Republic of Congo (Brazzaville)
The Disciples of Christ Church in Congo (EDCC) is a young church in the Republic of Congo (capital city Brazzaville) that has been autonomous for only a few years. Nevertheless, it is a very vibrant and hardworking community of faith. It has not had a long missionary involvement because the country was under a socialist regime for many years. Not having had an established relationship with western churches, and more specifically with Global Ministries, there is less of a dependence syndrome and more an attitude of self determination of the EDCC than there might have been otherwise.
One of the major undertakings of the church is their ten hectar (27 acres) agricultural farm designed to produce manioc, a staple food in central Africa. This farm is to be a major sustainability project for the church. Agriculture is believed to be one of the few sources of revenue in rural Africa because it produces more than what it costs in materials and production costs.
This particular farm project was chosen because the church leadership recognized several factors:
- Villages in rural Africa are often associated with poverty. The church has a responsibility to preach and support an evangelism that is based on autonomy and sustainability.
- The church must promote a holistic ministry that encompasses durable development and helps faithful members understand the importance of agriculture and how it can sustain the church financially.
- The church members working in the project will be remunerated because this will motivate and encourage hard work. The added benefit is that they will understand the need to contribute financially to the church and help sustain it.
- As women and children are often in the majority at church, this will be an ideal way to provide work for them.
- The farm produce will be supplied to both Brazzaville and Kinshasa, the neighboring capitol city.
The Agricultural Sustainability Farm project is already well underway and the church is now in a period of evaluation and fine-tuning the project. With an injection of funds, this project can go a long way in contributing to food security in this area of central Africa.