News From Our Churches – December 6, 2017

Miss Bridget Lane of the SCWA Coalition UK Office

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

SCWA Coalition Training

SCWA is an acronym for Stop Children Witchcraft Accusation Coalition. This international Christian organization advocates for the rights of children all over the world. Bertin Mwanya has stood for the DRC Advent Christian Conference, as he has attended the training for trainers held by SCWA Coalition UK office. 

This training was facilitated by Miss Bridget Lane, who came from the UK for the sake of training the church leaders and community workers that would advocate for the rights of the children in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The training was held at the St. Mark Chapel of the Anglican Church in Lubumbashi on November 19-24, 2017. Bishop Mwale from the Katanga Anglican diocese gave the inaugural speech by reading and expanding on the Scriptures as recorded in 2 Timothy 2:2.

     Church Leaders at the Training

Bridget Lane, the main trainer, expanded on the following topics: the rights of the children, how to deal with a child with trauma and how the church leader would tackle the child’s witchcraft accusation. Bridget Lane emphasized that children are a gift from God and that they must be protected against any abuse and false witchcraft accusation. It’s true that the churches have adopted children from the communities and that these kids suffer from trauma and stigmatization, including witchcraft accusation, HIV/AIDS, poor parenting, divorce and wars. Certificates have been awarded to the 30 participants from a number of churches and denominations that delegated trainees to this training.

We are planning to get this training to many Advent Christian leaders and church workers as an attempt to increase awareness on the plight the children go through in terms of witchcraft accusation or stigmatization.

Children are trapped in the central part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, dying on a daily basis due to political issues. From the recent news, the children are enrolled in the army by force or they are killed and buried in holes along with adults.

We want to continue advocating for the needy children, as the long-term plan is to let them know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

LIBERIA

Conference President Moses Gbaa reports:

Women’s Department
The Department of Women’s Ministries meets the second week of March every year, sending representatives from all of our churches in Liberia. The week was used to discuss and strengthen women’s ministries in the local churches.

Leadership Meeting
Pastors and church leaders meet the last three days of May every year to discuss and to review past activities as well as to plan for the future.

Youth Department
The Youth Department meets during the third week of the month of August every year, hosting a youth retreat. While together, they review and plan future activities of the department.

Leadership Seminar
The conference organizes a leadership seminar for all conference leaders, pastors and local church officials. This seminar is held during the last week of October every year. Training is offered for various facets of church leadership. While together, we hear the reports of each local branch and plan for the future.

Annual Conference
The Conference of Liberia meets this year from Sunday, December 3, to Sunday, December 10, at the Buchanan Advent Christian Church. At this conference, each local church brings 25 delegates, including pastors and church officials as well as local members.

All the activities of the conference as mentioned above were held and will be climaxed by this year’s annual conference in Buchanan. Due to my poor health condition at the time, I was not able to attend all of the activities this year or to do photos as usual.

During this December conference, with the grace of God, I will send you photos and update you with the activities throughout the conference.

God is so good to me.

SOUTH AFRICA

Conference President Alain Don’Tony writes about recent crusade:

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

After many months of prayer and fasting, we finally pitched our tent in Missionvale Township for a three-day crusade. This tent crusade has proved to be the most challenging outreach I have ever been involved with in my 24 years of ministry. I have been tested to the limits and have received opposition to the extreme. Besides the financial challenges, which exhausted my wife’s income, I was met with challenges I have never faced before.

The municipality had agreed to provide us with electricity, but just two days before the crusade they changed their minds, forcing me to find another source of electricity. A house nearby agreed to supply us with the needed electricity at a cost, but strangely enough the man of the house got drunk and pulled the plug on our electricity while I was preaching, totally interrupting the service. Some had to go there and beg him to reconnect the cables. This happened not only once, but repeatedly through the entire crusade.

On Sunday, the electricians used to make connections were angry with me, because I had not yet paid them for their labor. The reason for the delay in payment was that the tent fell due to heavy winds on Sunday preventing us from taking an offering that would have covered their expenses. I guaranteed them that I would pay them, but they nearly came to blows with me, calling me a criminal.

The toughest experience I had was with the tent itself.On the first day of the crusade it fell twice. On the last day it fell and was torn, not allowing us to put it up again.

On Friday, my voice was strained, but I was able to preach on Saturday. By Sunday, I lost my voice completely.

Apart from all of the trials, a few people gave their hearts to the Lord. We plan now to have a house church in the very house that rented electricity to us, because the woman of the house wants us to pray for her alcoholic husband. We will begin in another week, God willing, because I must recover from sickness. I am still waiting for my voice to return.

I humbly ask you to pray for me, because I am feeling exhausted, having done so much of the work myself, and need a lot of rest.

TANZANIA

Thirty-five pastors and church leaders have been gathering in Mwanza, Tanzania to receive theological education. Each student is asked to surrender two weeks each month for six months and devote his time to study. This often means great sacrifice for most students. The sleeping arrangements are little more than empty floor space in someone else’s home. The meals are whatever they can afford to buy (and many times they sacrifice certain meals). The income for their families’ welfare is also sacrificed for this season of study. The second two-week session is just now ending and the reports are thrilling.

We thank God for professors who are called to teach yet receive no salary, for students whose thirst for training is so great that they travel from afar and sleep on floors and for host families who often have wall-to-wall guests. Surely this is the kingdom of God in action.