Our Story

Bible school students at the Assemblies of God Bible school in Kinshasa

Bible school students at the Assemblies of God Bible school in Kinshasa

While training church leaders in Kinshasa in 2005, we began to hear reports of a desperate need for training in DR Congo's war-torn interior. As we listened to these stories we sensed the Holy Spirit leading us to help.

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.

Kindu Bible School students

More than 80 students enrolled at the Kindu Bible school extension in 2007.

When we started the Bible school extension in Kindu in 2007, many of our students walked great distances to come for training. Pastor Emmanuel walked for three days to get to Kindu from his village. Others walked for two weeks, covering distances of 20 to 30 kilometers per day. As classes began we quickly discovered that they had no Bibles. They told us that rebel soldiers had been systematically destroying Bibles in their villages during the years of war. In that first class of more than 80 students, Pastor Emmanuel was the only one who had a Bible—a battered New Testament that he had buried in the jungle 10 years earlier to keep it from being destroyed by rebels.

Pastor Emmanuel with his battered New Testament

Pastor Emmanuel with his battered New Testament

Because of the generous support of our partners in the states,  Pastor Emmanuel not only received a new Study Bible; like many other students, he was given boxes of Bibles to take back to his village. We also provided students with bicycles for Bible distribution and a means of transportation to make the long journey back and forth for training. For three years Pastor Emmanuel proudly served as the president of his class. When he graduated in 2009, he said to his class, "With this training we are equipped like never before to take the gospel to the furthest reaching corners of our province."