After the Evaluation of
the URCC by Hilda and Jules in October-November 2016, URCC Pastors
have started explaining the "Procedures Administratives et Financières
Simples" to the Local Church leaders in Mbujimayi. Rev. Constantin
Ilunga Katambayi, Graduate from ISRT, explains the local Church Budget to
the Participants in URCC Bupuekele in Mbujimayi.
From February 25 to
March 4 for the CEN members, and March 6 for the Dutch GK-V membres of
the UM/DVN, a partnership meeting will be held in Mbujimayi. This will
be to celebrate the seven years of the partnership, discussion of the
Évaluation Reactions, and a look towards the possibilty of a new
"Accord de Coopération". We pray our Lord for this exchange period of
time and fraternal communion. ~ Rev. KM Kabongo, CEN
Comite Executif National (CEN) of the United Reformed Church in Congo (URCC)
met in late February 2016 at the Monastere le Bouissonet in Lubumbashi. Delegates from the Church Province came to
take part to this bi-annual meeting. Delegates from Uttreicht Mission and VerreNaasten,
Mr. Henk Prins and Mrs. Wibbina de Jong-Oesterhius, also attended.
Among the URCC delegates, we are pleased to introduce you to Rev. Web Katombe
wa Nyange, pictured at left. We shall present other CEN members as we go on.
Katombe wa Nyange Sembele was born in the Kabalo region. His father is Nyandwe and his mother Nkusu a
Kakota. Web is married to ChouChou and they have been blessed with three
children: a boy and and three girls. After his six years of Primary School at
the E.P. Kampande and two years at Athenee Royale in Likasi, Web continued his
studies at Athenee de Katuba. He finally went to Institut Pedagogique de Katea
where he got his High School Diploma in Pedagogy in 1990. He taught at high schools
in the areas as Kabalo and BenaHamba, then he was called to pursue his studies
at the Ecole Reformee de Theologie, ERT, in Lubumbashi after he had come to
Reformed faith. He completed his studies in 2006, and he was called to be a
Minister of the Word and Sacraments in Katea in the Local Church named URCC
Amour in Kongolo/ North Katanga.
Rev. Web likes mission work. He proved it during his visit in Kisangani
the time he was at ERT. He began a church in Makiso led today by Elder Jean Pierre
Kitenge in Kisangani. This mission work was visited in 2010 by Revs. Abel
Ntita, Kabongo Kalala Malebongo and Elder Sylvain Eyambo (now Pastor). This has
resulted in mission contacts in Bukavu, Goma, and Kalemie.
Rev. Web is a member of the CEN in charge of the URCC Infrastructures
(Patrimoines). He visited his areas and the CEN has purchased land on which to
erect a church building. This will be
constructed through the UM/DVN support as in the other regions of the URCC. He
needs more contacts to develop the rural area of Katea where he lives. The bush
fire once burnt down his church building made of thatch and bamboos.
Nevertheless, the Reformed faith is gaining in the area through his work with his
colleague Rev Francois Bemba while the vineyard is still too big.
Thé United REFORMED Church in Congo has established the Sewing Centre to
girls and ladies to have a job for themselves at home. Church buildings
are used as classrooms during the week. "As pupils increase in number,
as during this school year, there was no way to teach three different
in one hall" said Jean de Dieu Bajikila, the promoter of the Sewing
Centre and Christian schools of the URCC. Praise God, that problem has
The URCC first GeneralSynod occurred in late
July 2012. Atthat time the second was scheduled for the same month in
2015. The next will occur in July 2018. This year’s Synod was held in
the old INPPConference Hall on 11th Street in Limete, Kinshasa. The
2015 Synod delegates took note of theadministrative change in the DR
Congo with regard to the number of theProvinces that passed from 11 to
26. Itwas a great joy to live together at INPP (Institut National de
PreparationProfessionnelle) during the day and at Inter Limete Hotel at
night. Started onJuly 23, it ended on July 31.
from theten Provincial Synods: Katanga: Sud, Centre, and Nord,
Mbujimayi, Lubilanji,Lomami, Kananga, Kasai Nord, Kinshasa and
Kisangani. Fraternal delegates traveled from churches suchas RCUS,
URCNA from America and Canada, and the GK-V from the Netherlands.
