To Kikongo on foot
To Kikongo by boat
Happy Children on the boat
Pictures in our local paper of children going back to school remind us that this is a special, but also critical time for the Pastoral School at Kikongo, too. A large boat is currently on it's way up the Wamba River to the main Kenge Bridge to collect new incoming student families. Coming from rural communities all over our part of Congo, many families will have walked, ridden bicycles, perched on top of heavily laden trucks, or found their way in canoes for days before reaching our central pick-up spot. Almost all the families come with several small children in tow, sometimes delivering a new one along the way. We covet your prayers for these fragile travelers, and for their parents who have braved the uncertainties of Congo travel to prepare for pastoral service. From experience, we know others are still in their villages, trying to scrape up the resources they will need for the trip and their first 3 months of tuition. Still others are trying to convince their in-laws to release their wife to travel, the necessary bride price having not yet been satisfied. At the Pastoral School we know that the students we receive come by God's grace and are his gift to us for 3 years of training. We always hope for a new class of around 12 student families, but of course, never know until classes begin how many we will have. Please stop and pray for God's calling, leading and protection on this year's first year class as they travel this weekend.
Although incoming students are on our mind, there are also some continuing students who had to delay their final exams in June to Sept. due to their struggle to pay tuition. Given the summer months to work, or go "look" for the money among friends and relatives, their calling is at stake at this time, too. Pray that God would enable them to find the resources they need to continue their studies.
Thank you for sharing in this prayer burden with us, and for your interest in this critical ministry of the training of Congo village pastors.
Glen and Rita