Saturday, August 24, 2013

Singing and Dancing for Jesus!

The team in front of SIL Congo, the guest house where we stayed. SIL stands for Summer Institute for Linguistics. SIL is also known as Wycliffe Bible Translators. It was an honor to stay at a place where they are working on translating the Bible into some of the native languages in the Congo.


Our team witih President 'Papa' Mavoungou and his wife Victorine at a celebration dinner on Wednesday evening and at the constuction site of the new parsonage and church office

Home safely--thank you all for your prayers; more photos to come--check back soon!

Dear OSLC family and friends and other wonderful senders,

We arrived home safely yesterday about 2:30 p.m.  Thank you for your prayers during our Congo mission.  We appreciated all of the prayers that were offered.  Please continue to pray for President Joseph Mavoungou and the leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Congo.  Pray that God continues to give them wisdom and joy as they serve Jesus and reach out to others with His amazing love!  Please check back for new photos and blog entries over the next few days.  To God be the glory!

Grateful for all of you,

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

An exciting excursion to the village

On Tuesday, we went on an excursion to visit the church in the village of Impani.  We began by going to National President Rev. Mavoungou’s house.  Others from the Brazzaville congregations met us there. We all boarded the bus along with a large drum, and a picnic lunch among other things. The ride was a little over an hour but it gave us a chance to see what is on the outskirts of Brazzaville. As with any city, the houses began to have more space between them and then there were fewer and fewer homes. As we drove through the countryside, there were some interesting sights. One notable one was when we drove by a small river, there was a group of people performing a baptism. Another was when we passed a truck that was very overloaded (which was not surprising) with live goats suspended along the whole side of it.  Even our Congolese friends on the bus with us pointed and laughed!  I recognized the French word for goat as they exclaimed “Oh, une Chevre!”  The bus finally arrived at a small building covered with branches. There was one house nearby, but no others within sight.  As we disembarked, we could hear singing coming from the small building.  We were met and welcomed by the Pastor, the congregational President, a parish Evangelist, and even the Chief of the village! Matthew in turn introduced us, and gave them greetings from Our Savior, Topsfield, as we began to worship together. During this worship time together, we performed the drama of the “Wise and Foolish Builders” and the puppet skit, “Jesus, the Good Shepherd,” and Matthew followed it with a message.  Peter gave his testimony.  We sang the song “Freedom is Coming” and Pastor Mavoungou joined us.  He and the National Vice President Rev. Albert Poungui also performed the “Psalm 23” drama.  At this church the language barrier was a bit more formidable.  Everything was translated to French Missionary Fred Reinhardt, and then again into their tribal language. Things took longer, but the congregation still really seemed to enjoy the activities.  And of course we sang “Making Melodies in my Heart” and the entire group joined in with big smiles.  We gave stickers, pencils and little glider planes to the kids.  When we asked them to sing a song for us they all joined in with drum accompaniment.  It was - as it always is – an amazing sound and everyone joyfully praised the Lord together!

After worship ended, we were treated to a picnic lunch prepared by President Mavoungou’s congregation from food we had brought with us on the bus.  It was a beautiful, breezy day so we thoroughly enjoyed the countryside and spending this time together with the brothers and sisters of Impani.  After lunch we boarded the bus for our return to Brazzaville. Matthew was exchanging music with one of the evangelists and the whole bus broke into song a few times.  What a great and blessed day!
Thanks for your prayers,