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“This is my covenant with you.” —Gen. 17:4

Tuesday, May 13

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Democratic Republic of the Congo

Youth choir in Mutoto Photo by Kristi Rice


Youth choir in Mutoto


Photo by Kristi Rice


I was frustrated. We had agreed that 9 youth from the Kananga Presbytery choir could travel with us to Mutoto, but 13 showed up. We had squeezed them into the Land Cruiser but now had just blown our third tire, only halfway to our destination. There was no AAA or tow truck to call in rural Congo! God provided another vehicle to transport part of our group—but the journey was still arduous. This vehicle got stuck in a mud hole, our way was blocked by a large tree that had to be chopped and moved, and then we got stuck in the mud again going up a hill.

Yet, each time, the youth in our vehicle would jump out and eagerly shovel, push, chop, or change tires as needed. Their energy and enthusiasm inspired all of us. They would declare, “We are suffering for the sake of God’s work,” and, “This is tough, but we want to go and sing God’s praises in Mutoto!” When we finally reached Mutoto after dark, we learned that the eight youth who had not been able to travel in the second vehicle had walked the 27 kilometers (14 miles) and reached Mutoto at the same time as we did!

In worship on Sunday morning, the Kananga Presbytery youth choir sang with their whole hearts. The village of Mutoto was moved and inspired by their songs. Sweat was dripping from their faces after they had sung about eight songs. But their enthusiasm was infectious and gave us hope for the future of God’s church.

Kristi Rice, PC(USA) mission coworker, Kananga

Let us join in prayer for:


Presbyterian Community of Congo (CPC): Rev. Dr. Mulumba M. Mukundi, general secretary • Presbyterian Community of Kinshasa (CPK): Rev. Tshimungu Mayele, community president and legal representative • Protestant University of Congo: Dr. Ngoy Boliya, rector • Sheppard and Lapsley Presbyterian University of Congo: Rev. Dr. Mulumba M. Mukundi, rector

Presbytery Partnerships

Presbyteries of Mission, New Castle, and Sheppards and Lapsley, with the CPC; Presbytery of Eastern Virginia, with the CPK

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Dennis Harrold, PMA
Carol Hawkins, OGA
Kari Hay, OGA
Elder Robert Hay, FDN

Let us pray

Dear Lord, thank you for the energy and enthusiasm of our youth. Lead them by your Spirit, that they will be faithful ambassadors for your grace and truth. Amen.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 98; 146
First Reading Exodus 32:21-34
Second Reading 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Gospel Reading Matthew 5:11-16
Evening Psalms 66; 116


  • Thank you for the moving story about the determination of the Kananga Presbytery youth choir. Having traveled in two vehicles in the roadless Gobi desert, I appreciate the trials and tribulations of flat tires, mud, and water and the inspiration of your youthful traveling companions. by Jon Galloway on 05/13/2014 at 9:29 a.m.

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