Wayne serves with IMA World Health in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Katherine serves with Congolese Christian health professionals and grassroots community leaders. Their goals are to reduce Congo’s maternal and child mortality rates by developing solutions to common health problems using cooperation, local resources and the Word of God.
They write – Mary called Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna, supported Jesus and his disciples out of their own means (Luke 8: 1-3). Would my name be on such a list? Marthe and Jeancy’s names would.
Marthe and her husband Timothee faithfully served the Lusekele Agricultural center for over two decades. They met and were married when Timothee studied agriculture in northern Congo. Much like a New England wife settling in Texas, Marthe adopted Timothee’s people and language as her own after graduation. Whenever we travel, Marthe’s presence at their “homestead” on the main road in Masamuna, made a welcome stop for a cold drink or a hot meal. As busses between Kinshasa and Kikwit stopped nearby, she never hesitated to relay packages or messages for hospitals in that region, securing them until they could be collected – even at 3 am! Recently, the wife of one of our doctors died. Using the medical coordination jeep, the sons (studying in Kinshasa) traveled to be with the mourning family. Stopping in Masamuna on their way, Timothee and Marthe encouraged, fed, and prayed God’s comfort over them, mindful how hard it is to walk through that valley. Remarkably, the next week, God also call Marthe home. Colleagues testified how, though from northern Congo, she lived peacefully, serving God, her husband, and God’s people in her adopted home in the Kwilu province.
Jeancy could be on the list too. Fifteen years ago she married Dr. Miche, who, fresh from medical training, was assigned to be head doctor in Sala. In her village, among her people, in her sweet way, she served God, her husband, and family. A doctor’s wife is a de-facto leader, called on almost daily to receive, feed, and house visitors, rich and poor alike. My first visit, she prepared her children’s bedroom for me, in the heart of their home so I should not “feel afraid” sleeping in the bush. The morning we left, she rose at 5 am, and served a full meal of meat and “fufu” (cassava) because, she warned, our next destination lay beyond a long difficult road, and there would be nothing to eat along the way. Smart lady! We got stuck 3 times and didn’t arrive until after nightfall.
Last year, Dr. Miche and Jeancy transferred to the Baptist Hospital at Moanza – FAR from Sala and Jeancy’s people. She admitted she’s finding her way, like a stranger would, but stands steadily beside her husband and children, and her new church, graciously receiving those who come her way. Last, I visited Moanza, my bed was again made in the room next to hers in the heart of their home ‘to be safe’.
Along with Mary, Joanna, Suzanna, Marthe, and Jeancy, serving Jesus by serving others is our privilege. And why not?! At the last supper, Jesus served his disciples by washing their feet. The next day, Jesus served the entire world, being obedient to the cross. His confidence in God, his Heavenly Father, enabled him. May God grow our confidence daily to serve God faithfully to the end.
Read their full journal at https://www.internationalministries.org/category/journals/