It looks like God may be opening a door of opportunity for us to serve in the Democratic Republic of Congo. And, when I say us, I don’t mean just me and my family. I mean that God may be providing an opportunity for the church to connect with other believers and other churches in the Congo.
Let me explain. First, as you can probably guess (for those of you who know that Dave Black is my PhD mentor), I’ve been greatly influenced by Dave and BeckyLynn Black’s work in Ethiopia. (You can find more information about that in their “Ethiopia Files.”)
As a church and as a family, we have worked with the Blacks to serve the people of Alaba, Ethiopia for several years. I even spent a couple of weeks in Alaba two years ago. I love the way they work through existing relationships and in the work that God is already doing in Ethiopia.
(I hope this relationship and working partnership continues! One of our brothers from Ethiopia is even planning to meet with us in a few weeks.)
Now, some friends of ours are planning to move to the Congo. Their work will primarily be in the area of Bible translation, but they will also be meeting and working with local believers. Hopefully, if God leads us to continue in this direction, they will be able to connect us to our brothers and sisters in that area of the Congo. I see this as being a two-way partnership, so I’m just as excited about what we can learn from them as what we can do for them.
We’ve looked into partnerships like this before. But, this time, there’s something present that has always been missing before: an existing relationship!
For example, I think about Paul getting ready to go to Rome. He had never visited Rome before, but there were brothers and sisters in Rome (at least Prisca and Aquila) with whom he already had an existing relationship. When he traveled to Rome, he would be continuing that relationship as well as building new relationships with people that they introduced him to.
If we travel to the Congo, we will be continuing our relationship with our friends, and at the same time, building new relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ who live in that area.
So, this could be an exciting time for us. We will learn more after our friends move in a few weeks and as they get settled in and begin learning about what God is already doing in that area of the Congo.