March 23, 2004

I Cor. 16:9 For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

The Church of the Lutheran Confession of Congo began by that name on October 13, 1998.  Pastor Mutombo Muzakuza had been looking for a church body to affiliate with having seen that the Reformed was not in accord with Scripture.  He had been baptized Roman Catholic and joined a confessional Reformed church in 1978, ordained as a bishop in 1997.  He sought a Lutheran church. His correspondence with us was initiated in April of 1998.

Based upon a quantity of French and English doctrinal material having been sent and two meetings with him in Kinshasa (the capital of Congo) in 2001 and 2002, the CLC established fellowship understanding that there was a  lot of teaching that had to be done since none of his people had a Lutheran background.  We have had difficulty getting materials into the country to Pastor Muzakuza due to unreliability of the mail and corruption in the mail service. We are now trying to send materials through Zambia to him.

The warfare in the Democratic Republic of Congo has ended.  It is our prayer that the Word may  have freer course now.  From a recent letter of Pastor Muzakuza’s it is evident that they have problems with obtaining property in the cities just as is the case in many other places.  The costs are too high for our small groups.  While registration on a national level was attempted, it is at a standstill now due to raised costs.  They are registered in Katanga Province.

The majority of pastors and congregations are in Katanga Province which is the very southern part of the country.  The capital of this province is Lubumbashi.  They are divided up into the northern  and southern Katanga Districts in the church.  There has been steady growth as the following statistics show: 1999 – 394 souls in 10 congregations, 2001 – 589 souls in 18 cong., 2002 – 980  souls in 26 cong.  The most recent statistics show 1063 souls in 28 congregations served by 27 pastors.

The training of pastors in orthodox Lutheranism is a big job that Pastor Muzakuza has before him. He has classes for part of the pastors on Sunday evenings.  Otherwise he makes periodic circuits of visits to the others.  We are trying to send in French materials for each pastor for him to study on his own.  We are trying, as in all our sister churches, to get the catechism into the hands of all members.

The ELCC has a translation committee that has been working on pamphlets that explain our distinct Bible teachings.  The first visit of the missionary to Katanga Province took place in October of 2003 with the prayer that each year this takes place and with extended time allowed also.

We pray for Pastor Muzakuza and his pastors and people that God give them increased faith and confidence to reach out.

In the Etago CLC, Kenya Pastor Samson reports that Pastor Fred Elijah, formerly a Baptist, has publicly confessed his agreement with our teachings as drawn from God’s Word and is now working with our brethren.

Pastor David Koenig