Monday, July 15, 2013

Surprised by Hope in Congo

Rev. Kizombo Kalumbula Sr. was one of four members in my Cornerstone University Masters program learning team. This Congolese man never failed to share his experience related to our topic of study from the perspective of his home country. I remember learning about issues of justice, healthcare, and education from him. I also remember a time when he quietly left the room to take a phone call. When he returned he told the class that his son called to say that he loved his father and that he might not make it through the night because the fighting was just outside the doorway. It was then that I realized how little I really understood the world outside my doorstep.

A few short years ago I happened across a third member of that same learning team. After filling in the gaps about our lives since last meeting, including the part about ministry, he mentioned that he is now connected to Kizombo Sr.’s ministry and that he is working with Kizombo Jr. in doing so. Soon enough we all met at The Omelet Shoppe (oh how I miss the German apple pancake). Kizombo Jr. pastors Tabernacle Community Church in Grand Rapids and that church supports International Berean Ministries in Congo.

We’ve all felt some kind of connection between our ministry activities, but various roadblocks kept us from meeting on this vast continent. However, Kizombo Jr. and I both had the sense that the time is now. And of course God showed up and made schedules and finances available to make this journey. Together we’ll deliver ministry, prayer, teaching, and love.

So, why am I going to Congo? I’m going to serve God alongside an old friend and a new friend.