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We arrived at Kinshasa on Monday 3 July from Douala, Cameroon, and the next two days were occupied in obtaining travel papers to move within DR Congo. Once we had them, we set off for Nkana, a village in the Bandoudou district alongside the Congo river.
Kims, Julius and I took the coach for Maluku, from where we got a motorised dugout canoe. Travelling against the stream on the mighty Congo river is not an easy thing: we embarked at 10 a.m. and did not arrive until 11 o’clock in the evening. Throughout the voyage poor Brother Julius was terrified, as he had never been on such a great river.
Next day things developed rapidly and we found ourselves interviewing candidates for baptism. After two days of exhaustive work, eight were ready and went into the waters of the Congo, where they took on the name of the Lord Jesus.
Very early on the morning of 9 July we rented a non-motorised canoe to travel back with the flow of the river to the town of Maluku, where we were due to take the coach to Kinshasa. Our intention was to get to Kinshasa the same day and to continue on to Kwilu-Ngongo in Bas Congo. However, the journey was much more difficult than we had thought, and took two days. The wind and the waves conspired against us. At one particularly dangerous point, the canoe nearly turned over in the rough water. We remembered the words of the Lord Jesus: “I am the vine, you are the branches . . . without me you can do nothing.” (John 15) We kept thinking of them while we were tossed about on the great River Congo. After twenty-one hours in the dugout, we got to Maluku, where we passed the night. Next day we arrived back at Kinshasa and were able to rest.
It took the bus four hours to get to Kwilu-Ngongo, where we arrived at 6.40 in the evening and met up with the brothers and sisters. No sooner had we greeted them than we were plunged into Bible study on subjects such as satan and the devil, unclean animals, and what food we should or should not eat. On this last question Julius referred them to Romans chapter 14: “The one who eats eats in honour of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains abstains in honour of the Lord and gives thanks to God.”
At Matadi we stayed for three days with Brother Bruno-Hans Lutete. For a long time Bruno had been speaking to a friend about the truth and preparing him to the point where he had requested baptism. So we were very happy that, following a thorough interview, Gaspa was declared ready, and on Sunday 16 July he was immersed in the Congo. We exhorted him to continue to read the Word of God regularly.
|"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation." (Mark 16:15)|