Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC, formerly Zaire) is located in the heart of Africa. Its central location means sharing boundaries with a great number of countries: Angola, Burundi, C.A.R., Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Republic of the Congo. Kinshasa is the capital and largest city, and the location of the AE DRC office, overseen by AE Team Leader Leonard Kiswangi. Though endowed with significant natural resources including cobalt and other minerals, as well as forests, the DRC has been plagued by war and civic violence, refugees and internally displaced peoples (IDPs), bad governance, corruption and a history of colonial exploitation. HIV/AIDS has been a further transnational issue, and resulted in low levels of human development. The DRC is slowly rebuilding through peace and reconciliation processes, but progress has been slow. Please pray for improvements for its people, and that they might come to know Christ.
Location: Central Africa
Surface Area: 2.3 million km2
Population: 81.3 million
Major Cities: Kinshasa 13.587 million, Lumbumbashi 2.015 million, Mbuji-Mayi 1.6 million, Kananga 1.169 million, Bukavu 1.01 million, Goma 1.05 million Kisangani 1.04 million, Tshikapa 587,548, Kolwezi 453,147, Likasi 447,449.
Major Languages: Kiswahili, Kikongo, Lingala, Tshiluba, French,
Colonial History: Under Belgian rule
Official Language- French
TEAM LEADER: LEONARD KISWANGI
Leonard has been AE Team Leader for DRC since 2007, and has looked to expand the DRC office to engage in local work, as well as missions to other locations including Madagascar and Soweto. He worked as communications officer and administrator for the DRC office, as well as working in AE peace and reconciliation projects before 2007. As Team Leader, he is involved in preaching, teaching at Kinshasa University and working especially to promote and ensure peace making and reconciliation become a reality in DRC. He is eager to keep learning how to better serve the Lord and make an impact within his generation, in his nation and beyond. In DRC there is an active university ministry, and an ongoing Peacebuilding and Reconciliation programme, in addition to Aid and Development projects.
PROJECT 1: UNIVERSITY MISSIONS
Over 60% of the population of the DRC is under the age of 25, so targeting young people with the Gospel is a crucial step to transforming the lives of urban Africans in the DRC. Leonard’s history of teaching and working in partnership with universities in DRC, as a student and lecturer, opened a door into university mission in Kinshasa, the nation’s capital. UPN in Kinshasa has been the focus for AE DRC Missions, using young mission participants and the university chaplaincy system to connect with their peers. 15,000 people were reached with the Gospel in 7 days, and 426 were saved. The most important step is in sowing Gospel seeds, to make young people think about the direction their life is heading in. One young man, Ernest, who was converted, shared that he was “touched by the testimony shared by the young people”. He has since gone on to evangelise on his own university campus and run a Bible study! Youth reaching youth in Africa is a very effective method of sharing the Gospel. Please pray for it to continue. This was a very useful project, by God’s grace, and we look forward to sharing more stories with you about the Gospel in DRC universities soon.
PROJECT 2: PEACE BUILDING AND RECONCILIATION PROGRAMME
In 2005, AE began a peace and reconciliation programme. It is based on the work of Christ on the cross, with the ultimate objective of denouncing wrongdoing, encourage repentance and forgiveness, foster acceptance and develop a culture of peace and security. Sufferers learn to share their grievous losses, to forgive those who have hurt them and to find healing and new life in Christ. Often, former enemies embrace. New trust is formed. And the peace from these restored relationships spreads throughout cities and nations. Not only that, but many who’ve found healing receive training on how to train others, creating a dynamic, exponential multiplication of healing and hope.
In the DRC, training is carried out through large – scale training workshops. In early 2010 a workshop for 65 church leaders was conducted in Mbujimayi, DRC, entitled “Trauma Healing and Reconciliation (THR)”. Bishop Mbaya summarised the training,
We have not had such a Workshop very touching for Church Leaders. These Teachings must be taken to all levels of people in the society. DR Congo is too big a country; we need help so that many can be reached with these teachings.
Please continue to pray for, and support peace and reconciliation projects in DRC and beyond. Click here to sponsor our teams.
The AE DRC Team regularly organises missions throughout the country. 4 missions were coordinated in the 2013 – 2016 period.
In 2013, the Kinshasa ‘Back to Christ’ Mission reached 4299 people, with 688 saved.
In 2014, ‘Matadi for Christ’ resulted in 6497 people hearing and 640 people responding to the Gospel.
In 2015, a university mission outreach through UPN saw 15,000 reached and 426 saved.
In 2016, a ‘Return to Matadi’ Mission was a prison specific outreach that presented the Gospel to 500 inmates from whom 52 were saved.
In 2017, the DRC Team hope to conduct a mission to the southern mining city of Lubumbashi. Please pray for their preparation.
January 2017 (From AE Team Leader Leonard Kiswangi)
- We are praying that God provides us with expected resources for our main mission in Lubumbashi this year, around July/August 2017.
- Pray that we will have resources to help us with our newly acquired office rehabilitation
- Pray that God will help us get some decent salaries for the staff.
- Last, but not least, pray that politicians will come up with peaceful consensus towards the postponed elections, now anticipated somewhere there towards the end of 2017.