the Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a beautiful country with spectacular rainforest and volcanoes as well as abundant natural resources and great economic potential. However, it has also known appalling atrocities as leaders have betrayed and abused their people since the creation of the state by colonists in 1885.
The IFES movement in DRC has also known much trouble in recent years. Staff and students are particularly aware of the spiritual battle that rages around them as they stand for Jesus in their context. They see clearly the need for committed and faithful prayer.
On 30 June, GBU DRC held a national day of prayer and fasting to coincide with the nation’s Independence Day. Even as they met to pray they faced spiritual attack, with one of the speakers at a meeting in Kinshasa falling ill shortly after concluding his talk. The students prayed as he entered the ambulance and he made a full recovery by the time he reached the hospital.
Much prayer was also devoted to preparations for the recent GBU national assembly. The assembly was seen to be vitally important to the future stability of the movement, as an election of board members would take place, as well as training in leadership, responsibility and the reinforcement of the GBU identity and vision. But a week before the event, there was doubt over whether this landmark meeting could take place, due to financial constraints.
But God is faithful! We are happy to report that the congress went ahead with every region of the country represented. This was despite a graphic illustration of the danger that students in some countries face daily: a delegate from the troubled eastern area of DRC was attacked en route and his money and phone stolen. By the grace of God, his life was spared and he was able to reach the congress and receive God’s healing and comfort through his brothers and sisters.
Kwetila Mardochée has been the General Secretary of the GBU DRC since January 2012. As he shared news of the congress with us he added, ’I am convinced that we are capable of doing great things as ‘living stones’, building a strong GBU at the heart of Africa’. Kwetila has been inspired by Psalm 29 in particular as he faces the challenge of encouraging and guiding students in his country: ‘The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever. The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.’
We may be in a context where we are feeling very much on the ‘front line’ and face daily spiritual attack and persecution. Or we may feel that we are in a more peaceful environment where there seems little challenge to our faith. But Peter tells us plainly, ‘Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour’ (1 Peter 5:8).
Please join with GBU in remaining alert in prayer. Thank God for the way GBU DRC students have seen God’s sovereignty and faithfulness as they stand together in his name. And pray for GBU staff and students to know God’s continued power and peace in their lives and ministry.