Lectionary Selection: John 2:1-11
Prayers for Democratic Republic of Congo:
We thank you for answering so many prayers on December 30, 2018, Election Day in DR Congo. A day spared from widespread violence and upheaval. We thank you for protecting all of the volunteer election observers serving under the Churches of Christ in Congo (known by its French acronym, ECC), one of three Global Ministries’ partners in DR Congo. We are grateful that most ECC election observers were mostly young adult leaders in the church, a sign that you are raising up a generation ready to embrace peaceful change and transformation in DR Congo.
We pray for resolution of the ebola crisis in DR Congo’s eastern provinces, now the second most deadly outbreak of the disease on record. May the violence that continues to hamper the response cease so that health workers can reach villages cut off by armed militias.
We praise you for pastors in the Community of Disciples of Christ in Congo (CDCC) who labored for decades teaching and preaching the Gospel and also worked to bring improved healthcare, clean water, food security, and other development priorities to their faith communities.
Finally, we thank you for the example of Dr. Mugweli, a Congolese obstetrician and recent winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, for his transformative work with women traumatized by sexual violence. May his call for unity and democracy be heard in DR Congo and the world as well.
In Jesus name, Amen
Mission Stewardship Moment from Democratic Republic of Congo:
In John Chapter 2, the miraculous sign performed by Jesus of turning water into wine didn’t involve just a few glasses, or even a few jars of wine, but an estimated 75 to 115 liters of wine. It is this abundance of wine that reveals the abundance of grace we have through Jesus Christ. The sign was confirmation to the chosen disciples that Jesus was indeed the anointed one of God.
There’s something about the miracle itself of water into wine that serves as a potent symbol of the transformative power of Jesus Christ. The basic element of water (H2O) was transformed into a refined product of the highest quality. It usually takes years for wine to mature long enough to be considered “the best” It’s good to know that with Jesus, something basic can be transformed into the best.
This is the hope in DR Congo. First comes the attempt at something basic, a free and fair election that many hope will be a catalyst for political and economic change. That’s why CDCC pastors in Mbandaka attended ECC training for Election Day Observation. In addition, several CDCC facilities served as polling stations on Election Day. The church serving in these capacities is in line with its pro-democracy advocacy and for fair and free elections of leaders at all levels of government. CDCC’s desire is for responsive and accountable government that can address poverty and the need for infrastructure, one that will do what is best for the people of DR Congo.
Yet, CDCC leaders and parishioners know that transformation won’t come from any one election or from government elites, but through a change in culture and attitudes among the people. For example, after much prayer and visioning, the Nouvelle Cite Parish in Mbandaka has begun work to replace its structurally-deficient building. They’re drawing on the example of the best from villages in the interior forest, namely Buburu and Mokolo, who built new church facilities entirely through local efforts. This has been a goal of the CDCC Development Office, to share stories of positive change in one post to inspire other posts to take greater responsibility and engage in productive work.
To be truly transformative, the church must know it has power to be agents of transformation. That same power that transformed water into the best wine is available to the church today. The CDCC is using this power to sustain and raise up people, and communities, in defiance of its political and economic context.
Please continue to pray with CDCC for peace and calm in DR Congo following the election.
Prayer and Mission Moment by Paul Turner
Mission Partners in Democratic Republic of Congo:
More information on Democratic Republic of Congo: https://www.globalministries.org/democratic_republic_of_congo
Global Ministries Mission Co-worker in Democratic Republic of Congo:
Paul Turner serves with the Community of Disciples of Christ in Congo. His appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, WOC, OGHS, and your special gifts.