Youth Ministry: Graduation Ceremony–August 2015

group shot

Front row: Teachers Patrick and Gerse, old timer Thierry and Gino.
Back row: Our nine graduates.

Last month, we held another graduation ceremony for the next group of young people who completed the 12 Foundation Stones Bible Course. What was very special about this event, besides being the 4th one since we came to Congo in 2008, was that it was a visible fulfillment of 2 Tim 2:2 (“Teaching others to teach others”), which has been our goal from the beginning. In our life as missionaries, we don’t often get to witness the fruit of our labors so to speak. We usually sow the seeds, do our best to follow up on people, and trust God for the increase, without really seeing how far that first seed has gone. These 9 young people who just received their Bible Knowledge Certificate have all been met and taught by Gerse and Patrick, who graduated from our course in May 2014. They themselves had met Olivier at the University of Kinshasa while they were completing their medical studies. Olivier, who was met by our missionary colleagues in 2009, had completed the course with us and Thierry in 2011. It was after the retreat we had organized in October of the same year that he felt called to start teaching the 12 Foundation Stones Bible Course at the university. It was inspiring to have the old timers testify during the ceremony, pray for the new graduates, give out the rewards, while Gerse and Patrick led the show.

patrick

Patrick

gerse

Gerse, MCing the ceremony

And for us, it is so rewarding to take a back seat and just marvel at what the Lord has done, by His Spirit, to win and train these very potential young people, who now love to call themselves missionaries as well.

praise

Some of the graduates and their guests

We will let some of the graduates speak for themselves, and pray it will be as inspiring for you as it has been for us. Isn’t it wonderful how the Word is so alive that it transforms lives from every nation and culture?

Pastor Sukari

Pastor Sukari

Pastor Sukari

"A few months ago, Gerse started giving me tracts, which I found quite interesting. I knew the intensity of his faith, and that He was serving the Lord. Each time we met, he would give me more tracts and Activated magazines. I was wondering what to do about it, because I’m his pastor, I’m a theologian, and I was wondering what could this child teach me? So I decided to look more into it. I felt like a fish who is used to swimming in a small river, and who all of a sudden finds himself in the ocean. That’s how I view the 12 Foundation Stones Bible course. So I made the decision to study it beginning to end, and I understood why it was so important for me to get to know Espoir Congo. I’d like to share a small testimony. I had gone to visit one of my church members who had been so ill for over a week that he could no longer get out of bed. He and his wife were very distressed by this situation. I started sharing with them the message of love I had learned in the Foundation Stones Bible Course and while we were talking, I felt within me the strong desire to pray for him. All of a sudden, I told him, “Get up in the name of Jesus Christ!” He got up, and that was it, he was completely healed! I want to give the glory to Jesus and to thank Espoir Congo for these teachings which gave me the faith to pray for this sick man.

Now that I have completed the course, I want to give myself more fully to preaching the Gospel, because the harvest is plenteous but the laborers are few. Also, I see the importance of putting 2 Tim. 2:2 into practice—what we have learned, we must pass it on to others, so they in turn can pass it on."

Ruth

Ruth

Ruth

"I thank the Lord to have helped me discover Espoir Congo, thanks to Gerse. I have received wonderful training, and what I liked the most in this course is lesson #5, about the Golden Rule, how to love others. It has taught me how to better show love around me to those I meet. My vision is to spread the message of John 3:16, to show people how much God loves them, no matter what problems they face or what conditions they live in, to just put their trust in Jesus and to believe that Jesus is able to solve all of their problems."

Jimmy

Jimmy

Jimmy

"In the beginning, when Gerse would come to talk to me about the 12 Foundation Stones, I wasn’t really interested, but the day I discovered what it was really about, my life changed. Before, I was incapable of reading the Bible, but thanks to this Bible course, I am a different man, and I can only thank God for that. My desire now is to obey Mark 16:15 and to go into all the world to preach the Gospel to every creature, and give to others what I have been entrusted with."

Munduku

Munduku

Munduku

"It is thanks to my brother Gerse that I have discovered this Bible course. I heard him talk about it, and it made me want to take this course as well. Now, I want to do what it says in 2 Tim 2:2, teach others everything I have learned."

Patrick

Patrick

Patrick

"One morning, while I was charging my phone in a shop, I met Gerse and he invited me to the 12 Foundation Stones Bible Course he was teaching. In the beginning, it was not easy for me, because of the timing and the difficulties of transport because I study at the University of Kinshasa which is quite far away. I also had health problems and was generally very depressed. So I cried out to the Lord, and today, I can testify that it is thanks to this course that I was able to overcome my problems. Now I thank God because necessity is laid upon me to share His Word wherever I go. Woe is unto me if I don’t preach the Gospel!"

Olga

Olga

Olga

"If you could see my face right now, you would understand that I am filled with joy! I can’t even find the words to say, because today is the day that I am becoming a missionary! I feel so blessed to have met Espoir Congo! I see people here in Kinshasa who haven’t had that same opportunity, so I thank God to have chosen me. In the beginning it was easy for me to come to the Bible classes because I lived right there in Massina, but then when we moved to Kingansani (a different part of town) it became very difficult for me to attend the classes. It was so hard that I almost gave up. But I asked the other students to pray for me. I remembered the verse that says that if one falls, the other will pick him up. So thanks to their prayers, I was able to continue and to finish the course and now I am a missionary. My vision is to fulfill 2 Tim 2:2, because I can’t keep this course to myself, I’m going to share it with others."

Patrick handing out certificate.

Patrick handing out certificate next to old timer Thierry.

Olivier and Gino giving laureate a CD and other documentation, including a Bible

Olivier and Gino giving laureate a CD and other documentation, including a Bible

 One of the laureates looking at the memory verses booklet he was given.

One of the laureates looking at the memory verses booklet he was given.

 

To view the video describing our Youth Ministry, please click here.

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