It’s Time to Go

A Letter from José LaMont Jones, serving in the Dominican Republic of Congo

Fall 2021

Write to Jose LaMont Jones

Individuals: Give online to E200543 for Jose Jones’ sending and support

Congregations: Give to D507602 for Jose Jones’ sending and support

Churches are asked to send donations through your congregation’s normal receiving site (this is usually your presbytery)

 


Subscribe to my co-worker letters

Greetings to you all in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord!

Wow! It has been a year and a half since I began this journey of full-time mission with the Presbyterian Community of Kinshasa (CPK). These months have been adventurous, to say the least, due to the now waning (hopefully) coronavirus pandemic that crippled travel, business, interpersonal interactions and ministry around the world.

The old adage, “Necessity is the mother of invention,” rang true in these times of COVID-19! Yes, God made a way! Thanks to electronic technologies and social media, the message of the Gospel continued to be spread, folks found new ways to work – eliminating some of the less productive and inefficient ways of doing things the “old way,” and, thankfully, life went on for many. My condolences to those who lost friends and family during this pandemic. Hopefully, we have learned those valuable lessons that relationships are most important and that God’s truth, covered, pushed down or hindered, will rise up and claim ultimate victory no matter what!

So, in these months of virtual interpretation and relationship building with my Congolese brothers and sisters of the CPK, I have felt the heartbeat of sincere love for our siblings in Africa as you have embraced my ministry and encouraged and supported the wonderful things God is doing in Congo and other countries of Africa. I have begun some strong relationships as I see what God is building up in that land and am proud to be used in the process.

As you know, the Congo Mission Network (CMN) 2021 Virtual Conference is currently underway. I have been busy working on videos these past weeks. The session on October 16 included a presentation by Rev. Mudekereza Nsibula, Director of the Creation Care Ministry/Environmental Education Program of the CPK. For the past six years, Rev. Nsibula has been working in grassroots community development to not only educate minds but also change hearts about how we see and care for the bounty God has put at our disposal. I speak not only of the physical world but also our interactions with other creatures and our fellow humankind.

This program is a collection of best practices lifted from the pages of scripture and is a MUST SEE! This model program is, indeed, a model for the world. This is the advantage of working with and learning from others who look at things differently and the best way to learn! This is only ONE of the ministries in Congo from which congregations and communities could benefit from implementing. Collaboration in ministry is the real meaning of partnership! For the PC(USA), this is not a novel concept.

Focusing on our call to be stewards of God’s creation, the ministry begins by looking at the creation narrative found in the Book of Genesis 1:1 through 2:2. In that narrative, we see the bounty of energy, water, food, biodiversity, physical structure and interpersonal relationships that God has put at our disposal. Based on the book by Dr. Ruth Valerio, Saying Yes to Life, we learn of our call to care for and appropriately use in our role as stewards of that creation. God continues to create, and we can be God’s helpmates in that creation if we can only restrain from hoarding, commoditizing and charging others for what God freely gives. The concepts are sustainable, earth-friendly, and VERY different from our highly wasteful, linear economies of consumption found in the global north.

Through the Creation Care Ministry/Environmental Education Program of the CPK, Rev. Nsibula has helped congregations and schools plant urban farms to address the food insecurity of the poor and disenfranchised people of Kinshasa. He has also implemented goat husbandry and community credit programs in South Kivu. In the future, the program will focus on skill-developing projects of bio-gas generation, craft and furniture making, electricity generation and water purification. His ministry focuses on satisfying basic needs and providing eco-friendly skill training that can lead to business opportunities and improved prospects for earning a living.

If you missed the October 16 presentation, don’t worry. All of this year’s presentations, as well as the entire archive of last year’s presentations, can be found on the Congo Mission Network YouTube channel. We will present two other topics on November 13 (Vulnerable Children) and December 11 (Christian Literature). Again, all presentations and, indeed, the entire proceedings will be available on the CMN YouTube channel.

I am sure, by now, you have heard that mission personnel are being transitioned back to their countries of service in the upcoming months. Yes! It is happening!! As I write, the wheels are moving for me to travel to Kinshasa and begin work in sitio with our sisters and brothers in the DRC. I cannot wait! Evelin and I will hopefully be there in Kinshasa by the new year. It has been a long haul, but I have learned a lot and am anxious to put more of this learning into practice. I have learned the construction and repair of power inverters. I have gotten more experience in technical education at one of the premier institutes here in the Dominican Republic. I have learned how to work with banana, bamboo and palm fibers for crafts and furniture production. I have learned several methods of water purification and energy production. And, coupled with what I already knew, I feel that God has been preparing me for a time and place such as Kinshasa.

I began this process months ago, stating my belief that we are blessed to be a blessing. I pray that my preparation is sufficient, and that God may use me in a special way for God’s glory and the benefit of our brothers and sisters in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Pray with me and continue to support what God is doing in the DRC. To God be the glory! It is time to go!!

Peace!
José LaMont Jones

Please read the following letter from Sara P. Lisherness, the interim director of World Mission:

Dear partners in God’s mission,

I don’t know about you, but daily my heart grows heavier. News about the pandemic, wars, wildfires, gun violence, racism, earthquakes and hurricanes cloud my vision. It’s hard to see hope; our world is in a fog. Yet we trust that God’s light and love transcend the brokenness of this time.

God is at work transforming the world, and you, through your prayers, partnership and encouragement, are helping us share this good news. Thank you for your faithful and gracious support of our mission personnel.

How can we see through the fog? What will the church be after the pandemic? Could it be that God is doing “a new thing” and is inviting us to perceive it? Through all the uncertainty we know that God’s steadfast love and care for all creation will prevail and that God’s Spirit is at work in each of us.

We all have an integral part to play in fulfilling God’s mission. As we seek to grow together in faithfulness there are three important steps I invite you to take in supporting our shared commitments to God’s mission:
Give – Consider making a year-end financial contribution for the sending and support of our mission personnel. Your support helps mission personnel accompany global partners as together they share the light of God’s love and justice around the world. Invite your session to include support for mission personnel in its annual budget planning.
Act – Visit The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study to delve deeper into the work God is doing through the PC(USA) and its partners in ministry around the globe: pcusa.org/missionyearbook.
Pray – Include our mission personnel, our global partners, and our common commitments to share God’s grace, love, mercy and justice in your daily prayers.

Thank you for your faithfulness to God’s mission through the Presbyterian Church. It is my prayer that you will continue to support this work with your prayers, partnership, and financial gifts in the coming year. We hope you will join us and our partners in shining a beacon of hope throughout the world.

In the light of hope,

 

 

Sara P. Lisherness, Interim Director
World Mission
Presbyterian Mission Agency
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

To give please visit https://bit.ly/PCUSAmission

You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16


Creative_Commons-BYNCNDYou may freely reuse and distribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial purposes in any medium. Please include author attribution, photography credits, and a link to the original article. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeratives 4.0 International License.

  • Subscribe to the PC(USA) News

  • Interested in receiving either of the PC(USA) newsletters in your inbox?


Tags:
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Tags:
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,