A story of discipleship, Our journey with the Congolese in Durban

Rural Ministry

One of the most difficult parts of Christian Ministry is the process of making disciples. You begin by either introducing Christ to someone who isn’t saved or entreating a believer to deepen their commitment in their relationship with Jesus. This begins a long road of helping shape someone into a person that lives their life deliberately for God’s Purpose! There are many opportunities to short circuit this process because it is filled with significant resistance from the flesh, the often painful healing of past wounds, and many other challenges to a soul that is very used to its own independence. The product of this, often messy process, isn’t a finished, perfect person but rather someone who knows how God speaks to them and has some sense of direction on how He desires to use them in the future.

Matthew 9:36-38 NASB

Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed
and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. [37] Then He said to His disciples,
“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. [38] Therefore beseech
the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”

A key attribute of a Christian Disciple is a being deployed into the work of “His Harvest.” Such a person has seen God both change their lives and give them a hope that causes them to respond by looking for opportunities to participate in God doing this for others. It is very clear in Scripture that some the most fruitful and challenging work of Jesus while He was on earth was the fashioning of His twelve disciples.

For the first nine years of our work with a small band of Congolese Refugees in Durban there were A LOT of challenges. Most were unemployed, unsaved, in marital distress, or some combination of all of three! We had loud, verbally abusive arguments, individuals show up thoroughly drunk, and even a full fist fight erupt in the setting where we were gathering to study the basic truths of Scripture! Slowly, Christ changed the hearts of many in this group. They became 100 percent employed over time and the marriages of those involved moved from shaky, often abusive situations, to stable examples of how people should live when they are husband and wife.

Entering our tenth year, the “Bible Study in Etete,” began to evolve through those in attendance reaching out to the larger Congolese community in Durban. This month, we will share at a local Congolese congregation, participate in a community wide conference for Congolese women, and work with approximately one hundred Congolese pastors in a one day seminar. While we consider this to be a beginning to a larger ministry expression, it is already awesome to consider that all this is the fruit of making a handful of disciples.

I am sure that you have noticed this is the first update in quite some time. We have resolved some long standing technical issues and added a much needed webmaster to our online ministry. While the published updates have been sparse, the mission work hasn’t slowed in the least! We will catch you up on 2017 in the coming months! Please remember our growing work among the Congolese of Durban in your prayers!

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