Testimonies about Bibles/Songbooks
Jean Lukusa is a young man from the region of Muena Ditu in East Kasai. He moved to Kananga with his wife and children so that his wife could study law at UPRECO. When his wife completes her degree, Jean hopes to study theology and become a pastor. Right now he supports his family by raising chickens and rabbits and cultivating a garden. His parents both died several years ago, and he has never owned his own Bible. When he heard that Bibles were available at the subsidized rate, he sold a couple of his chickens and came to buy one. We happened to be out of Bibles on that day, but told him there would be more the following Monday. He lamented that if he kept he money until then he would spend it on other urgent needs for his kids, so insisted that we keep the money for him. When he received his own Bible, he celebrated that now in his house they could read the Bible for themselves.
Mamu Bitanji’s husband died when her youngest child was just 1 year old. She struggled and persevered to raise all of her 14 children, and was grateful for the support of other women in the church. She has been able to pay the school fees for her children by raising goats and pigs. Each day she walks around town collecting food scraps from people selling fruit or cassava, because her pigs eat a lot! She is very active in the church women’s group and intercession ministry, with a reputation for visiting and comforting people who are sick or in crisis. The Bible she had from long ago was in tatters, but when she heard that Bibles were available at a reduced price she said she could not miss this opportunity to get a Bible that she could read and learn from. After she purchased her Bible and songbooks, she went to the printing press to ask them to put a hard cover on it so that it would last longer. She was so proud to have her new Bible!
The Pesbytery of Bupuekele sent delegates to Kananga for their synod meeting. During the meeting, we came to announce that Bibles would be available for purchase at the subsidized price starting the following Monday. After the meeting ended on Saturday, about 15 members of the Presbytery of Bupuekele stayed an extra two days in Kananga just so that they could get Bibles. It was quite the commotion at our offices that day! Elder Mutare is one of the women who bought Bibles that day. She is the president of the women in her congregation, as well as an elder. I asked her how she prepared teachings if she did not have her own Bible. She said that she often had to borrow from her pastor when she was asked to teach. She was very excited to have her own Bible for study and for teaching others. After purchasing their Bibles, the delegates from Bupuekele began their three day journey by foot to return to their home villages.