Team leaves for Congo

WILMORE, KY—On June 1, more than 50 well wishers crowded into the World Gospel Mission building on campus to commission and pray for the 12-person team headed to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

congoteamsm.jpgThe team made up of Asbury College students Josiah Littrell ’07, Hans Gehman ’08, A.J. Parry ’08 and Elisa Torell ’07; graduates Jeannie Banter ’06, Paul Law ’68, Marty Law ’68, Charles Denger ’69, Brent Duncan ’04, Paul Niswander ’01 and Doug Lindle ’96 and Wesley College student Arlandis Powell, left June 2 and will return in August.

The team will spend 10 weeks in the Democratic Republic of Congo, repairing and renovating the Katako Kombe camp meeting site. On the weekends they will visit and minister to the people in local villages—inviting them to come to the camp meeting at the end of the summer. The trip is organized by New Hope International Ministries. To read about the trip, visit the team blog .

The commissioning service was held just hours after they received visas and passports for the trip. Up until that time, there were questions as to whether the team would be able to leave on time for the Congo.

“This whole process has been amazing, we have seen God literally move mountains,” said Sue Lauter, wife of founder and president of New Hope International Ministries, Roy Lauter.

Lauter told the group that the sun and moon are the same one they would see at home. Paul Law jokingly said, “And that’s where the similarity ends.”

A special offering for the project was collected during the Great Commission Congress on campus last semester. The Katako Kombe camp meeting site was established congopraysm.jpgshortly after alumnus Dr. Alexander Reid ’27 and wife, Hazel, began work there in 1943. The camp meeting site was a gathering place for spiritual retreats of various kinds for many years.

This tradition continued until the recent years of turmoil and war in the country. Since 1998, the country suffered greatly from the devastating Second Congo War, the world’s deadliest conflict since World War II. The war officially ended in 2003 and an estimated 3.8 million people died, mostly from starvation and disease. Millions more were displaced from their homes or sought refuge in neighboring countries.

Foreign soldiers and rebel troops moved through the Katako Kombe area and it wasn’t long before the roofing, doors and windows were all gone and the buildings began to deteriorate.

With the election of new Episcopal leadership for Central Congo and a renewed interest in revival, it has become necessary to renovate the camp meeting site by August 2006.

The mission team has asked the Asbury College community to pray for them during their travels and stay in the Congo.

Prayer requests:
—Communication with the Africans
—Camp meeting and annual conference to take place later in the summer
—Team health, protection from malaria and physical, psychological and emotional health
—Food
—Barge with supplies arrives to its destination
—Be everything that God wants them to be
—Families left behind in the states
—Strength
—Ministry
—To see the big pictures, not get caught up in the details
—To have Jesus’ heart, eyes and spirit for the people this summer
—To grow spiritually into a new person
—Help the local people to see Jesus through the team
—Wisdom
—Quiet time
—Joy of God in hearts all the time

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