TheReformed Churches in South Africa sent a letter of greeting, while
the CRCNAshowed her interest for contact and ties to the URCC. All of
the greetings were welcome andappreciated by the delegates of the
URCC.Many points were discussed,but greatest joy felt by was the
delegates was upon hearing of the greatprogress made by the URCC in the
areas now served. The Mission is being carriedout by local churches in
order to reach the unreached areas in DR Congo and thesurrounding area…
so this raised the question, why not outside of the DR Congo?
buildings arebeing constructed here and there according to the plan
made by the ComiteExecutif National, CEN of the URCC. Variousseminars
were organized to update leaders and to plan for capacity building
indifferent local churches. Visits wereorganized by the pastorate in
churches were it was necessary even for Churchdiscipline. Where the
Gospel was preached, the sacraments were alsoadministered, and public
confession of faith was made to admit youth and adultswhere necessary.
has been great concernfor the financial status of the churches in
general due to poverty and lack ofjobs by most members. Encouragement
wasmade to members to work in order to contribute funding for church
activities.At the General Synod, theChurch Order and the Statutes of the
URCC documents were amended in order to beadopted. Some points were
settled, such as that of the CEN being the InterimCommittee between the
two synod meetings; and the number of years one can servein office. In
the local church, Elders, committee leaders, the CEN and CAPmembers may
serve for six years. For thelatter, one may serve for two terms and
then rest. The URCC Second General Synod Minutes will bepublished very
soon and details are therein provided.
The CEN meetings
wereregularly held and many thanks were conveyed to the UM/DVN for
theircontribution and also to other sister churches that support the
URCCfinancially, such as RCUS and URCNA in the re-publication of the
HeidelbergCatechism Version 2013.
The delegates chose RevMuidia
Kakipanga Hildeberg as the Representant Legal Supplicant the
URCC,replacing Rev. Pascal Nsenga who left the DR Congo years ago. Some
decisionsfor Ministry of the Word were taken as the Elders Eyambo Nkumba
Sylvain, MoiseMande Lenge, and Jean Pierre Mukalayi are to be ordained
Ministers of the Wordof God; while another decision was that the
students who graduated at the ISRT:Farel in Mbujimayi are to be examined
and ordained as Ministers of the Word ofGod in the local Church where
they will serve. Those are namely IlungaConstantin, Mbuyi Katunda
Nestor, Ntumba Muya Nestor, Mpoyi Lumembu Donatien,Hubert Tshimanga and
Mathieu Mabilo Lubobo.
The great moment ofthe URCC Synod was when
we could see our partners sitting side by side at thesame table. They
came to see each from all over the world. From the GK-V inHolland there
were Mr. Hendrinks Prins and Rev. Albert Balk, from theReformed Church
in US we had Revs. Dan Schnabel and James Grossmann, and fromthe URCNA,
we received Rev. William Jason Tuinstra. Rev. Paul Mbunga Mpindi from
Mission FrenchAfrica was here to present his books. The delegates from
different areas of theURCC got books donated to them by the RCUS
delegates from the URCNA.
What was a bit negative aboutthe Synod
experience was that because of the lack of accommodation, thefraternal
delegates were lodged in a separate hotel from the URCC delegates. It
was not the preferred arrangement, but wemade it work for the Lord’s
Most of delegatesreturned home on August 2, 2015. Though
the Second General Synod maybelong to the history, its decisions give us
a clear path for the future of theURCC. The next Synod is agreed to
beheld in Lubumbashi in 2018.After the Synod theGeneral Secretary, the
Legal Representative and the President of the CENof the URCC, Revs. Abel
Ntita and Kabongo Kalala Malebongo Athanase, attendedthe TEA
(Theological Education in Africa) Conference in Kampala at the UBA
onWorship, Church and Theological Education in Africa from August 17-21.
It was awonderful Conference with God-gifted and talented speakers such
as Flip Buys,Ron Man, Peterson Wangombe, Mwaya wa Kitavi... Fita from
Madagascar made itvibrate with Opera as well as the Choir from Nairobi!
