "Super Bus" was great. There were two bunk beds in each first class room with a video screen and fan. Bro Hagemeier met me at the port and was taking me to his mission, when we were forced to park the vehicle. An army vehicle had hit and killed a motorcycle taxi driver. The taxi drivers set fires at both ends of the bridge across the Lukuga River and would not let anyone pass. They were "rodding" up and down the road in protest. After waiting an hour, we decided to try walking across the bridge and get a motorcycle taxi to the mission on the other side. At the bridge, we had to pay to cross. As soon as Bro Hagemeier put his wallet back into his pocket, he was pick-pocketed and lost seven hundred dollars in cash. His daughter, Stephanie, took him back to get his vehicle after things had calmed down. Then that night we had a thunder and lightning storm that lasted a few hours with a down-pour of rain.
Friday, October 31, International Bible College (I.B.C.), Kalemie, Dem. Rep. of Congo:
As I spoke in chapel at the Hagemeier's Bible college on the Call of God to the ministry, the Lord blessed.
The Hagemeiers were Assemblies of God missionaries in Tanzania for seventeen years. They were from Texas. They visited us twice while we were missionaries here, and were led of the Lord to come to Kalemie to establish their Bible college arriving in September 1985. They now have a one hundred acre campus with facilities which can accommodate eighty resident Bible students.
Their daughter, Stephanie, came after her graduation from college and has established Thibiti (foundation) primary and secondary schools with over one thousand day students. Stephanie also has a health clinic where children are treated freely, and mother's can get pre-natal care. She was telling me how she is going twice a week to feed and treat prisoners in the jail. She found them so malnourished that they were sitting on their heels despondent. She found that some of them had tuberculosis. Since she started her food program the death rate has been cut in half.
Sunday, November 2, Association of the Grace of God for All Nations (AGDN), Dem. Rep. of Congo:
In the morning, I preached for Bishop Nyota (star) on, The Work of the Holy Spirit. She was one of the graduates of our Agape Bible Institute when we were here. We worked with Fred and Beulah Gardner from Pennsylvania.
Sunday morning it began to rain early and it continued until about 10:00 am. So there were only fifty-seven members when there are usually 450 on a Sunday morning. They have built a beautiful permanent church building.
Nyota and her husband were teachers at I.B.C. when the boat they were in capsized and he drowned within sight of port. She assumed the leadership of their church, and was chosen bishop, almost unheard of things here. Then she was chosen director of I.B.C.!
Sunday, November 2, Garanganze Brethren in Christ, Dem. Rep. of Congo:
I got a motor cycle taxi to Konkomba to the mission where we used to live. After a short rest in our old house, I went over to the church and preached in the afternoon on, The Work of the Holy Spirit, again, this time for non-Pentecostals.
Because of the rain, they had cancelled their morning service. There were about twenty children in their choir, and about thirty in the adult choir, with a few more other adults in the service. This Brethren church has decided to use drums and guitars in their services: perhaps that is why they have so many youth.
Stephanie came to pick me up, and we went to the wake of the old school inspector who lived close by.
Yesterday Kaite, one of the people still living at the Brethren mission, told me that Kalemie has grown from 150 thousand people to almost 250 thousand people. There is building everywhere. As we crossed the Lukuga bridge this morning, they are twinning with a new bridge so there will be two-way traffic soon. The road to the airport has been rebuilt and the roads out of town have been graveled. The main street of town has been tarmaced with ditches on both sides. So things are improving slowly since the eight year civil war ended in 2004.
This morning, Stephanie came to tell us one of patients whom she has nursed since childhood had died. He had fallen into a fire and badly burned his legs. He was now about twenty-seven. She is providing them with a casket and funeral expenses.
Tomorrow, we start a three day pastor's seminar at the Salem Church.
I am excited about my son, Jeff, coming this Friday for the weekend. There is just three weeks left to this three month safari.
Sorry, but I forgot to carry my camera to the meetings in this report. So there are no pictures to this report.
Thank you for all of your prayers and support for this missionary Bible teaching ministry. Would you please send your support for this ministry to one of the post box addresses in the signature block? May the Lord bless you.
Yours together in His harvest,
Open Word Ministries:
P.O. Box 625, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada L2E 6V5
P.O. Box 5001, Springfield, Missouri, U.S.A. 65801