Preparing for Harvest in DRC


Heavenlight and Kesia Luoga are leaders in Deeper Life Ministries, a loose network of independent African churches. Based in rural north-west Tanzania, they are both well-respected Bible teachers. Recently, APF funding enabled Heavenlight and Kesia to hold a series of training seminars in the Democratic Republic of Congo where pastors from smaller denominations rarely receive any in-service training opportunities. Heavenlight wrote to update APF supporters on their progress:

Thank you for your prayers! Kesia and I had a wonderful and very successful trip to Goma, in eastern DR Congo. Kesia facilitated women seminars for two days and youth seminars for two days too. I spent much time in pastors’ seminars.

About 119 youth, 100 women, 20 pastors and six evangelists attended the seminars which were coordinated by local Baptists groups. I spent most of the time exploring what it means to be ‘in the time of harvest’ based on Matthew 9:35-38 and John 4:35. I asked, “What does Jesus mean when he says, ‘Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest?’”

My teachings focused on three areas:

Firstly, we saw that Jesus was a man of great humility and compassion. He went through all the towns and villages to preach, to teach, to heal and to comfort people. Christians should be willing to do likewise.

Secondly, the world is waiting to hear the good news of God’s Kingdom, but the workers are few. Therefore, whoever we might be, we all have a part to play in God’s renewal of the world.

Thirdly, we are told to ask God to send out workers into his harvest field. This is a call to pray for and to equip evangelists, church planters, chaplains and Bible teachers. We should always be listening and ready for when God asks us to respond with love. We are all called to be involved in his Kingdom.

After the seminars I was asked to go back to DR Congo in August to speak at a three-day training event immediately preceding the General Assembly meeting of the Community of Baptist Churches of Eastern Congo (CEBCE).

As my schedule was tight, my answer had to be “Thank you but no.” Then they asked me to speak at the 2020 event, even offering to cover our expenses for transport, visas and accommodation for both Kesia and myself. I said, “Yes!”

The CEBCE is a network of about 800 churches and is one of many Baptist groups in DR Congo. Over 500 pastors gather every year at the General Assembly so this is a very wonderful opportunity for us to share with many church leaders.

Digging for God’s riches in south-east Congo’s mining region


APF partner, Congo Pastors’ Fellowship, is led by Revd Bertin Mwanya. He supports pastor training within the mineral-rich area of Lubumbashi where impoverished artisanal miners dig for the minerals used in your mobile phone.

My names are Bertin Ngoy Nshimbi Mwanya. I am married to Esther and we have five children (three boys and two girls). Four of our children are at school and the youngest is preparing to start school next year. Our eldest son will soon graduate from high school and hopes to start theological training. Please pray for a breakthrough in funding for his studies.

Both Esther and I are ordained church ministers. I have been ministering as Senior Pastor of El Shaddai Baptist Church in the city of Lubumbashi for over twenty years now. I also lead a Christian organisation called the Congo Pastors’ Fellowship (CPF). CPF is made up of a considerable number of mainly local pastors who come together from different churches, denominations and local Christian organisations. CPF provide pastor training for church leaders and pastors’ wives on issues they identify as important.

Recently, we have run training workshops covering leadership development, marriage issues and various biblical themes. There is a desperate need for poor church leaders to have bibles and we are praying we will be able to provide more bibles, commentaries and other material in print or digital formats.

We also seek to help the poorest pastors to generate a better income so they can support their families. We are praying we can partner with APF to provide bicycles, solar power for household lighting and village phone charging, brick making projects, vegetable gardening or buying and selling micro businesses for women.

Lubumbashi is a very strategic area to minister in. Located near the border with Zambia in the south-east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lubumbashi is the second largest city in the country after the capital, Kinshasa. The city’s population is over 1.5 million.

Lubumbashi is a mining hub of global importance. The mines around Lubumbashi produce more than three percent of the world’s copper and half its cobalt. It is likely that the copper and cobalt used in your mobile phone have come from our region.

Men, women and children often endure dangerous and unhealthy conditions to extract these valuable minerals. The industry relies heavily on artisanal miners who do not work for industrial mining companies but dig independently, anywhere they might find minerals, under roads and railways, in backyards, sometimes under their own homes. It is dangerous work that often results in injury, collapsed tunnels and fires. The miners earn between $2 and $3 per day by selling their haul at local mineral markets.

Please pray that CPF builds a strong partnership with APF so we can better support local church leaders as they share the good news of God’s riches with Congo’s artisanal miners.

In 2018, APF made a grant to the Congo Pastors’ Fellowship of £720 for local language bibles.