Democratic Republic of Congo (MNN) — Animism and Spiritism have a strong presence in areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Witch doctor visits, charms, voodoo; it has many faces.
“There are in fact many ways that that has been more manifest lately due to the television being able to present it; more people being able to be open about their witchcraft,” says Ron Wismer in the Congo with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF).
Islam also holds sway in several Congolese villages. With these religions competing for attention, the Gospel is often pushed out of the picture. Specifically, two villages in the plateau east of the capital have been closed to the Gospel for years.
A local Congolese staff member with MAF has been bringing the “JESUS” film to various regions in the nation. He shows the film proclaiming the Good News of Christ once a month—more in the summer.
Recently, he approached Wismer with an idea. “He said to me that we should try it at a larger venue and we were happy to do that,” says Wismer.
That idea led the Congolese staff member to talk to pastors near the two closed villages. They agreed to join the effort. All the equipment was packed into a backpack and they set off to do “JESUS” film showings in both villages.
On the first day, MAF’s staff member showed the “JESUS” film to the smaller village of around 1,000 people. An estimated 600 people showed up and nearly 100 gave their lives to Christ.
The second village was larger with 10 times the population of the first village. For this film showing, they packed out a football stadium with people eager to hear the Gospel.
The staff member writes, “I estimated the crowd to about three thousand people. To the call for decision we had hands raised all around the stadium and to be frank it was again difficult to count their number but the estimation was beyond to some hundred, five to six or more.”
Wismer states, “What’s good about this situation is we’re working directly with local churches to help folks that do make a decision or raise their hand to get involved in a local church.”
But their work is not done. The greater Church of Congo has a goal to double the amount of churches in the next five years, and MAF is working to enable that goal.
“There are possibilities still for evangelistic efforts, again done by completely by local folks,” says Wismer. “We are just merely being the technology side of things with MAF. We have been involved with flying the ‘JESUS’ film around. This time we just drove it to that area.”
Wismer asks for your prayers. “Pray for safety of the teams that go out and do the JESUS film showings. And then obviously prepare the hearts of those who are seeing it. And then, most importantly, to help these people not only see the JESUS film, be moved, be changed, but then to be plugged into the local church where they can be discipled.”