Signs of the Kingdom
Set down in rural south-central Burundi is Kibuye Hope Hospital, an expanding light of kingdom work in one of the hungriest, most impoverished countries in the world. From a mission station outpost started in 1938, where medical work began in a one-room grass-roofed dispensary, it has grown to a thriving community. Many of the African doctors are graduates of the Frank Ogden School of Medicine at Hope Africa University. Kibuye Hope Hospital is the teaching hospital for the university and, at the same time serves the medical needs of hundreds of thousands in the local community. Reports from Kibuye reflect the signs of the kingdom, “The blind receive their sight, the lame walk…and the poor have the good news brought to them” (Luke 7).
Dr. John Cropsey is an ophthalmologist from the U.S. who is working at Kibyuye. His wife Jessica writes, “… John has been inundated with a sea of patients, most with incredibly complicated problems — tumors, corneal ulcers, retinal detachments …. In three days, John did over 50 surgical procedures.”
One boy had surgery for a massive congenital tumor protruding from his eye. For the first time in his life, he could close this eye. Another woman had been blind for five years because of cataracts. Jessica Cropsey writes, “She broke out into spontaneous dancing and singing when her eyes were opened the day after surgery.” Doesn’t it sound a lot like the New Testament?
There is also the case of Victor, a 10-year-old, who had swelling all over his body. Not only was there concern for Victor’s health, but also the cost of treatment. Victor’s family is locked in extreme poverty. The hospital found a local sponsor who paid for Victor’s treatment. The medical students cared for Victor around the clock. Every morning they feared finding Victor dead.
Dr. Alyssa, a pediatrician, says, “Through all the ups and downs, Victor’s mother continued to demonstrate resilient faith — even as she feared for his life. She greeted me hopefully each day. We prayed together for Victor’s healing, and God answered prayer. I am grateful that Victor left the hospital walking and smiling — hopeful to continue his education.”
These loving doctors, are doing the healing work of Jesus and His kingdom. They are on the front edge of an unbroken story that started almost 80 years ago in a grass-roofed dispensary as faithful, loving, missionaries gave what they had to make a difference.
By Gerald Coates
God has not been silent in the face of terror. The Free Methodist Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has suffered through what has been called Africa’s World War. In the past 20 years, over five million lives have been lost, hospitals and schools have been destroyed and citizens terrorized. Women have become victims of rape by gangs of soldiers, resulting in gynecologic injuries and the spread of HIV-AIDS.
Our hospital in Nundu was ransacked but not destroyed. Our outlying clinics continued to function at a basic level. The nursing school at Nundu retreated to safe places but continued to operate. Now the hospital is repaired and is the major provider of healthcare for more than 100,000 people.
God is using these ministries and His people to bring hope.
Dr. Esther Lubunga Kenge, the wife of the Free Methodist Bishop of D.R. of Congo, having passed through war-time chaos in her country, spent time in South Africa as a refugee and is leading the way in helping women recover from trauma. She teaches that women who were terrorized and traumatized are not being punished by God but are the special focus of God’s love. Having returned to the DRC, she continues this specialized teaching ministry and is developing projects to aid widows and their children in growing food and caring for animals to support themselves. The goal is for the mothers to work, receive love and healing through the church, and for their children to receive education. Support for such programs is
vital. Though the situation for many has seemed hopeless, God has not been silent in the face of terror.
Dr. Denis Mukwege, a Congolese Christian, a surgeon, and member of the medical school faculty in Bukavu, developed a graduate training program in gynecologic surgery. His special interest has been perfecting surgical procedures to repair the damage resulting from violent rape. He has dedicated his life to offering hope to victims of sexual violence. After his complicated surgeries, women have been able to maintain pregnancies and live a normal life. God has healed their curse through Dr. Mukwege. This year Dr. Mukwege and Nadia Murad received the Nobel Peace Prize for their work for women who have been victims of violence in Africa.
The suffering of the people of Congo, and especially women, is now known to the world. God has not been silent in the face of terror. Hope wins!*
By Norman Wetterau M.D.
World Missions Prayer Calendar: February
01 FRIDAY| Cameroon
The work of the FM church in Cameroon is expanding into new cities. As the church expands into new territory, pray for biblical values and a clear understanding of Jesus to be developed among the people.
02 Saturday |Creative Access
Pray for Area Director Eric as he works with an Asian leader to develop a partnership to enter a new Creative Access country in 2019. Pray for the Lord to provide both financial and leadership resources for this new work.
03 SUNDAY | Kenya
Roger and Deborah Varland serve at Rift Valley Academy (RVA) in Kijabe, Kenya. RVA is a boarding school primarily serving missionary families. Pray for Roger and Deborah as they teach and care for these students who are separated from their parents.
Birthday: Deborah Varland
04 MONDAY| Seed
The U.K. Annual Conference oversees ministry in Ireland that was started by Congolese refugees who were relocated there. Pray for Pastor Abwe Mulonda who leads this work and pray for wisdom in knowing how to reach people outside the Congolese community.
