Africa · field report · Gospel · Journal · Missions

a church that’s alive

I recently visited a new church. We drove on the highway all the way, and it still took nearly 1.5 hours to get there. I purposefully went a little earlier, because I intended on meeting new people, and mix around a little before the church service started. The foyer was set up with a photo area – decorated with Christmas trees, twinkly lights, and a sleigh in which you and your family could sit and pose for a Christmas picture. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming, and worship music played through the speakers of the foyer. What a contrast this was to the church in the bush!

Don’t get me wrong! I appreciate a good cup of coffee and friendly faces, and a welcoming family environment, but there’s something to be said for the simple authenticity of a church under a mango tree out in the bush. Yes, the congregants might take a few hours to arrive in drips and drabs, and yes, the church will most definitely not start on time. And yes, sometimes you’ll find the pastor out in the field, harvesting maize, right before he puts his (only) tattered suit jacket on to come to feed the flock. You’re likely to find the clamour of kids running around, goats bleating in the background, and chickens pecking at your feet during the service, and there will most likely be at least 8 songs that you don’t know or are in Swahili or another tribal language to which you can clap and dance, but don’t know the words to.

When I introduced myself to the usher at the front door, he was pleasantly surprised that I had come that far to visit their congregation that morning, but he exclaimed, “A church that’s alive, is worth the drive!” And THAT I could wholeheartedly agree with!

You see, I think we Westerners often have the wrong idea about the church. If we take away the dimmed lights during the musical worship portion of the service, or if we don’t serve coffee, or if we don’t have soft chairs to sit on, or an auditorium sound system that doesn’t screech in your ears – what remains?

ECCLESIA [noun] a body, a congregation, a group of believersthat is what church is. I’m reminded of the Church of Acts, where believers met together to break bread (I like to think these communities were centred around hospitality, and what’s better than sharing a good meal?), and share the Word (also known as fellowship) about their belief in God. Isn’t that a much simpler approach to church?

I suppose the question is: are you a church that’s alive? Are you carrying HOPE within you? Are you ready to account for the Hope that is in Christ?

As missionaries to unreached people groups, most of the communities we minister and reach out to are (at least) an hour away, travelling on terrible (or non-existent) roads with dirt bikes, by taxi, by boat, by canoe, by foot, or with 4×4s.

Often times there are cultural and linguistic challenges. But oh, man — OVER AND OVER AGAIN, it’s worth going the distance to bring a church that is alive to a place that is desperate for Hope! The really amazing thing is — YOU are the church! YOU carry that Hope within you. And by the Holy Spirit, you are FULLY EQUIPPED to share the Gospel of Good News, Christ the Hope of Glory, with every single person you encounter.

You don’t have to be a missionary.
You don’t have to be specially trained.
You simply have to carry His Presence and ignite others with that Eternal Hope.


OVERLAND MISSIONS CONFERENCE

4 – 7 JANUARY 2023 at New Life Christian Fellowship, Jacksonville, Florida, USA

Every Year, Overland Missions hosts a missions conference in Florida, United States where friends of Overland, our international staff, and anyone who’s interested in bringing the Gospel to unreached people groups in remote locations gather to cast vision for the year ahead.

I will be making my way to Florida this year to join our team there, and to raise financial support in order to return to the Democratic Republic of Congo in early 2023. I’d like to invite you to join us this year – in person or online, for a nation-shaking gathering!

While in the States, I am available to visit churches, and partners, and to minister as often as I have the opportunity, to share what the Lord is doing in DR Congo and beyond! If you would like me to speak at your house, Bible study group, or church, please reach out! I’d love to meet with as many of you as possible!

WhatsApp: +27 615225401 or email: cornelia@overlandmissions

It has been over 2 months since our epic King of Kings event, but the ripple effect is going to continue for generations.
Check out this awesome video documenting the event!

partnership

Partners are individuals, families, businesses, and even other ministries that regularly pray for, and faithfully sow a monthly seed of financial support into ministry as I partner with Overland Missions to bring the Gospel to DR Congo.

When you become a partner, you directly connect yourself to every soul reached, and every life touched by the Gospel. Your gift of partnership enables us to preach the Gospel all over this region, and carry out the vision that the Lord has given us to shake this country with the Power of God.

As always, I want to provide an easy avenue to sow into the work of the Kingdom. If the Lord is stirring you to generosity, you can join my partnership team by signing up to give a monthly financial gift HERE. This link is always open and available, and I’ll include it in each newsletter for ease of access. If you choose to donate via this route on your own, please get in touch with me so that I am made aware of your partnership or donation.

Here are some specific ministry needs:

  • Monthly support – I need to raise $4000 per month in my ministry account (3282) which goes towards all ministry movements: plane tickets, fuel, ministry partners, etc.
  • Vehicle – I am also raising funds for a ministry vehicle in DR Congo, and I’m trusting God to provide $20000 for this specific need.
  • I am also believing for some new partner relationships, so if you have any friends or churches who might be interested in connecting with me in ministry, I would love to make time for that! 

If you feel led to invest in this season’s ministry, please choose your preferred giving method below:

you are a part of this team

Thank you to each one of you who is partnered with me in finances, prayer, and faith! I am so incredibly thankful for the wonderful people that send texts of encouragement, prayer requests, updates from your personal life, and continued friendship – even though we’re worlds apart. I couldn’t be fulfilling the call of God on my life without you standing with me, and sowing into what God does in these places! I pray that your gift will be returned to you in full and that your life will be multiplied in every way!

“Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in FULL – pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The measure you give will be the measure given back to you.”

Luke 6:38

With the love of Christ, until the whole world hears!

Cornelia