With heavy hearts we departed our home at Kikongo in the D.R. Congo on March 27. We have lived at Kikongo since 1993. We spent about a week in Kinshasa the capitol city, before we left Africa on Easter Sunday.
After travelling for thirty some hours, we walked into the same apartment we had lived in during our last home assignment in 2017-2018. Our friends had moved in furniture, and stocked the cupboards. It reminded us of what Jesus said in John 14: “Behold I prepare a place for you”. This place in Redlands California had been lovingly prepared for our arrival.
Yes, we have left Congo, having served as missionaries for 35 years. Both of us grew up in Congo also as children of missionaries. We will be considered “missionaries on home assignment” until the end of the year when our official retirement begins.
Many missionaries have not been able to complete a career in Africa due to political unrest, or disease. By God’s grace, we have been able to depart intentionally and in peace.
This is the first time in 90 years that there is no longer a presence of missionaries at Kikongo. We think we have left good people in place to fill the roles that we served in. The work of the university, and role of the church will continue. We told the people that we would be gone, but they would not be forgotten. Technology has made it possible to keep in close contact with friends and colleagues in Congo.
The US has changed a lot since we were last here. As a result of the pandemic, greater emphasis is placed on technology, and has widened the gap between our former lives, and the life we must adjust to in the US.
We are not sure how to be God’s servants after we retire from International Ministries, but for the time being we are enjoying catching our breath, taking a break, and enjoying more time with family.
We are most grateful for your prayers , support, and partnership having made possible our time of service in missions for so many years.
Glen and Rita
Note from The Chapman Mission Partnership Team:
Dear Friends, the work continues as Glen and Rita coach and advise people on the ground in Kikongo from the U.S. During this transition time. Their work and connections are important as people are empowered to continue the work of sharing the love of Christ, training students at the University and caring for the church. Please continue to support Glen and Rita through the end of the year.
If any of you can make an additional gift, please start doing so after June 1st as this will be doubled. Donations should be made online directly from the Monthly Giving Match page that will be available on the website at that time. You can also contact donor Services at 610-768-2323 to make a credit card gift by phone. Any donations received before June 1 will not quality for the match. After June 1 go to https://internationalministries.org/ to see how to have your gift be doubled. Last year the fund was depleted in three weeks, so do not delay.