In February, 2016, Don MacMullen and Brian Cretney visited the DR Congo. One of their goals was to make a film about the remarkable ways the light of God's Word has penetrated the darkness there. Some thought they would have problems bringing the camera equipment into the DR Congo. Some locals offered "alternative" ways to get around the rules and the border. But Dr. Katho's assistant, John, said: "We will work WITHIN the system!" At the airport and then at the Ministry of Security, they were eventually cleared and received written approval from the government to take pictures throughout the country. God was glorified!
On behalf of Everyday Publications, Don and Brian visited 3 mission stations, Shalom University, primary and secondary schools, medical clinics, and 20 local churches that are a part of Emmanuel Community (see Introducing Emmanuel Community). A constant refrain we heard everywhere we went was: "Thank you for giving us God's Word and the hymn book. Where would we be without them?" All their possessions had been lost, but the primary concern was that the militia had stolen their Bibles and hymn books. They rejoiced to hear that 75,000 more Bibles (along with more hymn books) were on their way! They would, once again, have God's Word in their hands.
A plea from one doctor: "Please do not forget us." This small hospital, having few resources, has only four doctors to serve a community of 185,000 people.
Many atrocities of manipulation, deceit and theft have happened even among leaders of the assemblies. When one offended party was questioned, he said, "I have forgiven him; it is over."
This is how we were introduced as representatives of EPI on the assembly visits: "A friend will give you food. Brothers give you tools. We have been given the greatest tool for our lives: The Bible."
We visited 20 assemblies in 5 1/2 days. Every assembly wanted to feed us. When we said we were moving too fast to visit many assemblies, one man said, "We are sorry you must leave hungry." People who have so little consistently demonstrated generosity and hospitality. They always served us the very best that they had!
One Tchabi elder told the story of the time when the militia suddenly attacked. He was away, his wife was outside, and their baby son was in bed. All fled into the forest. The baby was pulled from his bed and killed so the militia could steal the mattress and loot the house. Later, the father was called to meet the man who killed his son. The father said, "I asked for grace and was able to forgive him!"
"Two years after the war we could return to Nyankunde. The bodies were still where they fell. The buildings were all looted and destroyed. The entire area and the buildings were overgrown. Then 600 men came from the villages to clear, clean, and start to rebuild. See how far the Lord has brought us!"
A casket carrying the body of a 78 year old elder was transported in our pickup truck, from his home to the church building. One of his four daughters was standing in the truck bed continuously crying out: "He is going to the church where he served for his whole life. And the white men have come to bring him there!"
The family of a deceased Christian who died and the people of his assembly sang from the hymn book all day until 3:00 P.M. the next day to comfort one another, to honour the man, to glorify the Lord, and to celebrate the confidence that he was now with the Lord. Dr. Katho said: "We used to cry and wail, but now we sing!"