We praise the Lord forHis grace to His Church.
Rev. K.M. Kabongo Legal Representative and President of the CEN ofthe URCC
The Fraternal Delegates
The Officers of the Synod. Left to right, Secretary Rev. Abel Ntita, President Rev. K.M. Kabongo and Moderator
Mr. Moise Mande.
Rev. Albert Balk addresses the floor as President Rev. K.M. Kabongo looks on.
Rev. Dr. Paul Mpidi greets
the delegates and presents his written books.
Rev. Dan Schnabel greets the gathering on behalf of RCUS.
Rev. K.M. Kabongo, Peter Mulumba Kabongo and Rev. William Tuinstra.
Fraternal delegates in the synodical commissions.
Meal time with the delegates.
Rev. Muidia (left) greets the President after he was appointed.
The delegates assembled in the hall.
Rev. James Grossmann (left) preaching in URCC Sion in Mikondo, Kinshasa. He is joined by Synod President, Rev. K.M. Kabongo.
...and in Tshofa.
Rev. Beston Tambwe and the URCC National
Treasurer visiting the churches in Kipushya area.
The Lomami Synod Delegates.
How beautiful on mountains are the feet of those
who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who
proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘’Your God reigns!’’ Isaiah
The end of August 2014 was a very favorable time to
travel as it was the end of the dry season and the beginning of the
rainy one. It was a nice time as the Utreicht Mission/DVN convened with
the United Reformed Church in Congo, URCC, URCC to meet in the DR Congo
This was to help the URCC elaborate the URCC
Indicators till 2020. It was also to visit with the local URCC members,
to exchange views and worship the Lord together. So, landed in Kinshasa
from Holland to Brussels where he took the airplane via Istanbul,
After he had arrived in Kinshasa on Wednesday August
27th, he met Rev. Abel Ntita and went to spend two nights at a hotel in
Limete, Kinshasa. On the 29th, he met Rev. Mata to discuss the work
among the Pygmees in the Equator Province of the DR Congo. On the 30th,
he traveled with Rev. Abel Ntita and his wife to Mbujimayi. They were
welcomed by the Church Elders, pastors and members in the Bupuekele
local Church Chapel. In the evening, they shared a meal at Rev. KM
Saturday August 31 was a day of visits to different local churches and Evangelistic Circles/Wards. Such circles as Jesus Grand Cep led by Elder Jean de Dieu Bajikila, Expérance led by Elder Constantin Ilunga (student at the Theological seminary, ISRT), Action de Grace led by André Sombamanya, and Philadelphie led by Joseph Kapepula Eyambo were visited. Local churches as Bupuekele led by Rev. K M Kabongo, Mutekemena Kanshi led by Rev. Matamba Kalombo, Diyi dia Moyo led by Rev. Kadima Kamuena, Rehobot led by Elder Nestor Mbuyi (Student at the Theological Seminary, ISRT) were visited too.
was with great joy that the work is being done. And this work makes the
visitors rejoice. It was clear that most chapels were hangars built
with bamboo and thatch material. The need for chapels in stronger
structures is felt by everyone. There is a strong need for teaching and
preaching of the word of God at local level organized by the local
On Sunday August 31st, A Sunday worship service
was organized in Bupuekele and all other local church members came to
worship and to meet the visitors. Rev. Abel Ntita preached from the
books Isaiah 5 :1-7, and Matt. 21 :18-19 and he chose the theme: ’’Let’s
produce good fruit as true children of God’’. All people responded with
songs of worship and prayer. A meal was served for all participants.
Brother Henk Prins handed over to the Bupuekele Church Council a
projector to slide Bible images. The Mbujimayi church Classis delegates
met for a few hours to evaluate the visit.