05 TUESDAY | Creative Access-X
Praise the Lord for the health and growth of the church here. Ask God to provide for the physical needs of the people who lack things like food and medication due to the desperate economic situation in the country.
06 WEDNESDAY | Jordan
Pray for the FM church in Jordan as they minister to more than 19,000 refugee households. Their ministries include a medical clinic, a dental clinic, schools, micro-enterprise projects as well as house-church networks.
07 THURSDAY | Set Free
New Set Free teams in Portugal and Spain are mobilizing to launch in 2019. Pray for these two teams as they pray, dialogue, network and engage their communities in addressing the causes of slavery in their neighborhoods.
08 FRIDAY |Cambodia
Thriving ministries in Cambodia include three ICCM child development centers, church-planting, and microenterprise projects to support pastors and provide income for church members. Pray for the continued expansion and development of these ministries to transform lives.
09 SATURDAY | Hungary
The Győr fellowship, led by Gerry and Kati McNamara, includes English language worship services, Bible studies, a university student group, service to the poor, and ministry to orphans. Pray for many to come to know Christ through these ministries.
10 SUNDAY| Iraq
10 Pray for a spirit of wisdom and discernment for Hany as he chooses and develops new local leaders and church planters while working among the refugees.
11 MONDAY | Paraguay
Church sponsored elementary schools minister in both Asunción and Encarnación. Pray for the outreach of the churches and the schools to bring whole families to a relationship with Jesus Christ.
12 TUESDAY |Ethiopia
Pray for the FMC in Ethiopia as they increase efforts in church-planting and training programs to multiply church planters and pastors.
13 WEDNESDAY | Hong Kong
Pray for young leaders to be called and trained for ministry to the nearly 7.5 million people living in Hong Kong.
14 THURSDAY | Middle East
Pray for Area Director Dale and his wife Dawn. Pray specifically for health, safety, and discernment in their travels throughout the region. Ask the Lord to help them effectively navigate the culture and language.
15 FRIDAY| Brazil
Praise God for doors that have opened to lead Bible studies in homes of non-believers. Pray that Dan and Hope Owsley would have the Lord’s anointing as they share the gospel with these families. Pray that their meetings would bear fruit for eternity.
Birthday: Dan Owsley
16 SATURDAY | Europe
Pray for three families who are preparing to begin missionary service in Europe this year: Chadwick and Sarah Anderson (Hungary), Camilo and Magaly Mora (Spain), and Rodrigo and Tanya Rosado (Greece). Pray for the details of transition to be completed, including raising the remainder of their support.
17 SUNDAY | Mexico
Mexico has an estimated population of 120 million people. Almost 80% of the people live in urban areas. Pray for the FM church in Mexico to be able to reach the cities for Christ.
18 MONDAY| Middle East
Churches are being planted in several new creative access areas in the region. Pray for spiritual and physical protection for our leaders and new believers in these areas.
19 TUESDAY | Mozambique
Pray for the work of the Mozambique General Conference as they continue to oversee Nhaloi Hospital, Inhamachfo Clinic and Primary School, the Evangelist Training School at Inhamachafo, and a new post-high-school seminary in Beira, the second largest city.
20 WEDNESDAY | Malaysia
Pray for the development of Chinese and tribal-speaking congregations in Malaysia, and for the endeavors to plant cell churches in the Ipoh region.
21 THURSDAY| Portugal
There is now a church located in the center of Lisbon. Pray for Santiago and Laysse Magalhães as they assume pastoral leadership in this church and continue pastoring the youth network in Portugal.
22 FRIDAY | Haiti
Today the Dessalines Rural Health Care Project is a thriving center serving a local population of 250,000. Their mission is to “Heal, Prevent Illness and Evangelize.” Pray for the ongoing ministry of the hospital and the work of Dr. Dan Snyder.
Birthday: Dan Snyder
23 SATURDAY | Seed
Pray for the SEED staff and Champions as they plan for opportunities to share the mission of SEED in churches and communities throughout the coming months.
24 SUNDAY | Middle East
Pray for the Holy Spirit to go before house-church planters and trainers in preparing households and communities for the witness of the gospel.
25 MONDAY | Swaziland
Pray for the church to effectively demonstrate and communicate the gospel so that people in Swaziland will find freedom in Jesus from the occult and traditional religions.
26 TUESDAY | Creative Access-I
There are now over 1,400 churches and 225,000 Free Methodist believers in this country. There are also several humanitarian projects in operation providing economic development for the underprivileged. Pray for the church as they continue to transform individual lives and entire communities while facing increasing opposition.
27 WEDNESDAY | Greece
The Thessaloniki FM Church includes Greek members and people from over 10 nationalities. Pray for the Lord to provide leaders to serve and disciple each language group.
28 THURSDAY |Bolivia
The church in Santa Cruz now has about 100 members and a church plant outside Santa Cruz has about 20. Pray for the multiplication of disciples, leaders, groups and churches in this mission district.