International Ministries

Women’s Group in Congo Growing in Faith, Courage AND Size!

July 16, 2010 Journal
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Dear Friends,
     In the past few months, we've been pleasantly surprised to welcome a number of young women from village of Kimbwo to our weekly women's group at Kikongo. A wonderful development, but what would prompt them to come all the way from their village to join us each week? On Thursday, a gleeful long time women's group member and friend of mine, Mama Maboko, excitedly told us the story.
     It began last year after the death of yet another one of Mama Maboko's children... Angry over the loss, her maternal uncle at Kimbwo ordered her to leave Kikongo, giving her a small house at Kimbwo to live in instead. Not only did he insist that she move, but he banned her from taking any further part in Kikongo's church activities. As a faithful member of both our women's group, and the scripture union, she was truly distressed. After her last meeting with us, she asked me for a Bible that she could take with her, and we prayed together that God would use her to minister to her family and the community at Kimbwo.
     Time passed. I saw Mama Maboko from time to time. Her youngest brother was given a house to live in at Kikongo, and we began to see more and more of each other, even in fellowship. Young women from Kimbwo were given places in each of our women's small cell groups.
     On Thursday, Mama Maboko happily filled in the blanks. After some time at Kimbwo, her uncle relented on his ban on church activities as long as Mama Maboko had a group of women participating with her in her meetings at Kikongo. And so, patiently she began to share and win the hearts of the women at Kimbwo, inviting them to come with her to worship at Kikongo. She said they were always afraid that they wouldn't be welcome, that they wouldn't know what to say when they were presented, and that they wouldn't know how to participate... but, she said, she encouraged each one.
    It so happened, that on Thursday, one of Mama Maboko's young friends from Kimbwo  was sitting in front of the church  with our speaker of the day. She had been selected by her small cell group leader to help officiate our worship, a first for her, and a courageous step unthinkable a few months ago. At sharing time, Mama Maboko was dancing in front of us all as she told us how God had been working in her life, and in the lives of those she had invited to accompany her to the women's meetings. She threw up her hands and said, "I'm free! I can go anywhere to worship now! And, look at my friends! God is filling them with courage and giving them new work to do!"
     What fun! As I looked around, women were beaming all around our congregation. What looked last year like just another sad, unfortunate discouragement in Mama Maboko's life, God has used to renew her faith and the faith of family and friends around her at Kimbwo. It was a great thing to be able to share together in these ladies' joy.

     Thank you for your prayers for our extended women's fellowship at Kikongo!

Rita