On Monday before noon,
the two 4X4 vehicles were taken to travel to Kakenge via Kananga. The
URCC Mukonka in Bena Kazadi village was visited to see the progress in
the building of this local church. It was clear the Chapel work is
nearly finished; but the pavement, windows, and doors are still needed. A
picture of the church members and the visitors was taken in front of
the chapel built in cement blocks and roofed with corrugated sheet
metal. Another visit was paid to the Mukonka Agricultural farm before
the delegation departed from URCC Mukonka. Some local churches were
visited while traveling towards Kananga. The delegates arrived in
Kananga at 8 :30 pm. Tuesday and Wednesday were dedicated to the
National Executive Committee (CEN) meeting. This meeting included the
elaboration of the indicators of the URCC till 2020 and exchanging of
news between partner churches: GKv and URCC. Wednesday morning the
delegation went to pay a greeting visit to the Governor of the Kasai
Occidental RD Congo Province. The URCC delegates requested from him the
land to make agricultural farms and schools. The Governor responded
positively and asked the URCC Representative in Kasai Occidental
province, Rev. Theophile Muteba, to contact him through his Advisor
present at this meeting. In the evening, the thanksgiving worship was
organized in the Fraternité local Church led by Rev. Theophile Muteba
Kakanushipi. It was a real time of communion and celebration. Before
that, a Motorcycle rally was organized from the Guest-House Tshipanda to
the Fraternité chapel in Ndesha County.
The trainer Jules Luboya
and Henk Prins went back to Kinshasa from Kananga on Thursday,
September 11th. The CEN meeting continued this day; and the trip
continued to Kakenge on Friday. The URCC local churches along the way to
Kakenge in villages as Tshibala and Kashama wa Basangana were visited
and exhorted from the Word od God after a very enthusiastic welcome with
songs and dances by local church members. The arrival in Kakenge was
around 7:00 pm. Groups of URCC members from different churches
surrounding Kakenge Classis with the chiefs of villages came to welcome
the visitors at the village entrance.
Songs of praise and dances
continued that evening till people went to rest at night. Saturday was a
day of CEN meeting. The URCC "Planication" and budget 2015 were
discussed along with other regular issues. On Sunday morning, a worship
service was celebrated in which many people came to praise the Lord of
the Church. Rev. Kabongo Kalala Malebongo preached from Exodus 20:1-11
and Matt. 6 :7-15. He insisted on the message: ’’Let our God’s reign be
on our whole life’’. He reigns in our life because He saves us in Christ
as He took by His Mighty hands the Israelites from Egypt. After the
offerings brought to the Lord, many presents were brought to the URCC
Legal Representative and the CEN. They received them with thankfulness
to the Lord God and to his church. In the evening, the delegates visited
the URCC Jerusalem in Bakua Kenge II. The chief of the village and the
church members welcomed the visitors with different presents. An
exhortation was given to them, and after that the visitors returned to
Kakenge at the Guest-House. On Monday Sept 8th, the delegation returned
to Kananga with worship services in Kashama and in Tshibala villages.
The exhortation was focused on the responsibility of the created man on
the work ethics. Being in rural areas, people have to pray and work in
agriculture and living-stocks. Our Lord God is the working God. Our Lord
Jesus Christ declared:’’ My Father is always at his work to this day,
and I, too, am working’’. John 5 :17.
Kananga was reached on
Tuesday evening. On Wednesday some CEN members traveled to Mbujimayi by
vehicles. Some other members remained in Kananga where Rev. Abel and
wife had to fly to Kinshasa on Thursday. From Mbujimayi, Elder Moise
Mande traveled back to Lubumbashi; while Revs. Web Katombe and Leonard
Mpiana went back to their areas, Kongolo and Ngandajika.
visit in general was a joyful event. We realize that the URCC members
work for the church growth in their respective areas. The road was not
so practicable. But the enthusiastic attitude of the members make
visitors forget all the pains we encounter in the trip. We felt that
such suffering for the Lord is a great blessing for us. The Word of God
says: ’’I tell you the truth, Jesus replied, ‘’no one who has left home
or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me
and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this
present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields --
and with them, persecution) and in the age to come, eternal life’’ (Mark
10:30). Didn’t we have new mothers, fathers , children, brothers and
sisters ? Didn’t we have new fields: meals, traditional statutes,
she-goats, bananas? Didn’t we endure trouble in sandy and muddy parts of
the roads? All in all, we experience life everlasting as we are in
Christ the King and Savior.
