Congolese Macedonian call; a Highland response
A ‘broadcast’ e-mail from a African pastor earlier this year has brought a response from Christians in the Highlands. In a few short weeks following the initial contact a commitment to send help was made and a team are now heading for the Democratic Republic of Congo later this week.
IN his poem ‘The Arrow and the Song’, Henry Wadsworth wrote:
first published 23/05/10
Bukavu, DR Congo
“I shot an arrow in the air; it fell to earth I knew not where: for, so swiftly it flew, the sight; could not follow it in its flight.”
God, in His purposes, sometimes acts in a fashion which the world would call ‘a fluke’.
An example of this can be found in the account of how ‘a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness’ (2 Chron 18:33). The NIV translates the same verse: “someone drew his bow at random and hit the king of Israel between the sections of his armour”. So God fulfilled His purposes through a 'fluke shot'.
It was in this context that an e-mail arrived on the Christians Together Editor’s desk on 26 February this year: it said:
Dear Beloved servant of God . Man of God Pastor I greet you in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
After to visit your web site and to see all your service , I feeling in me to invite you here to us in Congo DR ,south kivu province , Bukavu town. Central Africa; to give us seminar for the womens and to teach if possible some lessons in our bible school. We Invite your Ministries here in DRcongo.We invite you too in our church called Oasis christian Fellowship of Congo DR. we will be so happy to hear you and to benefit your anointing. if our goal can meet your attention ,please we wait to hear from you soon. yours pastor senior of Oasis Christian Fellowship in Congo. D.R. Pastor Matthew Wilondja
Junk mail or Macedonian call?
Pastor Matthew and Mrs. Wilondja
Junk mail? Probably. But yet there was just that 'something' about the message that required further investigation. A search (it all takes time) suggested that the message was perhaps a genuine ‘Macedonian call’ (Acts 16:9). An exploratory and tentative message was sent to the given e-mail address. A reply quickly winged its way back:
“Dear beloved brother in Christ, Colin. thank you for your message we are so blessed to read it. yes this message is from me.
receive my photo with great love. i want to hear from you
Your Beloved brother
Pastor Matthew Wilondja”
A couple of articles from the Sword magazine were quickly dispatched by e-mail: again, these were acknowledged by return:
“I thank you once again form the Sword magazine ,iam very interresd by it.
i have translate in in ours local languich, after i have send it to all our churches manys blessing in it. manys peoples have ask me to give them this good magazine , i have already translate it in 7 local languich so that peoples can understand well in they local languich here manys peoples are not understand english,we speak french and manys local languich, peoples are very interresed with this magazine ,mays pastors from diffentes denomination have writt to me to ask me concerning the Sword Magazine manys peoples here are very interessed we thank our Lord for this grace to us.
But how could further help be given to this man and his people? Who was available to bring him the teaching and support that he was looking for? The pastor further explained:
“need are so manys, peoples are very poor we know well that we come from the war of 14 years ,peoples have lossed they houses and every things we have manys orphans,with war and HIV,Aids,many dedicted womens,manys peoples to get food to eat ,or to get clothes, or bed is great miracles,
Manys peoples have not the Bible, manys peoples go from about 60Km to get the Bible to copie the chapter and verset in the exercices book so that they can be able to use it like bible. every sunday.
your help can be very importamt to us we expect it please. receive the photo for youngmen in pymees familly. llet us be patient together and wait the perfect times of the Lord.
we love you and we hope your standing with us.”
In a ‘random’ and unrelated conversation with a Christian friend it became apparent that (Rev.) Jim Rettie has also had contact from a pastor in Africa.’ A call to Jim confirmed it was the same letter from Pastor Matthew that had arrived with him. Jim, who heads up the Christian Ministry of Healing (Highland) responded quickly and wrote to Pastor Matthew:
‘Dear Matthew, brother in Christ,Thank you for the invitation to come and be with you. I and my team are praying for God's Divine guidance as to time and who will be free to come over with me. I meet with my team tomorrow, Tuesday 9th March, and decisions should be made then. My team and I have been praying much about our visit to you, and in the words of the Apostle Paul;- It is important that when we come to you we will come in the full measure of the blessing of Christ (Rom 15: 29) That we may come with joy and together with you be refreshed in the peace of God (Rom. 15: 32-33). May the wisdom of God guide us in all of this. Yours in His Service, Jim.
