It had been years since many of these provinces had been visited, partly because of the lack of infrastructure, but mostly because of many years of war—the worst war in African history.
As we traveled into the interior we found massive provinces the size of nations like France, Germany and Spain with only a handful of trained pastors. They had no access to Bible school training. Initially we held leadership conferences to gather and encourage those who had survived the years of war and to assess their need for training. They came by the hundreds, some walking for weeks to attend. Their pleas for help—for accessible Bible school training—rang in our ears and moved our hearts. Something had to be done.
For the better part of a year we criss-crossed the country, gathering as much input as possible from national church leaders in each province. Together, we developed a strategic plan to decentralize our training efforts in DR Congo, to make training accessible in every province. We assembled a team of national church leaders in each province to help tackle the administrative and logistical challenges of launching such a large-scale operation in a country the size of most of Western Europe with virtually no infrastructure.