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Visit to War-Torn Congo

Grace, Jana, Sharon, And Teri

During a visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo, six policemen stopped us on the street and asked us who we were and what we were doing. We told them that we are Christian volunteers and that we came to their country to help people and tell people about Jesus and His love and how they can have a personal connection with Him. We gave the policemen some literature, and they began reading intently.

“I know Jesus and I love Him,” one young officer said, “but I don’t know if He really loves me or if He’s close to me. I would like to learn to hear His voice.”

I asked him if he had ever invited Jesus into his heart and life, and he replied, “No, I don’t know how.”

So right there, while the others looked on, I took his hand and led him in a prayer to receive Jesus as his Savior. Then I prayed for Jesus to open his spiritual channel so he could learn to recognize His voice.

The other policemen then said, “Please pray for us, too—and pray for our families.” So we prayed for all of them, for protection in their dangerous job, as well as for their families and their spiritual growth and inspiration. They were all touched that we had taken time to talk with them and explain salvation, and they were thankful for the posters we gave them with the salvation message printed on the back, which they could use to share the good news they had found with their families.

We also visited one of the hospitals in Lubumbashi, where we went from ward to ward and bed to bed counseling, comforting, and praying for patients, their relatives, and the doctors and staff. A local friend translated for us, as many of the patients only spoke indigenous languages. There were children’s wards with babies suffering from malaria and meningitis, their parents at their bedsides, and wards filled with elderly people who had lost hope. By the time we left, there wasn’t a patient or visitor who hadn’t received a poster, words of comfort, and prayer. “I will never forget what you’ve done here today with your love, prayers, and encouragement,” the hospital director said. “Thank you!”

Another man we met in a restaurant bar said he felt quite useless, even to his own children. “I’m not doing anything to help others or bring them closer to God, like you,” he said. “I’m just a barman.”

“Anyone can help others and bring them closer to God,” I told him. “All it takes is faith and a little initiative to do what Jesus told His followers to do—‘go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere’ (Mark 16:15). And if you can’t go into all the world,” I said as I pointed around the room, which was decorated with flags that travelers from various countries had given to the restaurant when they had eaten there, “then the Lord can bring the whole world to you.”

“I see what you mean,” the man said. “My mission is right here.”

Originally Published in 2007.