Although our annual Congo Bible Camp went well, we had some very interesting side issues that are now challenging our thoughts about how to best prepare for our future camps. Our conference material was on the Life of Joseph, with an introduction to Messianic typology. The advanced seminar lectures were on the Feasts of the Lord in Lev 23, showing how these feasts pointed to the person and work of Jesus Christ, and included an extended examination of Ephesians 4 about unity in doctrine. We had over 120 people attending, with almost 50 attending the advanced seminars. Due to limited financial resources, we had to turn away many more who wanted to come. This dilemma brought several issues to light. Unfortunately, we’re seeing a growing number of people who come to the camp but lack the education and communication skills to be able to comprehend the material we are teaching. Their time with us was a wonderful opportunity for fellowship, but their presence meant that other teachers and church leaders – people who could have taken advantage of our teaching material – could not come unless they paid their own way. Please pray for us that we’ll be able to address these issues for our next camp.
One of the perks of trusting in a Sovereign God is the peace that comes with knowing that there are no ‘accidents’ when life is viewed from His perspective, and I got a special dose of that after the Congo camp. Due to a late cab driver, I missed my return flight’s boarding call by 10 minutes, and was stuck in Rwanda for an extra week. I called a missionary friend in Burundi, Daniel Johnson, and it turns out that he was having a pastor’s conference during the extra time I had on hand. Not only that, but the 3 Americans who were coming for his conference missed a connecting flight in Chicago and were delayed by 2 days, causing Daniel to have to leave the next morning for a 6-hr drive to Bujumbura go pick them up. It worked out that he was able to come and get me along the way to Bujumbura, pick up the Americans, and bring us all back to his town, have the conference, and get all of us back to our respective cities the following Wednesday, thus allowing for us to all catch our Thursday flights back to our respective homes. And if that weren’t enough, the Americans were teaching on Ephesians and Hebrews, much of the same content I had been teaching the week before – although I was teaching from the Old Testament. They were kind enough to work me into a 2-hr time slot to provide some teaching as well. That “accidental extra week” could not have been worked out better if I had planned it that way! My time with Daniel’s family was richly rewarding in so many ways. His network of churches in Burundi operates 2 schools for the deaf – one in Bujumbura, started by father back in the ‘80s, and the other at his facility in East Burundi. I’ve been meaning to see his facility and new school for the deaf for several years now. It’s so far out of our way that it’s difficult for me to plan the 3-4 extra days required to make the trip out to his place. But this year, God forced my hand, and it was an absolutely wonderful time! His method of church-planting and operation of his school for the deaf gave me some ideas that I’d like to explore for our schools in the Congo.
Truly our God is an awesome God!
Christian Mission for the Deaf