The following report was sent to us by Pastor Thomas Ongasa:
In 2012, God called me to step down as president of a local mission/conference faith-based ministry. It took me three years of struggle to say yes to the call. While I was struggling, God sent a team of 16 missionaries from the US to the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo to help me set up a supporting ministry called Train Them 2 Fish. After so many prayers, I asked to be officially released from that position in 2015. I understood that the Lord wanted me in Kinshasa, the main city of Congo. Kinshasa is the largest and most populated French-speaking city in the world, with 14 million inhabitants. The population of Kinshasa is comprised of 50 percent Roman Catholics, 30 percent Baptists and Pentecostals, 10 percent Kimbaguists (a kind of traditional Congolese Christianity), 7 percent Muslim, and 3 percent other religious groups. Even though the headquarters of the West Congo Union Mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is located in Kinshasa, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is still unknown.
Like John Knox, who prayed “Lord, give me Scotland or I die,” I prayed, “Lord, give me Kinshasa. I want it to be the most reached French-speaking city in the world. Otherwise my life is meaningless.” I started training Bible workers to be part of God’s vision for Kinshasa. The Lord provided funds to sponsor 20 full-time Bible workers to give studies to people in different districts of the city. These Bible workers started visiting homes three days every week.
As an answer to the prayers of our Bible workers who wanted study guides in French, Light Bearers accepted our request to send a container of gospel literature to Kinshasa. When we saw the amount of literature in the container, we had 350 more Bible workers trained as lay missionaries in their local areas. All the Discover Bible Study guides, Daniel and Revelation study guides, and magazines were distributed in one year by dedicated Bible workers.
Bible workers went door to door to invite people to Bible studies, and 6,000 people registered…
Eventually we requested that Light Bearers ship us another container, specifically asking them to include French Bibles if possible. Praise God for His provision: 7,156 French Bibles and millions of Bible study guides were sent to us. This was an answer to the prayer of reaching out to the city of Kinshasa. God gave the provision to fulfill the vision.
The distribution planning committee decided to set up 70 sites called Bible studies centers. Bible workers went door to door to invite people to Bible studies, and 6,000 people registered—from senators and members of parliament, military workers, members of the cabinet of the President of the country, and business people to pastors and their members from various denominations, university students, street kids, and common people. Tents were planted and people from all classes of society signed up to go through a series of 26 Bible study guides. We planned to have a huge graduation program in a stadium, but, unfortunately, we weren’t able to due to the COVID-19 crisis. However, the pandemic did not stop people from visiting the tents for Bible studies. We provided 30,000 reusable masks for all the sites, telling people that we have masks to protect them against COVID, as well as masks to protect them from the eternal deadly virus of sin.
After studying 26 lessons, Swartz Kialanda, a Pentecostal pastor was baptized with his family and a few of his church members. They are now among the people who are distributing literature in their community.
Five thousand people completed the 26 lessons and graduation was organized in small groups. Each person was given a certificate with a Bible. Five hundred members of parliament claimed their Bibles, as well as 109 senators, 98 people from the cabinet of the President of DRC, and many other state people. We did organize graduation in a military base and baptized more than 10 officers. They asked the Seventh-day Adventist Church conference to organize an evangelistic campaign on their base and build a church there. A piece of land has been donated for this purpose. Thousands of people were baptized in Kinshasa after the graduation. Since then, the local churches are receiving new members every single Sabbath. After graduation, people requested we keep the tents up so that they may continue to study the Bible.
We decided to initiate a five-year plan to increase the number of sites from 70 to 200 by 2025. The program will still focus on Kinshasa, but is also extended to seven more surrounding cities, including Brazzaville, the major city of the other Congo. Light Bearers has been a great blessing to DR Congo. I would like to request one container of literature per year for the next five to help us make Kinshasa the most reached French-speaking city in the world!