* When we last wrote we were having a busy time on the computer as we made the final edits and formatting changes to the Swahili and Lingala versions of ‘May Your Kingdom Come’.
* Despite numerous computer problems, we were able to complete the versions and upload them, with good internet connections between Bujumbura and Congo!
* On the final edit, with the deadline for the publishers just 2 days away, our computer refused to start up. After 6 hours of failed boot-ups, I, Cath, texted a bunch of people asking them to pray specifically that the computer would work. 10 minutes later the computer booted up, and I was able to complete the Swahili changes and upload the new version on to the internet.
* With both versions completed and uploaded on the internet, our computer obviously felt its job was done, and since the Monday after that, has refused to boot up. We pray that we can get it fixed! But, we praise God we were able to complete both versions of May Your Kingdom Come, and get them backed up!
* 1000 copies each of both the Swahili and Lingala versions of the Bible study book were published in Kampala, Uganda, and are now in Arua, awaiting transport into Congo.
* Please pray that the books arrive safely in Congo, and that, despite transport difficulties, they can be distributed and make a real difference to people’s lives, and to the country as a whole.
Pray for DR Congo
* With the deadline for elections passed, and rumours of a deal to ensure a peaceful transition and elections later this year, please pray for Congo. The BBC reported that Congolese football matches have been postponed til further notice – and for Congolese to give up their football shows that a lot is going on! Please pray that God’s peace and justice would be known in the nation.
Praise & Prayer
* Praise for the completion of May Your Kingdom Come. Pray that it would impact lives throughout Congo
* Pray for peace in this region, especially regarding elections in DR Congo
* Pray that our computer might be mended, and our data retrieved
* We’ve had colds that have dragged on; please pray for good health
Raising a new generation
* Over the past couple of months I, Stephen, have had many opportunities to teach in different locations.
* For the second half of 2016, I lead the Bible studies at Oasis Christian Center on a Monday evening. We walked through the whole of the Old Testament, looking at how God spoke to the Israelites and thinking about how He speaks to us through His word today. In December we finished the prophetic books, studied briefly the inter-testamental period and finished with the first chapters of each of the Gospels – perfect timing just before Christmas! There was also a couple more preaching opportunities at Oasis on a Sunday, as Pastor Dieudonné was in the UK in November to December. I’ll probably continue leading at the Monday evening Bible Studies at the end of January.
* Lambert from Oasis, and I have taught seminars for young people at Christ Ambassadors Church in Kinindo, and I’m also looking at working with a couple of guys from Oasis church who are setting up discipleship programmes for young people (here between the ages of 18 and 35).
* The International Leadership University here in Bujumbura is an English-speaking Christian leadership university (a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ International). I was invited to preach in September at their opening ceremony for the beginning of the academic year, and also at their graduation ceremony in December. This ceremony was for graduates who finished studying in both 2015 and 2016, as they had not been able to have a ceremony in 2015 due to the situation here. It’s a privilege to be able to invest in, and inspire young leaders who really want to see transformation in this region.
Over the Christmas period, we really thanked God for His many blessings this past year. 2016 for us was a year of renewal and restoration.
Thank you all so much for your prayers and support. As we journey with God, discovering more of Him and His purposes, we are so grateful that so many of you are ‘with us for the ride’!
So, as 2017 begins, with all the opportunities and challenges it may bring, we pray that you will know His peace, the peace that passes all understanding.
With love, Stephen & Cath