“As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.”Matthew 10:7-8
It’s hard to believe that I’ve spent a full month in DRC! Thank you to EACH OF YOU for being part of my life, and part of this ministry! You are an extension of my hands and feet!
every knee shall bow
While on Expedition, we met several Chiefs in this new area. Chiefs are tribal community leaders, ordained by the government, and we are dependent on their favour to continue ministry in any given area.
Over the course of the week, I met 3 other regional chiefs — each inviting us to freely preach the Gospel in their village.
Chief Lukoshi invited our entire team into his house
This is such a phenomenal breach of protocol, inviting strangers into your home! He wanted us to pray a blessing over him and his house and his chieftaincy. As we were about to pray, he said, “Wait! Stop!” knelt down, and bowed his head! I’m covered in Goosebumps even as I’m writing this! Our team prayed over him, and as we got ready to leave, the Holy Spirit gave me a word of encouragement to speak to him.
I said, “Chief Lukoshi, I have a message from God to speak to you,” and I asked our team member, Carol, if he would interpret from English to Swahili so that Chief Lukoshi would not miss anything I try to explain in basic French. Carol (bless his heart) responded, “Yes, of course — when you speak the things of God it’s important to use clear words.”
It’s not about me, or even about the chief, but I cannot emphasise how great an honour it is to be standing in this position — speaking into the lives of tribal and governmental leaders. Culturally it is unheard of that you would break protocol, allow strangers into your home, and let a woman address you in such a manner. This is my stance — honour all men (big and small), but if God has given me a message to bring, I will not be quiet about it.
rivers and roads
On our second-to-last day in Mwadingusha area, we ventured out to a different village, and we soon came to the end of the road. Literally. There might have been a bridge there once upon a time, but what remained was a few loose planks halfway down the river. What was there to do but roll up our trousers, take off our shoes and wade through — we had people to get to!
Fulgence, Mike and I were in a team, and we went from home to home to share the Gospel, lay hands on the sick, cast out demons, and encourage the Believers.
I want to highlight these testimonies:
- Mike shared the Gospel with Lydia who said that she used to go to church, but didn’t anymore. She prayed with him to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and after we prayed, she said she had another prayer request: she is five months pregnant, and she hasn’t felt the baby move. So I laid my hand over her belly, and we declared life over Lydia and her child. I’m not 100% sure what the result of our prayer was, but as we prayed, I felt her belly move under my hand! I have full confidence that the Giver of Life has touched Lydia and her child!
- One of the old ladies we prayed for said she couldn’t move her arm. She could barely lift a knife to descale fish. So, we laid hands on her and prayed. As we prayed, the Holy Spirit said, “cast out the spirit that causes this infirmity,” and I simply said, “you’re not welcome here. Get out in Jesus’s Name.” We finished praying and asked the grandmother if there was any pain in her shoulder. She shot out her arm, nearly punching Fulgence, and ran around the village declaring to everyone, “The Lord has healed me! The Lord has healed me! The Lord has healed me!”
- One of the grandfathers at this same house was complaining of back pain and feelings of paralysis in his legs. From a medical perspective it’s easy to argue that there are pinched nerves that cause pain. And it’s probably true. All I know is that pain and disease aren’t in line in with Scripture that declares BY HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED. So, Mike, Fulgence and I laid our hands on him, prayed, and commanded his body to come in line with Scripture. We saw the grandfather’s leg grow to be the same length and he said afterward that most of the pain was gone! Praise Jesus who is faithful to His Word!
- After a full day of ministry, we returned to the banana tree where we left the motorbikes. We were waiting for the other teams to come back so that we could leave together. The chief was sitting under a tree, a little further away, and I asked Mike, “please ask the chief if we can pray for him,” Mike spoke to the Chief in Swahili, and before I could ask whether we could approach him, the chief grabbed his chair and dragged it over. He said we could lay hands on him (another breach of protocol!) and eagerly received the Gospel!
every tribe and tongue
We have great relationships with three of the four Great Chiefs in this province, including Emperor Mwant Yava (who I spoke about in my previous newsletter), and several of the smaller regional chiefs. In future, we hope to supply each of these chiefs with a Chaplain as Counselor.
You can pray for these Great Chiefs as they govern several other chiefs under them:
- Emperor Mwant Yava
- Chief Mukumbi
- Chief Pembamoto
Unfortunately, the October Chaplaincy Training in Zambia had to be postponed on account of delays in paperwork, but this presents opportunity for future ministry! In 2022 we will host Chaplaincy Training here in DR Congo, and hope to invite many more chiefs to join the program by then!
going to places where there are no roads
We just came back from a week in the Bush in the Mwadingusha area where our team was on Expedition! Expeditions are the pioneering Evangelical move into a new area to reach remote people with the Gospel.
498 people heard the Gospel.
46 souls got saved.
98 people were healed.
2 people were set free from demons.
In the end it’s not about the statistics. It’s about seeing hearts and lives transformed by the love of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.
