Mission Interns from DR Congo: a Pentecost Spirit
By Julia Kayser
On Sunday, August 19, 2012, the Congo Central Conference began with a joyful opening worship. More than 1,500 people were gathered in and around the Memorial Mon Seigneur Katembo Kainda Church in Kolwezi, Democratic Republic of Congo. The theme of the conference, “Pentecostal Language: A Language Understood by All for the Transformation of the World,” was introduced in French, Swahili, and English. This was not only an opening worship service, but a commissioning service for two Global Ministries Mission Interns—the first time such a commissioning had taken place at a Central Conference.
Bishop Patrick Streiff gave a moving sermon, describing the relationship between God’s spirit of mercy and our transformation as the relationship between the two ventricles of the heart. “Each Christian has parts of his or her life where the two circulations of blood are powerfully connected, but also parts where the arteries are clogged and the transformation is not done.” He encouraged everyone to adopt spiritual disciplines and invest in a rich prayer life—but he also insisted that each person be vigilant in pursuing the will of God and the transformation of the world.
Rev. Judy Chung, Associate General Secretary of Missionary Services for Global Ministries, introduced the Act of Commissioning. “These two young adults responding to God’s call to mission are joining together with 34 young adult missionaries who were commissioned in the United States,” she explained. Mission Interns commit to three years of service, spending 18 months abroad and 18 months in their home countries. They are trained, placed, and supported by Global Ministries. Ms. Gail Coulson, Global Ministries’ Executive Secretary of Africa, presented the missionaries being commissioned.
Ms. Faida Rachel Bahati is from North Katanga Annual Conference and will serve as Advocacy and Solidarity Officer for the World Student Christian Federation in Geneva, Switzerland. Faida hopes to experience the liberating power of God as she promotes peace and justice. Mr. Jacques Kazemb Kambol is from South Congo Annual Conference and will serve as Social Educator for the Shade and Fresh Water Project of the Methodist Church of Brazil in São Paulo, Brazil. Jacques grew up as one of eight children and committed to a life of Christian service at an Easter revival. Both of these exceptional young people have degrees from Africa University in Zimbabwe.
After successful examination of the candidates, the four Central Conference Bishops—Bishop Katembo Kainda, Bishop Ntambo Nkulu Ntanda, Bishop Patrick Streiff, and Bishop David Yemba Kekumba—along with Rev. Judy Chung who represented Global Ministries, laid hands upon each candidate. Bishop Katembo commissioned them to “take the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ into all the world.”
Cathy Whitlatch, Missionary in Residence, vested the Mission Interns with the anchor cross as a sign of their commitment. As Bishop Streiff explained in his sermon, Faida and Jaques will need to be anchored in God’s renewing spirit if they are to successfully transform the world. They were sent forth like the disciples at Pentecost to share the love of Christ with people in every corner of the world.
Finally, Bishop Katembo commended Faida and Jacques to the congregation with these words: “Be unafraid to move mountains, to be shaped by living water, to change the flow of the future, that this world may be a fountain of justice and peace for all.” The congregation affirmed the Mission Interns with thunderous applause and shouts of joy.
Photo: Jacques and Faida being commended to the congregation after commissioning. Credit: Cathy Whitlatch