Report on the Regional Women’s Seminar of the Confessional Lutheran Church of DRC that took place in Tshela, Province of Central Kongo, from July 30 to August 5, 2018. Organized by missionary, Serafina Panzo and the Women’s Department of CELCCO. Seminar Theme: The Fear of God (based on Psalm 111:10).
In brief, about 400 women gathered in Tshela for a seminar on women’s role as mothers, community activists and social change agents who are called to serve in the vineyard of our Lord Jesus. In order to do so, women must present themselves as a living testimony before their family, community, church and the nation. Women must respect their own bodies, avoiding all kinds of lifestyles that lead one to sin. Women, as wives, must respect their husbands. Most importantly, they are to be good managers of their homes, including teaching their children the fear of the Lord.
Female delegates, from different districts, who attended the seminar for the first time were amazed by the gathering and were empowered to work towards the development of the church. It is hoped that many of the things learned at this seminar will change the lives of the participants and the way they think about their role as women. They were taught that they are social, Christian agents of change in their communities. They, in turn, thanked those who had organized the seminar. They asked that this kind of event be repeated.
The seminar lasted a full week and ended with an evening celebration, with over 20 choirs participating in sacred music making. On Sunday, the last day, the seminar concluded with a communion service. Here, some of the women were commissioned to diaconal service. To God be the glory.
One of the local orphanages here in Boma is run by a group of Catholic nuns. I had the opportunity to meet the director of the orphanage, with whom I exchanged some thoughts. One of the difficulties she shared with me is the large number of orphans on the street. Their space is very limited at the orphanage, as the state requires that they house only one child per bed. That allows them to host only 35 children of varying ages.
The orphanage that we donate clothes and food to has a capacity of 80 orphans from very poor conditions. Taking care of orphans isn’t an easy task. It requires a good number of workers and an acceptable facility that holds beds and a hygienic environment. Please pray that God will raise up other organizations that can partner with existing orphanages to bring children off the streets to live with dignity. We also had the opportunity to donate a few dresses that came from Colorado Springs.
Team from the WMPL visited us in Boma
It was a pleasure to have with us Rev. Dr. Paul Gossman, General Director of the WMPL, and Gloria Sauck, our colleague, who is a missionary in Kenya working with the Kenya Eyes Society. Their visit among us was inspiring as they were able to experience Congolese Lutheran worship. Paul shared the Gospel on the Sunday they arrived to both the church leaders and the women’s group. During their week-long visit, we visited the projects and programs of our partners, such as a partner who is working with blind farmers, health centers in the city and poor areas, orphanages and a theological school. Their visit encouraged members of the church that they do have brothers and sisters around the globe who care for them. We encourage this kind of visit for any church or partner who wants to experience the reality of life in the DRC. Blessed be the name of our God.
- Pray for peace during this pre-election period.
- Pray for our safety.
- Pray as we are searching for a new place to live.
- Pray for provision for many of our programs: The Theological School needs a library; An adequate place to gather orphans for after-school programing and feeding; Help for a micro-project reaching women who are victims of domestic violence.
For more information or to connect with the Panzo Family, please visit: The Great Commission Society.