by Paul Turner

Greetings in Jesus Name!

Thank you for your prayers and response to Global Ministries’ call to establish a critical presence in DR Congo. Your financial contributions made it possible to make it to the half-way point of a four-year assignment with the Community of Disciples of Christ in Congo (CDCC). In fact, thanks to your commitment, and other contributors who share a passion for mission, the goal to raise enough support for the entire four years has now been met.  To God be the Glory!

This July marks two years since I arrived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to advise and consult with the CDCC in its community and economic development efforts. The Disciples churches in DR Congo are doing a tremendous work to meet the needs of people and communities impacted by years of conflict, poverty and neglect. Inspired by the church, the people have a mind to work, not only to restore and transform lives, but whole communities as well.

It has truly been an awe-inspiring journey. The joy of seeing faces light up with surprise when they learn that someone from the United States has been sent to live among them never gets old. Indeed, the most important lesson I’ve learned so far is the power of presence in mission partnerships. The sense of shared purpose provides dignity, encouragement and motivation for all involved, and demonstrates the true essence of Koinonia.

Consider all that’s been done in just two years:

o   Secured new funding and partnerships to support clean drinking water resources

o   Profiled successful climate adaptation efforts by local communities

o   Equipped congregations with the knowledge to create community impactful seed projects

o   Accompanied delegations to six posts to support local training

o   Created the Office of Development at CDCC to share best practices and improve reporting

o   Expanded access to markets for goods and services produced by women in micro-credit groups

o   Visited churches, hospitals, homes, schools, universities and seminaries

o   Attended funerals, weddings, baby dedications, ordinations, and baptisms

As a member of the Arc en Ciel Chorale at Nouvelle Cite Parish Disciples of Christ, I have ministered in song at many church events in Mbandaka.  This has been a rewarding ministry because we are more than just a chorale…we are a benevolent organization, a prayer ministry and a support group.

The stage is being set for 2018 to include a new urban development agenda for Disciple churches in the capital city of Kinshasa. There is no doubt that the next two years will be an exciting time as we await the possibility of democratic elections, new Disciples posts and expanding activities for the CDCC development office . 

Again, thank you for your partnership and prayers for CDCC.

Yours in Christ,
Paul H. Turner

Paul Turner is a member of Abundant Life Christian Church of Los Angeles and currently serves as the Global Ministries Missionary with the Community of Disciples of Christ in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Paul is a Project Consultant on various community development projects designed to increase the quality of life for communities served by Disciples of Christ churches.

AuthorAlisa Mittelstaedt