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Kinshasa: on the way to the baptisms
Brother Andy Jenkins and I had an early but straightforward journey from Bristol via Brussels to Kinshasa. We were met at the airport later the same day by Brothers Kims and Jadot, and taken straight to our usual accommodation, which has the advantage of being within walking distance of the hired room where the Kinshasa ecclesia meets. As our first full day was a Sunday, we were able to meet the ecclesia for a Breaking of Bread. When we arrived, the Sunday School was in full swing, ably led by Brother Zambrotta, who, as well as teaching the children from the Bible, also gets them to learn hymns from the French Hymn Book. After their lessons and singing practice they get a meal funded by Meal-a-Day. Later in the day, Andy was able to have an instruction class with five candidates for baptism, following up some work he had done with most of them on our two previous visits. The actual interviews and resulting baptisms were to take place when we returned from a visit to Kwilu-Ngongo, half a day’s travel by road from Kinshasa, accompanied by Kims and Zambrotta.
At Kwilu-Ngongo we were met by the six members of the small ecclesia, and also by Brother Hans Bruno, who had travelled across from his new home in Angola to join us. There were also three members of the Luvaka ecclesia, which has come into existence quite recently as a direct result of the preaching work undertaken by Brother Nzilamosi, whose home in Kwilu-Ngongo is also the location of the ecclesial hall which he has built adjacent to his own house. Luvaka can only be accessed by motorbike, and only in favourable weather conditions. They had brought along three contacts for baptism, and the highlight of our three-day stay here was being able to baptise two of them in a nearby river: Brothers Kabambai Fils and Panzu Kavelo Djanny. We hope the third gentleman may be baptised later in the year, God willing.
Back to Kinshasa, and four of the five candidates for baptism were successful in their interviews. Three of them were from among the lively group of young people whose parents are members of the ecclesia and who always participate enthusiastically in the various Bible studies we do with the ecclesia. The fourth was an older gentleman, who first made contact with Christadelphians at the Kigwa refugee camp in Tanzania, which Brother David Smith and I had visited in the late 1990s. He had been meeting with the Kinshasa ecclesia for many years, but only this year made the life-changing decision to be baptised. Again we were able to share the joy in heaven when Oswald Ilunga, Emil Mukambilwa and Asumani Joseph together with M’Mbanga Zawadi Esther became our new brothers and sister in Christ.
|"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation." (Mark 16:15)|