Please join us in the URCC in
Democratic Republic of Congo to rejoice and suffer in Christ’ s growing
church. We will continue to visit the churches in all areas to
strengthen the URCC members and to proclaim the Good News of peace,
salvation and the reign of our Lord Jesus Christ on His people on earth.
Praise be to Him!
Rev Kabongo Kalala Malebongo
Brother Hank Prins (at left) with Rev. Kabongo
The road is rough at times, but God shows the way!
From December 2-13, 2013, leaders of the United Reformed Church in Congo gathered for training sessions in Kinshasa conducted by the Professional Impact Office. The attendees were able to build their capacity in the following areas:
Thirteen brothers and sisters from all levels of church leadership were represented at this training -- three members of the National Executive Committee (CEN), six members of the Provincial Administrative Councils (CAP), one Director of the URCC Theological Seminary, two leaders of the Reformed Women's Group, and one Youth Leader from the Reformed Youth Group. Eachj participant received a training kit in electronic form as well as hard copies.
This was a very wonderful time of sharing the Word of God and fraternal fellowship. The trainees were from Mbujimayi, Kisangani, Lubumbashi, Kolwezi, Kananga and Kinshasa. We praise the Lord for this opportunity to build our skills which will improve our ability to do His work among the people of Congo. We thank the GKv churches for their support, and we look forward to more training in the future.
Sincerely yours, The Rev. K.M. Kabongo
URCC Still in URCNA, Phase 1
The United Reformed Churches in North America (URCNA) held her 8th Synod in Nyack, New York from June 11-16, 2012. About 250 delegates were present in this church assembly. Among the delegates was Rev. Kabongo Kalala Malebongo, a fraternal observer from the United Reformed Church in Congo, URCC. It was a great privilege for him to represent the URCC to this Synod for the second time. The first time was two years ago in Ontario-London, Canada. Rev. Kabongo thanked the URCNA for the invitation she addressed to the URCC, and he was also grateful to the National Executive Committee of the URCC for the opportunity they offered him to represent their denomination.
The delegates at the URCNA Synod 2012 in the Hall of the Nyack Bible College.
Rev. Kabongo urged the URCNA to remain faithful to the Reformed doctrine and Reformed Church organization. This must not be for themselves, but as a model for other Reformed Churches to follow. He insisted also on the fact that the URCNA remains a united federation as they are in this Synod 2012. This was a great occasion to encounter many other delegates from different countries and to speak partnership with the URCC. After deliberation of motion regarding Ecumenical ties with the URCC, the URCNA Synod 2012 decided that the URCC continues to be in Phase 1 until the time the URCNA delegates visit with the URCC Churches in D.R. Congo.
Rev. K. M. Kabongo with some URCNA fraternal delegates.
Rev. Kabongo also conferred with Rev. Bob Grossmann of the Reformed Church in the United States (R.C.U.S.) on the relationship with the URCC. He handed over to Rev. Grossmann a correspondence signed by the General Secretary of the URCC and the President of the National Executive Committee of the URCC. In this letter they showed their concern toward the ecumenical ties between these two churches. They expressed the wish that these relationships be reactivated by both denominations.
Rev. Kabongo also had the opportunity to worship with the brothers and sisters of the Pompton Plains Reformed Bible Church in New Jersey. Rev. Richard J. Kuiten of this Church preached during the morning service on the theme “We Will Serve the Lord” taken from Joshua 24:1-15. In the evening, Rev. Kim Batteau from the GKv came up with another relevant theme, “Man and Woman in God's Plan.” It was taken from Genesis 1:26-27, 2:8, 24 from which he concluded that homosexuality was not in God's plan. He said that every person, whether heterosexual or homosexual, remains either man or woman. He must not forget that his God created sex despite the fact that some change their sexes through surgical operations. This was a wonderful Sunday of June 17 in that local church in New Jersey.
A day after that, Rev. Kabongo flew from JFK International Airport in New York to Ndjili, Kinshasa, via CDG in Paris. Praise be the Lord Jesus Christ in all Eternity!
