General Assembly of Church of the Disciples of Christ in CongoAugust 29, 2007
The Church of the Disciples of Christ in Congo, Brazzaville are holding their General Assembly from August 27 to September 3, 2007. Sandra Gourdet, GM area executive for Africa, sent the following letter of encouragement to the Rev. Lucien Kobele their General Secretary to assure the community of our support and prayers:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I take this opportunity on behalf of your Disciples brothers and sisters in the United States and Canada as well as Global Ministries, which is composed of the Disciples and the United Church of Christ, to wish you well during your General Assembly that will be held from August 27 - September 3rd in Brazzaville. Although we will not be represented physically, we are there with you in prayer.
Your Assembly is an opportune time to reflect on all you have accomplished since the last session. We see it as an opportunity to praise and thank God for all that you have accomplished over the years as a young church with about 2000 members, founded in 1995 as a mission of the Disciples of Christ in Congo (Kinshasa). Since 2003 you have existed legally as a Church in your own right. Certainly you have confronted many difficulties, but in the same manner as James, you "count it all joy when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness," (James 1 : 2-3 RSV).
The record of accomplishments is proof of your wonderful work. In a very short period of time, you have
- Succeeded in forming leadership to guide and nourish the congregations that are now located throughout the country
- Attached a special importance to the education of women
- Started programs that address the needs of children
- Launched a program that addresses the problem of HIV/AIDS
- Put in place a long term sustainability program for the church
- Participated in ecumenical activities in a very positive way
- Assisted congregations to obtain land on which they will be able to build their church structure little by little
- Started programs to draw young adults to church
- Put in place a program of formation for unemployed members of the church.
Knowing that the country followed socialism before 1997 where religion was not encouraged, we congratulate you for all your accomplishments. The road ahead of you will always be thorny and have obstacles, so it is very important to keep the faith that has accompanied you up to this point.
You are a light in your country, and we hope for you to be a prophetic voice before the political and civil societies. For, if you are not faithful and a model, you risk to lose the chance that God has given you to save the lost.
During these days of reflection and work, keep these words of Paul to the Philippians (2 :1-5) before you :
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any incentive of love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to one's own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Jesus Christ .
May the Lord be with you all.
Sandra R. Gourdet
Africa Office Executive
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