KARAWA, DR CONGO (August 6, 2012) – The first of 24 international church representatives arrived Saturday to help celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Covenant’s ministry in Africa – festivities will take place August 12-15.
As many as 5,000 Congolese are expected to attend. Construction has begun on the large shelter in the field where services will be held.
Arriving Saturday were Simon Kamau, president of the Evangelical Covenant Church of Kenya, and Matthew Malual, director of projects for the Evangelical Covenant Church of South Sudan, as well as Jan and Bob Thornbloom, who have played a key role in the Evangelical Covenant Church’s mission in Congo for many years.
The two started giving seminars on development to leaders of the Congo Covenant Church (CEUM) today and will continue providing them during the week. They also will visit an experimental farm and the station at Loko.
This is the first trip outside of Kenya for Simon. Matthew has traveled to Ethiopia and Uganda for studies.
“There is a deep, deep sense of joy, of pleasure in being here, meeting other church leaders, sharing life and ministry,” Covenant missionary Pete Ekstrand wrote on his blog. “Already after one day they are learning from each other.”
On Sunday, Simon preached at the Bokonzo church with Ekstrand interpreting.
During their stay, leaders from the Evangelical Covenant Church will work on improving conditions in Congo, which is ranked one of the three poorest countries in the world.
Byron Miller, executive director of the Paul Carlson Partnership, will meet with CEUM leaders and medical providers to consider ways to make the health care system more self-sustainable. Other development projects including Farmers to Markets also will be discussed.
Another delegation from Covenant Kids Congo powered by World Vision, including President Gary Walter, will visit the early stages of that project in Gemena as well as participate in the 75th anniversary celebration.