Rev. K.M. Kabongo addressing the floor on behalf of the URCC.
2011 IN REVIEW
The church of Christ worldwide celebrates the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ and acknowledges the protection by Almighty God during the year that will soon end. Life doesn't end with 2011… it continues. We need God’s guidance and His providence. This is an opportunity to express our love toward our dear friends and relatives. We send best wishes for Christmas and the New Year 2012. As the church of Christ in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we take occasion to salute all the friends of the United Reformed Church in Congo -- URCC. We wish them a blessed feast of our Saviour’s nativity and a prosperous New Year.
The URCC praises our Lord for His blessings in this year 2011. The Word of our God has been preached and has had clear visible impact. Young mission groups which will eventually become local churches are developing in various regions.
Each local church becomes a true realization of the universal church. Men, women, and young people participate in the celebration and worship of our Lord. Besides Sundays, different groups meet and worship according to their programs and topics.
Reformed Women’s groups have been a real blessing in Mbujimayi as they visit local churches and exhort the weaker members to join the Sunday worship. They had Bible conferences and seminars this year to increase their knowledge of Scripture, Reformed doctrine and social training. Specific subjects on the program included Family Planning, HIV information, and Deity education. How to make soap and body lotion at home were topics interesting to young ladies as they could sell these items to get their own income. Others could make bread or work on group farms that could help them earn income for the group. Such group work encourages individuals to have their own private fields with crops in rural areas. The aim is to reduce poverty and hunger at the micro-level.
The Reformed Youth is an expression of the church unity between girls and boys and among young people from different local churches. It is our dream that they unite tribes and clans in DR Congo. The tribes and clans still stand as a backbone of violence and separation, even in churches. We realized this with great pain in our hearts at the last general elections of the President and the National Deputation. With a difference of opinion, there is a threat to chase out of the tribe people from outside that region. However, young people actively met and learned in Bible Camps and sang in choirs for the glory of the Lord God. They are involved in outreach for new church members, etc.
The Reformed Male groups are well organized in some local churches, but not so in others. They meet to find ways to evangelize, and they discuss marriage relationships and family matters.
In the Bupuekele Local Church, the Children Evangelism project continues to reach street children and non-Reformed children whose parents belong to other denominations where children are somewhat neglected as not yet having faith; they teach that only adults with faith in Christ should be dealt with in the church. Sunday School children are taught to have a foundation that can help them publicly confess their faith when they are teenagers.
The training of women and young mothers progresses and we number more than a hundred trainees, but they only have eight sewing machines. Five machines were donated about seven years ago, and three were purchased with local income. The trainers find it difficult to be benevolent as they have no jobs but have families to feed and children to put in school.
The street children will glorify the Lord God at Christmas as young school children I visited in the Netherlands donated meals for them. We praise the Lord for them. The street children learn the Bible; they memorize key verses, they sing for the Lord and we tell them to invite their friends to Sunday services and Saturday learning.
August 2011 marked the first time that the Ministers' Conference was held in Mbujimayi. More than forty pastors, elders and deacons participated in this conference to share local experiences and learn from URCC guest speakers about the Bible, Hermeneutics, Reformed Doctrine, Church Development, and Ecclesiology. It was a wonderful time to meet as church leaders. We sang and celebrated the great deeds of our God.
Church buildings are being completed in Kananga and Kolwezi. The motorbikes in different Ecclesiastical provinces have enhanced the visits among the churches and enabled people to start making contacts for new churches.
VISITS AND CONTACTS
The URCC members had some visits among sister churches in Holland, and also attended a course at Kampen. It was on this occasion that Rev. Kabongo Kalala Malebongo presented the URCC to the GKv Synod. The Synod accepted the URCC as a sister church. Moise Mande visited Kampen for a course. The CEN (Comite Executif National) met the delegates from Utreicht for Utreicht Mission and DVN in Nairobi in November 2011. It was a wonderful opportunity to share our differences and common points of view. A declaration was issued on this occasion and some lessons were considered. Both URCC and GKv expressed a wish to meet again in the future.
