The week of March 8, 2020, the Church of Christ in Congo (ECC) began its 50th Golden Jubilee celebration. The theme for the celebration was “Live and Grow in Love” (Ephesians 4:1-16). From the 8th to the 15th of March, ECC organized a series of activities at the Century Cathedral and the Protestant University of Congo to start a year of celebration.
Twenty theological, biblical, and historical conferences were organized with subjects such as ecclesiology, social engagement, “sola scriptura” for unity, the Church as the Body of Christ, the contribution of women in the church, and the ministry of Jean Bokeleale. Other activities included choir concerts featuring member churches, prayer services, and youth soccer tournaments. Celebrations continue through March 8, 2021
One of the highlights of the first week of celebrations was a program to honor Doctor Denis Mukwege, the gynecologist who received the Nobel Peace prize in 2018. Denis Mukege is considered worldwide as the leading expert on repairing injuries of rape. He is also a “son” of the ECC. His father was a minister, and he is also an engaged and devout Christian.
In the enormous Protestant Cathedral, over 10,000 people gathered to honor Dr. Denis Mukege. He received the title of Dr. Honoris Causa from the faculty of Medicine of the Protestant University of Congo. He gave an amazing speech denouncing the use of women and children as weapons of war. He also invited his audience to commit to transforming society. In a much more intimate setting, the staff of ECC met with Dr. Mukege the next day. The president of the ECC, Reverend Dr.André Bokundoa, gave a moving speech to honor Dr. Mukege.
One positive way that the ECC is commemorating its 50th anniversary is by creating sustainable development projects for the most vulnerable in the Congolese society: unemployed youth, single women, and differently-abled persons. I have been asked to assist in the coordination and management of projects such as micro-credits, sewing classes, health centers, and youth activities. Inspired by their Christian faith, the ECC has the ambition to help the conditions of the Congolese population improve with trainings to help the most vulnerable.
I look forward to participating in this year-long celebration. I hope that it will contribute to a stronger and more developed Democratic Republic of Congo.
Bryan Parrish serves with the Church of Christ in Congo. His appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, and your special gifts.