Dear Friends and Partners,
We're packing again and have 1 week to do it before we depart for the DR Congo next Monday on April 4th. Marty does most of the actual packing as she is more detail oriented and gets more in the bags than I can. I do the hauling and weighing as well making many of the purchases that challenge her packing skills.
It has been a good time in the States visiting family, friends and Churches. We will have visited 9 Churches in 2 months and have been much encouraged by our time with many of you. We’re sorry that we haven’t been able to see more of you. Your prayers and support are what make our ministry in the Congo possible!
The good news from the Congo is that the riverboat we have been waiting on and unable to locate has finally surfaced at the river port of Bena Dibele. Fuel and supplies that we need are now only a truck drive from Lodja and it will allow us to engage several projects that have been delayed.
Our co-workers report that they are making good progress on the dam for the Lodja water project. The District Committee for Lodja North is asking us if we can have water in time for Annual Conference the end of August. I don’t know if we can have the system working by that time or not. I hesitate to make any promises I might not be able to keep. We are going to increase the workforce.
In January while I was back in the Congo the government released the funding for us to begin the second National Road Project from Lodja north to Lomela, a distance of 150 miles. This is because they are pleased with the work we have done on the road between Lodja and Bena Dibele.
Lomela is where my parents opened the mission station in 1958 and where my brother David and I enjoyed hunting and exploring the river and jungle as teenagers. Now we have the opportunity to re-open the road to this isolated town and area. It is also where we have decided to build the mission Church building this year that has been funded by our friends in Niceville, Florida.
The roofing, nails and fuel have left Kinshasa in a small river boat that should arrive in Lomela by the end of April. The local people are already making brick and kilning them in preparation for the foundation and walls. We are hoping that the impact of this church will be similar to that of the one in Tshumbe where the local Church grew 500% within months of the completion of the new building.
Please keep us in your prayers as we return and re-engage the work and challenges.
Paul and Marty
PO Box 98764
Raleigh, NC 27624