Congo-Kinshasa (MNN) — Take one evangelistic vision, mix in
a harmony of the Gospels from One Hope, add the public schools in Congo, and stir
with the Holy Spirit. What do you get?
You get inundated by more than you can imagine. That's what's happening to Grace Ministries
International in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
GMI's Sam Vinton says a year ago, his son Bill Vinton and a
small team of men began to concentrate on the evangelization of the students in
the elementary and secondary schools administered by the Grace Churches in
Congo. They prayed BIG: "We really
are trusting the Lord for 1,000 students
to profess faith in Christ during the coming school year." But God had a BIGGER
picture in mind. Sam explains, "Out of
that, we had close to 15,000 students, plus about 3,000 adults."
Over the last year, the team has taken the program into 240 schools in Bukavu, of Sud-Kivu
Province, and in Kindu, of the Maniema Province. Vinton says, "My son has told me that in years past,
he has tried to work with the students, and there's been hardness. He cannot believe the openness that we have
seen in the last year."
War, disaster, and poverty plowed the field…and the harvest
was ready. "We believe that's the Holy
Spirit at this time working in people. Of
course, the situation that they face, the timing of God, is something that we can't predict."
Not only that, "The Church grabbed hold of the idea of
training people in the local church to go out with the evangelists, house-to-house, and this was way beyond where they are. I think right now, they're sort
The growth was fast outpacing what the church leaders were
prepared for. Sam says they need more
resources because the follow-up program is in process. "We have got to go back now and
make sure that those people are reached, in the sense of getting literature to
them, and making sure that they are being mentored by pastors and
chaplains through the Word of God to see
what it means to be a Christian and what God expects from them." Close
to 5,000 students are presently being discipled using materials written by Bill
Prayer is a big part of what is needed. However, "It becomes quite expensive to
prepare 15,000 booklets, ship them by plane down into the interior, and then
carry out into the schools. The biggest help is financial."