Changed lives and cleaner streets were the fruit of DNA training in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Some local neighborhoods in Kinshasa, western DRC benefitted from an April 2011 Vision Conference held in a collaboration between Harvest Foundation, Samaritan Strategy Africa, Reach Africa, and 17ème Communauté Evangélique du Christ en Ubangi (CECU). During the week, 50 participants from five parishes were trained in worldview and development and wholistic ministry. Also, five Seed Actions were planned, one per parish.
Trainees gathered from several churches, including 17ème CECU, Communauté Pentecôtiste Christ Roi, Communauté Evangélique au Kwango, and Arche de l’alliance. Among the participants (10 women and 40 men) were pastors, choir leaders, deacons, ushers, Sunday school teachers, army chaplains, missionaries, youth leaders, church elders, evangelists and community development staff.
From these, 30 were selected for a training of trainers session to be held in the near future.
Rev. Buingo Mateene and Pastor Jeff Sikabwe, joined by Romain Diakou and Martin Mambula, facilitated the sessions. The facilitators reported that the week was “a good opportunity for church leaders to look for new ways through which they could serve their communities to see positive change in lives of their people.”
Participants committed themselves to six seed actions:
- Garbage collection at the Mabanza market in Mokali
- Mobilizing population to clean Limeté Avenue in Luka
- Cleaning gutters on the Djabir roundabout in Matonge division
- Filling potholes on Maluku street
- Collection and distribution of foodstuffs for poor families in the neighborhoods
- Visiting and distributing fruits and soft drinks to patients at King Baudouin Hospital
In addition to these Seed Actions planned during the training, participants committed themselves to do more acts of service in the future. Some of them testified to the impact of the training.
We thank Reach Africa for its concern of seeing the local churches of Congo standing on its feet in each area of their life. We thank God for Harvest and Samaritan Strategy for their efforts in behavior changing of Congolese society through teachings on the holistic ministry. We also thank 17ème CECU/Kinshasa which provided all necessary logistics for success of this conference. This teaching enabled us to have a new vision of the Gospel, one of considering human being in his entirety according to the model of growth and service provided by Jesus in Luke 2:52. We have discovered that we do not need to have a lot of resources to help someone else (street children or beggars) to grow in the image of Christ. … We have the conviction to be well equipped and able to put into practice the lessons learnt for change in our society. Nadine Deco: On behalf of women
This training helped us to identify many bad practices in use in our cultures which are the root causes of many problems which lead to selfishness, hatred, poverty … We have discovered that we suffer for lack of practical application of the assets and by bad stewardship of what God has given to us. Through this training we have discovered that the human being is the master of his destiny, able to change situations and to help other people to grow holistically by accomplishing small acts of sacrificial service. Reverend Alenge Nabwe Cyrille: 17ème CECU Church
We thank Harvest/SSA because they are a source of blessings for us – you have an appropriate message for Africa at this particular time of history. We are convinced that through such messages our church can come out of poverty … now we are informed that we are also able to do something for the change of our current situation. Let’s try putting this message into practice and wait seeing what will happen in our families and communities. Pastor Silas Selenga: Reach Africa
Reverend Buingo Mateene, Central Africa Cordinator for Samaritan Strategy Africa, summarized the conference:
We thank the congregations and organizations which came to joinHarvest and SSA for the planning of this conference. Truly speaking, we believe that through this partnership the call of standing on our own feet and fight against poverty of mind can reach many African church leaders. … our aim is to equip trainers for spreading this message through many congregations in Congo.