|The CMD school in Likasi is much larger than I expected. Over the years, World Vision had helped them build 4 excellent buildings, but they’re still in dire need of a larger building to serve as a boarding facility for the students who live too far away to commute daily. Pray that the Lord will provide for this necessary project.I had several very productive meetings with Mr. Mwamba Ngoy, the administrator of the school, as well as meetings with the faculty. It’s not often that a foreigner comes their way, so they were quite excited to entertain me and have their photos taken with me. On Sunday, I was asked to sit in with their church service for the deaf. They meet in one of the classrooms. As soon as I got there, one of the leaders asked me to preach the morning sermon. I wasn’t expecting that. It reminded me of a quote by Dwight L. Moody: “A man should at all times be prepared to preach, to pray and to die.” All the more reason to preach, right? I had brought one of Travis’ posters to give them, so I spent a good hour or so walking through the poster and using it to explain Ephesians 6. I don’t think they were expecting that long of a sermon, but thankfully, they seemed to survive my teaching nonetheless. The teaching was well received, and afterwards, we spent good time in fellowship.
Another small surprise for me was the afternoon event they had planned. They watched “The Passion of the Christ” and had me interpret for them. Judging by their reactions, I’m betting that they had never seen the movie. What an effective way to introduce the Gospel in such a visual fashion! The movie begs the question of the cross – which is an excellent conversation! We discussed the movie for a good while before everyone went home.
While in Likasi, I stayed with Ruth Willenbrecht, a German missionary, whose compound is right next to the deaf school. She was quite the gracious hostess, and her garden was a mini-paradise full of plant life waiting to be photographed. There was a certain irony to being in the Congo yet eating a steady diet of German food.
Ruth stays quite busy with a number of ministries. Not only does she provide some supervision for our deaf school in Likasi, but she also oversees a book store that provides desperately needed spiritual resources in French and Swahili. She’s also involved with a prison ministry that brings food and other necessities to inmates (Congolese jails are not nearly as comfortable or safe as Western jails). I almost had the opportunity to go with her one day, but unfortunately, those plans fell through.
School wasn’t going to start for at least another week, but that didn’t stop a few local deaf students from showing up to play and socialize. It was a good opportunity to play with them and get to know them.
The director of the boarding school had a son who had learned quite a bit of English on his own. He was thrilled to meet me and lost no time taking me around his town to introduce me to the various friends, places, sights and sounds in Likasi. It’s a nice town with nice people. The officials get a little edgy if they see a foreigner taking photos, so I was sure to let my new friend carry the camera. That worked ..for the most part.
I look forward to going back to Likasi.