Friday, April 19
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Several times every year, women from a small church in West Kasai, Democratic Republic of the Congo, carry cassava and corn flour, dried fish, cassava leaves, pots, pans, and small metal stoves to their churchyard to make 450 “loaves” of bidia (soft, putty-like balls of grain) and a sauce of fish and greens. Other church members meet the women and help carry the food, by foot, several miles to the local prison to provide a worship service and meal for 400 prisoners. The meals are part of an ongoing prison ministry. With members of the session, Pastor Tshibuabua regularly visits, counsels, and prays with prisoners.
The average income of the church members is less than $50/month, in a land where the price of corn triples every year between the rainy and dry seasons. The pastor and his wife are parents of seven children (one a former orphan) and provide a home to three young adults. How can this church afford all this food for others? When asked, each member simply smiles and responds, “It’s the joy of the Lord!”
With additional plans to serve the community, the church is constructing an elementary school in partnership with First Presbyterian Church, Newark, Delaware. Christian education is part of the planned curricula, and Pastor Tshibuabua also hopes to provide school jobs for his parishioners.
—Elder Ruth Brown, PC(USA) mission co-worker, Kananga, Congo
Let us join in prayer for:
Presbyterian Community of Kinshasa (CPK): Rev. Tshimungu Mayele, community president and legal representative • Presbyterian Community of Congo (CPC): Rev. Dr. Mulumba M. Mukundi, general secretary • Sheppard and Lapsley Presbyterian University of Congo: Rev. Dr. Mulumba M. Mukundi, rector • Protestant University of Congo: Dr. Ngoy Boliya, rector
Presbytery Partnerships: New Castle Presbytery, Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley, and Presbytery of Whitewater Valley, with CPC; Presbytery of Eastern Virginia, with CPK; Mission Presbytery, with Luebo Hospital and CPC
Let us pray
Lord, thank you for the members and leaders of your church who model Christ’s love. We pray that all leaders of church and government will seek first the welfare of the people they serve. Thank you for your presence among us, for multiplying the faithful acts of your people through the mysterious and powerful love of Christ. Amen.