International Ministries

A Beginning and an Ending

September 16, 2009 Journal
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This month of September marks the beginning of the new school year at the Bible Institute in Kimpese, D.R. Congo, and the end of the life of a pastor who spent decades in the Lord's service.
We began our new school year at the Bible Institute with a spiritual retreat on the theme of what it means to be called by God to His service.  Five of our eight graduating seniors are here, along with eight first-year students.  They didn't have an easy time getting here:  The husband of one of our seniors was injured in a truck accident on the way; the wife of a first-year student arrived from the village at the Kimpese Catholic mission literally just in time to give birth to a daughter they've named Wendy; another student has a serious infection on his foot because he had to walk so far in ill-fitting shoes to get here.  Several more students are still on the way; who knows what stories they will tell when they get here!
And it's the end of the earthly road for the "dean" of Congo Baptist pastors, Andre Dikiefu, born in 1918, who passed away on September 12.  He will be buried this Sunday, September 20, at the Sona Bata mission where he served for many decades.  I've been asked to preach at the church service just before the funeral.  I'll be driving there and back the same day and taking four other people who want to go; it's about a 5-hour round trip, on a good road.
Please pray for safety on the road, and for wisdom in what to say on this important occasion.
Thanks for your prayers and gifts, which make my ministry in the Congo possible!