More contacts continue with Reformed Churches in South Africa to form ecumenical ties. The Reformed Church in the United States (RCUS), our natural sister, remains in close contact with the URCC. They asked us some questions on how the URCC functions, and this was sent to them. The United Reformed Church in North America (URCNA) continues its ecumenical contact with the URCC.
There is much more that can be said, but we praise God for all that is spoken and unspoken.
LOOKING FORWARD TO 2012...
The new year will be great as the URCC will hold its first General Synod in Kananga in July. It will be an occasion to meet in a more official environment to settle matters regarding this young church in Congo. We hope to meet our friends who have helped us start this work and receive their advice and direction for the URCC growth as a Reformed Church like the others around the world.
It will be a year of much improvement in church organization, management, missions and economic development projects. We pray for stability in the country and much involvement in evangelism by all of the above-mentioned groups. Evangelism concerns every Christian as we are called to reach the ends of the earth. The Lord has placed us here at this time to reach out and organize the Church according to the Reformed Worldview. We want to remain faithful and open to contacts at home and abroad. Our prayer is that His Kingdom will grow. Let us meditate upon this passage for the season:
"While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." Luke 2:6-7
Enjoy this time,
Rev K.M. Kabongo President of the CEN
2010 IN REVIEW
"Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people." ~ Psalm 77:14
The United Reformed Church in Congo, URCC, ended 2010 with joy for the good and wonderful things the Lord of the Church has fulfilled in his Church here. What follows is a review of the year.
February 17, 2010: the recognition of the URCC became effective in by DR Congo officials, mainly the Minister of Justice who is charged by the government for Non-profit Organization and Institutions of Public Utility.
At the end of January 2010, the National Executive Committee of the URCC met for the first time in Kananga to discuss important Church issues and plan activities for 2011.
Just as life, even life in Christ, is made of ups and downs, the delegates of the National Executive Committee were denied Visas to enter the Kingdom of Belgium where an important meeting was planned to be held between the UZD/ DVN of the Liberated Church in the Netherlands and the United Reformed Church in Congo, URCC. This meeting became postponed until June 19-28, 2010 in Kinshasa in the DR Congo.
In June 2010, the UZD/DVN meeting was successfully held in Centre d’Accueil Protestant (CAP) in Kinshasa, Gombe with the National Executive Committee of the URCC. There was a very nice exchange of views and vision, and a Kinshasa Declaration was signed and issued by both parties. An Agreement of working together as partner churches was obtained and a fund to begin activities in URCC was promised to be wired into the URCC Bank Account. This was humbly done by GKv. The decision for the Church partnership was to be taken and finalized in Holland by the BBK and by the GKv General Synod in 2011.
July 23-26, 2010, the President of the National Executive Committee traveled to Toronto, Canada on invitation of the United Reformed Church in North America, URCNA, to attend their General Synod in Ontario-London. He made this trip after multiple difficulties in Kinshasa and Paris, France regarding his airline ticket. Finaly he he arrived in Canida and visited with the URCNA Synod where he addressed the floor. The URCNA accepted the URCC to be in Phase One of the Church Relationship.
August 20-27, the National Executive Committee met in the Mbujimayi, as the whole committee. Plans for the remaining months of 2010 and the years 2011 and 2012 were drawn out. A plan was completed for deployment of the Pastors and Elders who by then did adhere to the URCC. The aim of this is that different areas of URCC existence be visited and that detailed reports on number of local churches, consistories and Ministers of the Word of God be sent to the Bureau of the National Executive Committee of the URCC by December 15, 2010. This has also been accomplished, although a couple of areas were not reached because of road inaccessibility.
The new areas like Province Orientale, Kisangani, were visited and seven local churches including the Malinda village local church, were established. Elders were installed, adults received at Public Confession of Faith, infants and children baptized, and Holy Supper given to those who approached the Table of the Lord. As the Kisangani area has been occupied by the Baptists, most of the new converts preferred deep-water immersion. Reformed doctrine on water baptism (from Heidelberg Catechism. Q & R 70-73) was explained, but the immersion preference was dominant in the mind of the new converts in Malinda. Adults were immersed in deep water at the Tokwa River, after preaching about baptism as sign and seal of the Covenant in which covenant infants are also received.