The adventure wears off, and trust me — eating bucari (maize porridge) and fish 3x day, all week grows thin real fast — but it’s SO WORTH IT, because He is worthy!
Doing whatever it takes to reach remote people with the Gospel, requires giving everything we have for the sake of the Kingdom. It costs everything. And the reward is everything. Wading through rivers to continue on foot to a village where there are no roads, sleeping in tents, eating food that is foreign to your culture — all of these things bring adventure and reward.
None of the adventure can even begin to measure up to the Eternal Reward of lives that are transformed when people hear and respond to the Good News of Gospel for the first time, when those who were oppressed by the demonic experience freedom in Christ, when young people and old people alike are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
THIS IS THAT which the prophet Joel spoke of — God has poured out His Spirit on all men, the blind see, the deaf hear, the mute sing, captives are set free, and the Gospel is declared to every tribe and every tongue and Nation.
I had the opportunity to interview Overland Missions team member, Carol, and in this podcast episode he shares testimonies, talks about life and ministry in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Farming God’s Way as a tool to share the Gospel. Coming at you from Likasi, DRC with the sounds of our neighbourhood in the background!
you can listen to Cornelia In Africa on any podcast platform, or follow the link here
mahala in Mukumbi
Every week, we come back to this chiefdom to host Bible Studies and to encourage the believers here. (Last year, before the Chief gave us permission to use the private road, getting here required multiple taxis, travel by motorbike, and the whole journey took <4 hours one-way.)
One time, as Julie and I and our team showed up to teach Bible study, there were a large group of people gathered at the secretary’s office — Chief Mukumbi was addressing people. As soon as we pulled up, the secretary approached us, explaining that there was trouble at one of the other villages but we didn’t have to leave.
He said, “We know you. We know your reputation. You’re here to help people and to teach the Bible and to pray for people. You will be safe. You’re not here to cause trouble.”
Every time we come back here, we’re joyfully welcomed, and as soon as the teaching is concluded, our group of friends tell us about the sick people in the hospital and the village that need prayer. We encourage them to go out and lay hands on the sick, and to pray for the people in their community. Now they’re the ones responding to prayer requests.
Yesterday was another busy day for Chief Mukumbi! He buried his younger brother and welcomed a new granddaughter (we met her at the hospital) on the same day. So often the areas and people that are hardest to reach are the ones that God uses most profoundly to bring transformation in the Kingdom.
in every season
Rainy Season has arrived in DR Congo, and our teams are out in the fields, empowering unreached people with the Gospel, and teaching Farming God’s Way!
Here are some of our team members doing Farming God’s Way: https://youtu.be/xL-MQzzjyUs
video updates and testimonies
Guess what? IT’S TESTIMONY TIME! In this video Julie shares some recent testimonies from Mukumbi, Expeditions, and plans for the next season!
boots on the ground
We are actively looking for people to join our team here in DRC with boots on the ground. If you want to join our team, reach out to me — email@example.com
investing in team
Three of our Congolese team members are getting married in the next couple of months, and we were honoured to join them at their engagement party. We meet with our full team once a week for fellowship and worship, and these are valuable cross-cultural discipleship opportunities. Here are some pictures from the past month!
Join us January 2-5, 2022 at Calvary Orlando (or online) for an epic time of worship by our own Overland Missions Music & guest worship by UPPERROOM, as well as international speakers and missionaries!
you are part of this team
As always, a grand THANK YOU to each of you! I’m so blessed by your encouragement and prayer as our team continues to believe in a great move of God here in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, and my home country, South Africa!
Because of you, and your support in every way, we can participate in the mission — to see the sick healed, the oppressed set free, the dead raised, and the Good News proclaimed to those who are without hope.
Through your faithful partnership in finances, prayer, and support this ministry can grow, bear fruit, and share in the joy of the harvest! Thank you for sowing into this team, and specifically into my life! Because of your commitment, remote communities are reached with the Gospel of the Kingdom — thank you for being a part of that! Thank you to all of you who sow and continue sowing into my life and the lives of others who are growing in Christ, receiving Christ, and are sent out by Christ.
I love each one of you and am so excited for what the Lord is doing and going to do through your lives as well. Giving it all might require finances, time, and sacrifice, but it’s worth it. He is worth it. The greatest gift was given when Jesus laid His own life down for us. Everything else falls short. He deserves eternal glory!
Thank you for your continued prayers, and love, and for sowing so generously into my life! May the Lamb receive the honour and praise that is due to His Name! 🙌🏼
Love in Christ
“And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the good news (the Gospel) to every creature [of the whole human race]. He who believes [who adheres to and trusts in and relies on the Gospel and Him Whom it sets forth] and is baptized will be saved [from the penalty of eternal death]; but he who does not believe [who does not adhere to and trust in and rely on the Gospel and Him Whom it sets forth] will be condemned. And these attesting signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new languages; They will pick up serpents; and [even] if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will get well.”Mark 16:15-18