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Democratic Republic of Congo

 

Presbyterian World Mission engagement in the Congo goes back 125 years and by God’s grace, the seeds planted then bore fruit in abundance. Today, we accompany two Presbyterian denominations that were founded from that early work, the Presbyterian Community of Congo and Presbyterian Community of Kinshasa as well as the Protestant umbrella organization, the Church of Christ in Congo. We collaborate in a variety of ways. We work together to address challenges to accessing quality education through church educational programs operating nearly 1,000 schools with more than 220,000 students. We train pastors and elders to address the spiritual and social needs of the community. We promote the well-being and rights of women, including widows and survivors of the sexual violence that has grown to epidemic proportions in areas where militias operate. We support training of church leaders in ministries such as reconciliation, community transformation, and micro-savings programs.

Reconciliation Efforts

Jeff and Christi Boyd

Jeff and Christi Boyd

Jeff and Christi Boyd

Christi Boyd serves as facilitator for women’s and children’s interests in the Congo as well as Rwanda, Niger, Madagascar, South Sudan. She engages partners across programmatic areas lifting up the well-being and participation of women. Jeff Boyd also serves regionally as liaison for Central Africa (Cameroon, DR Congo, Equatorial Guinea), providing support for the relationships, programs and activities of partners, assisting mission personnel and supporting congregation and presbytery partnerships. You can read more about their work here.

Larry and Inge Sthreshley

Larry and Inge Sthreshley

Larry and Inge Sthreshley

Inge Sthreshley works on the nutrition, home garden, and clean cook stove components of a large primary health care program associated with Interchurch Medical Assistance and works with the Presbyterian Community of Kinshasa. She also lends her organizational skills to the Methodist-Presbyterian Hostel now operating as a mission guest house and small conference center. As health liaison seconded to Interchurch Medical Assistance, Larry Sthreshley assists churches develop and implement health ministries within the context of the larger system in the country. You can read more about their work here.

Presbyterian World Mission works in partnership with the Presbyterian Community of Congo, Presbyterian Community of Kinshasa, Church of Christ in Congo, Christian Medical Institute of Kasai, Presbyterian University of Congo, Protestant University of Congo, and Program for Development of the Kasais.

Presbyterian Community of Congo (Communauté Presbytérienne au Congo – CPC)
The Presbyterian Community of Congo is the most historic and largest Presbyterian Church in the Congo with estimates of more than two million members concentrated in the provinces of West- and East-Kasai, but also having parishes in Katanga and Kinshasa. The church maintains the strong commitment to evangelism, education, and health care that was evident from its establishment by mission co-workers Revs. Sheppard and Lapsley in 1891. The church operates more than 800 schools, eight hospitals, and has more than 800 churches plus new church development sites. There are new efforts toward community based development. Leadership development for the advancement of their ministries is important for the church.

Presbyterian Community of Kinshasa (Communauté Presbytérienne de Congo – CPK)
Since 1960, the Presbyterian Community of Kinshasa has been a partner church of the PC(USA) in the metropolitan area of Kinshasa and the western provinces of Bas-Congo and Bandundu. More recently, evangelistic outreach has brought the church into Equator Province, particularly among the Twa people, the most indigenous people group in region. With more than 150 schools and 14 health or maternity centers, the church is committed to education and health ministries. The youth of the church are particularly dynamic and constitute a significant portion of church attendance. The women’s department of the church is committed to providing educational opportunities for vulnerable children and skills training in a caring environment for at risk girls.

Church of Christ in Congo (Eglise du Christ au Congo)
The Presbyterian Community of Congo and the Presbyterian Community of Kinshasa are among 64 member communities of the Church of Christ in Congo. Its purpose is to manifest the unity of the body of Christ. It seeks to be visible in society through its member churches and their schools, hospitals, and relief and development programs. The Department of Women and Families is particularly involved in ministries of compassion and justice for the women and children who are survivors of sexual violence in Eastern Congo.

Christian Medical Institute of Kasai (Institut Médical Chrétien du Kasai – IMCK)
Founded in 1954 as a nursing school, the Christian Medical Institute of Kasai has come a long way. It has since developed a 140 bed referral hospital, a booming urban clinic and maternity ward 10 miles away in the city of Kananga, programs for dentistry, ophthalmology, pediatrics, nutrition, public health, research and medical residency and internships, and specialized services in surgery. The medical institute is governed by a board equally represented by the Presbyterian Community of Congo, Mennonite Community of Congo, and PC(USA).

Protestant University of Congo (Université Protestante au Congo – UPC)
Begun in 1959 as the Faculty of Protestant Theology, Protestant University of Congo has since added three other schools: Business, Law, and Medicine.  Putting a particular emphasis on Christian ethics, the university seeks to form women and men scientifically competent, inspired by God and ready to serve the community in faith and truth.

Sheppard and Lapsley Presbyterian University of Congo (Université Presbytérienne au Congo UPRECO)
In 198,7 the Reformed Theological Faculty of Kasai became a university when it added a Faculty of Law. UPRECO grants bachelor and master degrees in theology and law. One of the main goals of UPRECO is to train Christian leaders to improve life in the Congo.  UPRECO is located near Kananga, West Kasai.

Program for the Development of the Kasais (PRODEK)
PRODEK is a faith-based organization related to the Presbyterian Community of Congo which contributes to the development of the organizational, technical, socio-political, and economic abilities of farming communities of the Greater Kasai with a goal of their self-determination.

Christi Boyd                christi.boyd@pcusa.org

Jeff Boyd                     jeff.boyd@pcusa.org

Gwenda Fletcher        gwenda.fletcher@pcusa.org

John Fletcher              john.fletcher@pcusa.org

Inge Sthreshley                       inge.sthreshley@pcusa.org

Larry Sthreshley                     larry.sthreshley@pcusa.org

Develop relationship of prayer and mutual learning and dialog between your congregation or presbytery and one in the Congo.  For help in identifying a partner, or with questions about a relationship based on mutuality, please contact regional liaison Jeff Boyd at jeff.boyd@pcusa.org.

Join the Congo Mission Network and multiply the impact by collaborating with others interested in mission and ministry in the Congo.  For more information, please contact regional liaison Jeff Boyd.

Support one or more mission coworkers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Pray for and communicate with the mission co-worker. Consider making a contribution to one of the following mission co-workers. Please note that congregations should give by mailing a check to:

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
PO Box 643700
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700

(800) 728-7228

Include a note with the fund number.

Name
Individuals
Churches & Presbyteries
Christi and Jeff Boyd
D506075
Gwenda and John Fletcher
D501278
Inge and Larry Sthreshley
D505045

 

Poor health can be considered both a cause and consequence of poverty.  Contributions to IMCK and Good Shepherd Hospital support health care for the surrounding population and builds the capacity of health professions who will later serve throughout the country.  Gifts can be made to E320202 Good Shepherd Hospital – IMCK.