The Church is growing Easterward, up to Goma and Bukavu, where couple of local churches are being planted. The aforementioned cities are internationally known as longtime war zones with all kinds of violence. Bibles were put forth as real and urgent needs in those areas where Ugandese and Rwandan Rebels of LRA and FDLR were operating recently. Some Resistance groups from DR Congo Military forces operate in those areas, too. Women and children are objects of different exaction from rebels, who burn the whole villages and rape women.
A team of Evangelists is on its way to Ubundu, and in the direction of Beni and Waligale. Brother Kelly and two other Elders who had experience with pygmees go back to them with the Gospel in this area. Moreover, many activities were noticed, such as the tough evangelism in Kolowezi led by Elder Jean Pierre Mukalay, and the Reformed Ladies meeting that led to the election of Mrs. Alphonsine Kyungu as the Ladies leader in Sud Katanga Ecclesiastic Province, that stands for the whole Province of Katanga. The Ladies in Mbujimayi, led by Ado Ngoya and Jeanette Ngoie, visited the whole Mbujimayi area and Lubilanji (Gandajika) Church Province. In Kinshasa, Mrs Kabena Mua Mbuyi and the team of ladies are very active and participative in church work. Mrs. Bea (President) and Sylvie Kitenge (secretary) lead the Women’s Group in Kisangani. They welcomed the team of the National Executive Committee wholeheartily on October 26 to November 2.
OTHER EVENTS OF 2010...
The families of Pastors that traveled to Bangui, at Fateb in Central Africa Republic, returned after three years of training for Master’s Degrees in Theology. The families are now back in their local areas of Ndemba, Nsana (Gandajika), and Malemba Nkulu. Rev. Salvador still pursues training in Bangui in order to finish his Masters Dissertation.
The Reformed Youth was very active as they finished the year. In Kinshasa, Remie Beya and Fabien Yembe, and in Mbujimayi, Guellor Kabongo and Ignatius Mbuyi have also been successful in their organization. Youth meetings and trainings were well appreciated by Church Councils.
The Provincial Synods were well-organized during 2010. At the end of the year in Nkashama for Kananga and Malemba Nkulu, the Regional synods were also organized. The nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ had a lively celebration in our churches throughout the country.
To enhance Evangelism and Church organization (administration) some six motorcycles and a bicycle were handed over to the committee for Evangelism, edification and spreading of URCC vision to local churches and Church leaders. Training and Bible study on passages like Acts 18 was done to create vision for evangelism and edification among URCC men, women and youth.
2010 was a year of contact with sister churches in RSA, GKSA/RCSA, and RCUS in USA and GKv in the Netherlands. We have noticed a decreasing percent of contact with some of these sister Churches when comparing them to previous years. In all things we bring glory to our Lord God.
Children’s Evangelism Ministry has been registered in Kasai Oriental as an organization that deals with Evangelism activities among needy young people as Ladies have become victims of violence that led them to bear unplanned children. They are coming to know God and learning jobs like knitting and sewing. Some 60 young Ladies in Bupuekele are learning with enthusiasm their lessons and are progressing. On Christmas, the church service was organized by the Elder Jean de Dieu and Rev. K. M. Kabongo, who preached the Word of God from Luke 1:39-56... "Mary and Elizabeth: Miracles of God in Childbearing."
The New Year, 2011, for which we wish all the blessings to our church members and sister church members, will be a year of intensive work of Evangelism, implantation of new churches, and well-organized mission work to reach unreached areas and people. Reciprocal visits with local churches as well as sister churches, synods, and different institutions will be encouraged by URCC.
According to the URCC vision, different Departments set out by the National Executive Committee will be operational so that the words and deeds (Faith-Work) remain the full realization of the mission of Christ in Word as taught by the Church.
All the subcommittees working in local church such as Reformed Youth, Ladies, Men, Choirs, and organization will be trained to reinforce their capacities and capabilities for the church growth: maintaining the actual members in gaining the new converts.