All things must fight to live. This is the name of a book describing the situation in the DR Congo. War, poverty and instability have left this land ravaged. However, amongst the cries for help, a quiet voice of hope can be heard.
Monday through Wednesday this week, we held a conference for pastors and women at EPCAC (Peace Christian Church) in Goma. The pastor’s conference lasted for two days. Over 50 pastors came from around the city. Moreover, some pastors from the IDP camps just outside the city found out about the conference and sacrificially came. A look of spiritual hope rose from the faces of these spiritual leaders.
For the two days, we spoke on leadership and vision. Monday, I spoke on Philippians 2:1-16 on how leaders must have unity, humility, put others first and lead by example. Amethyst came next and spoke about the importance of prayer and taught about Christ’s model of leadership: teaching, demonstrating and involving.
Tuesday, Amethyst spoke nearly the whole time! She spoke on the importance of vision, teaching out of Habakkuk 2. The pastors were so impressed with Amethyst teaching. Each pastor stared with an intent gaze: everyone was blessed with the eloquent message.
Both days, after Amethyst and I had finished teaching a Congolese national spoke about the importance of development. This man is a highly educated teacher specializing in the field of community development and planning. He tied the spiritual aspects into physical, practical application.
Wednesday was a blessing! Amethyst had the opportunity to speak to the women. Fifty were invited, over 80 showed up. Some mothers even made the 15 km trip from the IDP camps. The small church was at full capacity and for good reason. Amethyst brought a message including parts from Song of Solomon, Esther and Proverbs 31.
Some of these women heard words that proceeded out of Amethyst’s mouth for the first time. She gave a message telling them they’re beautiful, made for a purpose and created for destiny. Yet again a smile and glimmer of hope rose from the faces of these mothers: the mothers of Congo’s future.
After the meeting, Amethyst and I were standing in front of the church when a woman holding a young child got our attention, “Could you please pray for me?” Through our translator we found out that this grandmother was left with this orphaned child.
“I am a widow living in the IDP camp and the mother of this child left him with me. Please pray that the Lord will help to provide for this child.”
We began to pray and our heart broke. This woman, trying her best just to survive and through no fault of her own, was left to fend for another life. After a heart-wrenching prayer we asked permission to document her story. In the upcoming months, look forward to hearing the story about David and Grandmother Ines.
We were reminded of the hope for this country but amongst the radiant glistens of hope all things must still fight to live.