A tangible response: a trip is planned
As a result of Jim’s discussion with his team and subsequent prayer, and within just over 3 weeks from the first contact, he sent an e-mail to confirm a team visit to DR Congo, and now written:
In response to an invitation from the Pastor, Bishop of the Oasis Churches in Bukavu, D.R. Congo, Matthew Wilondja, six of us from the Christian Fellowship of Healing(Highlands) Linda Ramsay, Les and Diana Turner, Ruth Martin, Hazel Gill and myself, are to travel to there on the 27th May 2010.
The invitation is for us to preach/teach the word of God , and offer healing and restoration to all who will gather. To teach in the Bible School, visit the day school and the orphans , and plant churches among the Pygmees.
Their proposed programme for us includes doing visits and overnights in places such as KAMITUGA, UVIRA, KILIBA, SANGE-MAPERA, (for revival meetings) SANGE-RUTANGA (Womens’ Conference and Seminar for leaders) Some of these places are not even on the map so we are not sure what to expect.
The Holy Spirit to give the directions
In terms of the precise arrangements, Jim explains:
On asking about arrangements for us to be met and transported from Kigali Airport in Rwanda , to Bukavu in Congo we get the answer it will be in God’s time. When asking about the number, and form of services or meetings , we get the answer “ the Holy Spirit will direct all that”’.
Although the budget for the trip runs into a five-figure sum the costs are being met. However Jim continues:
“These people have little or nothing, and any further gifts given will be used to firm up their continued work ,and any outreach work we may be involved in for the Kingdom of God .”
Pastor Matthew has explained to Christians Together that a computer and printer is desperately needed to produce written material for his congregation; and the people and the churches are much in need of Bibles written in Swahili.
Walking 700Km through tough and dangerous terrain
With reference to the impact on Jim and the team he writes:
How humbling it is to learn that some people started walking on the 10 May, to be with us on the 30 May (700km), the equivalent of Inverness to Birmingham, through forest and dangerous terrain to hear the Word of God.
On behalf of the team and myself, I ask for your prayers for wisdom, guidance and strength and our protection in what can be a dangerous place at times. May it be that wherever we go and whoever we meet with , we will know the blessing of His Word ‘and the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick” (Luke 5:17).
As an indication of what Jim and his team are travelling to Pastor Wilondja sent this ‘Easter repprort’ to Christians Together:
Dear beloved and spiritual father pastor COLIN.
We are so blessed this morning to send our Love and greetings to you.
we are very fine with great joy of jesus and the holy spirity from our heats untils in our mouth.
we are so happy for his grace for us we are very comforted by his encourragemebent we love him we remember him and we contnunu to swim in the river of blessing day by day.
we are so happy to send our repport of easter.
we have visited the pygmees village is a 60 km from Bukavu town. this peoples is the unreached with the gospel God xhave send me to go to preach them the gospel and to plant new churches there.
we have collected somesour old clothes,ours dishes from our house and somes material for making soap and bussket.
after to preach the gopspel God have spread his holy spirity in the villave manys pygmees have receive Jesus like they saviour we have baptized 136 pygmees.
we have burn manys sorcelery,and God have do a great things there.
after the churchservice we have a good times with them for the holy communion,and to share your magazine, that i have translate in they locale languish ahhaha geat belssing
we are so happy and very blessed with your standing with us in all our God of peace be with you.
we have share the clothes dishe ant we have teach them to make the soap so that they can be able to support them selves.
we thank you so much fpr all you support with us.
we have stated new church there ,1 clinic,1 lliracy school.
we praise the Lord for your prayer with us.
send our love and thank giving to all there tell them that we want to see they face one if God open the door for us to be with you.
we love you we hope and expect all from you.
In speaking to Christians Together, Jim has kindly agreed to bring back a report of the situation as he finds it.
Please pray for the team as the members venture into the unknown under the protection guidance of the Holy Spirit. And pray that God will bless His believing people in the Congo through the trip.
Pictures from Pastor Matthew - including some of the Pygmy peoples
Jim Rettie and some of his team in Christian Fellowship of of Healing (Highland)
Pastor Matthew Wilondja and his wife are founders of Founder of Oasis Christian Mission of Congo. Mattew is the President and explains here the nature of the ministry.