Our conferences have kicked off in grand style. We were supposed to have 50-70 caregivers of prostituted women at this first conference. We have twice that and they had to turn many people away. The hunger here for ministry resources and training is unbelievable. Celestia and Nora shared today and it was a home run. We got so much positive feedback. Nora shared her story of loss and redemption. Africans don’t think Americans suffer so Nora’s story of abuse, losing a child, cancer, etc. is extremely powerful here. It gives the Congolese such hope that deep loss and suffering can be redeemed by God.
Our greatest prayer request has been that the Congolese will feel God’s love through our team and that our presence with them here in their suffering will tell them that God has not forgotten them. He loves them and that is why he sent us to come. This message is getting through more powerfully than in any previous trip we’ve taken here. All day long different Congolese leaders thanked us for coming in spite of the current dangers. They are keenly aware of the fact that the only reason any westerner would come here right now is that God called them to do it. Even the Congolese are afraid of this province.
Our wonderful translator named Sekeri told us that this past Sunday the government told people in his part of Goma to stay indoors because there was fighting outside town. He said you could hear the explosions all morning and he debated going to church. But he felt God telling him to go. He did and most of his congregation was there. He said they sang with even greater fervency because they weren’t going to let Satan steal their joy. The Congolese amaze us. I have never heard such dynamic worship as I hear here. It really feels like you are being lifted into heaven. As Pastor Sekeri says, deep suffering does what nothing else can do to deepen your walk with Christ. He is a delightful man and a terrific translator.
It is such a joy to see our long time ministry partners here who serve Christ with such faithfulness. They absolutely love Princess Lost. Isaac, one of the key leaders we work with, says they are going to translate it into at least 4 languages to use here. The chapter on the grandmother’s redemptive tears has been especially powerful.
We feel your prayers. Our team has battled health struggles. Two nights in a row I have had demonic dreams of our team being bitten by poisonous snakes and scorpions. It was nerve wracking crossing the border, especially hearing of new fighting outside Goma. (It went very smoothly.) All this to say that your prayers are so appreciated; we rely on them and God is answering. Our team is doing great and we are already seeing God move. We’re so thankful to be here serving these brothers and sisters.
The prostituted women’s conference starts in 2 days. They are expecting a huge turnout. They say that word has gotten out all over the area in other towns that we are doing this conference. We are having to make a lot of adjustments but sense the Lord’s direction.
Pray especially for our team’s health and stamina. We have very full, long days for the next 10 days.