He leaned forward, the wooden chair creaking mournfully.
Carefully he opened his mouth, fixing us all with his stern glare. Everyone stilled in anticipation of his weighty words.
“God is doing something here.”
I squeezed my hands together tight in my lap.
“We have prayed for this. We have areas in our lives that we have not changed, and now is time for transformation.”
Silence still fills the room, but heads are nodding. The curtain separating the Biblical view of the family and the current practice of the family in Isiro has been flung back in the last few months, and we are amazed at the gap in between.
“This is God’s time for our families. This is God’s time for transformation.”
He keeps speaking, but I’m just overwhelmed.
The fact that I. am. right. here.
All around me sit choir leaders, and we have come to discuss the “Summer 2012 Event”. This “event” has been one long string of miracles and unexpected revelations, of God working in hearts, and of people standing up with a revolutionary message.
It’s occupied a lot of our thoughts lately, with my parents especially sacrificing much time and effort to carefully think through all the issues and plans. It’s taken up our supper time conversations and our family prayers. I haven’t blogged about it yet because the plans were changing so crazy fast that Mom thought it wise to wait for everyone to be of one mind before I posted about it.
But now, in a few weeks, “it” will happen, and we’re excited….and we’re coveting prayers.
The (very) basic idea is as follows: during the morning we have a conference, during the afternoon, a music festival.
The overarching theme is this: CALLING MEN OF COURAGE!
Isn’t that great?? We all believe that this is what Congo needs. One courageous Congolese man who has totally caught fire with the vision of transformed families is showing the film Courageous almost every night all over town in different churches. And as people hear about it, others want to see it. That’s our publicity.
Other inspired, courageous men are taking the initiative to stand up and call others to hear the message, to answer the challenge, to accept the call.
It’s just awesome.
And best of all, it’s going to be combined with music. Sitting there in that church, listening to the words of welcoming change roll around me, I watched the faces of the people around me carefully and prayed hard that they would hear and understand.
Because I was sitting in the middle of a group of choir leaders – the people who, in my opinion, wield one of the most powerful weapons in Congolese culture – music. Many church choirs will compose songs to sing for the week long event (July 3 – 8, 2012). The songs of each afternoon will correspond to the teaching of the morning.
The teaching of the mornings will be as follows:
- Tuesday: Supreme Power, the Authority of the Bible, and Salvation through Jesus Christ
- Wednesday and Thursday: CALLING MEN OF COURAGE
- Friday and Saturday: Sex and Relationships, Family
- Sunday: A Call to Repentance
You see what I mean? This is great stuff.
The primary speaker will be my Mom’s brother, our Uncle Rich. This is the message of his heart, and the message we in Congo really need to hear. It is mind-boggling to think of how many years of preparation God planned before this conference/festival could happen! For years Uncle Rich has been developing this message and wanting to come to Congo. For over a year pastors in Isiro have been praying that this subject would be addressed but their plans to organize a conference were always blocked, and for two years I’ve had this wacky idea of Impossible. I’ve posted about it. Well, God took that impossible and the prayers and….and now it’s a LOT bigger and a LOT more impossible!!
I’m really looking forward to seeing this miracle!
There are so many unknowns. How are we going to feed two thousand people for a week? How are we going to sort out all the logistics, make sure people’s questions are answered, provide leadership, technical support, etc.?
My Dad had this awesome idea of recording all the teaching sessions and the music and putting it onto memory cards that the youth and others can buy to play on their cell phones.
We’re working with some Congolese pastors, trying to organize a team of small group leaders from different denominations who can lead discussions after Uncle Rich speaks.
We’re just praying that those choir leaders are inspired by God as they write songs on ideas and concepts that are still so new to them.
The meeting draws to a close after a long discussion of logistics. We stand, and the pastor at front who had triumphantly proclaimed the message of transformation is now singing low and soft….
Nkombo na yo, nkombo na yo….nkombo ya Yesu..
We pick it up after him, and I thrill through and through to the beautiful singing, the rounded words flowing gently around me, the strength of the melody, the gentle drumming drawing it all out. Your name, Your name Jesus…Your name is my hope, Your name is my success, Your name is my beauty…..
His name fills the church, His praises vibrate the brick walls. In His name we claim the impossible. In His name we will do valiantly. In His name the hearts of the fathers will be turned to their children, and the hearts of the children will be turned to their fathers. In His name, we will be transformed…and the curse will be lifted from this land.
- Malachi 4:6