The stories behind the statistics
“I’ve participated in the Langham Preaching program and discovered that it’s a program seeking to help all preachers to better communicate the Word of God to their hearers. This program has greatly helped me to improve my ministry and to prepare messages.” — Isaac Remo Mawa
During 2019, Langham Preaching has exceeded its goals for the year. In total, there were 338 seminars held in 70 of the 87 existing preaching movements, with at least 10,896 registered participants. Langham Literature provided thousands of theological books to those who needed them: 8,892 books to pastors enrolled in Preaching seminars, and 435 to leaders in training to become facilitators.
But let’s move past the statistics, to the often dramatic and complex stories of the individual pastors who make their way to seminars to learn how to become more effective preachers.
Pastors like Isaac Remo Mawa, who attended a recent preaching seminar in Bunia, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Isaac graduated in 2017 from seminary at Université Shalom de Bunia. He is a pastor with the CECA20, DRC’s largest Protestant denomination, and serves at a church in Mongbwalu, a large, rough town in eastern Congo. The town is dominated by small-scale miners who mostly scrabble for gold in hand-dug pits and then smuggle it out of the DRC to sell. The town has a “wild west” mindset, notorious for drunken violence and prostitution, as well as an unusually high incidence of malaria.
This is the environment in which Isaac faithfully brings God’s Word and provides hope and a life-giving and transforming alternative. Officially, Isaac should receive US$100 monthly from his church, but he usually only receives a small fraction of that amount. Since May 2019, he has received nothing. He, his wife Florence, and their four children grow their own food and survive by selling honey. In the most difficult of settings, Isaac and Florence have amazing faith and a strong sense of calling.
They have seen God at work in their lives: shortly after moving to Mongbwalu, Florence was laying bricks when one fell on her hand and damaged the nerves so badly that she could barely move her fingers. The economic loss to the family from this injury could have been catastrophic, but over the next weeks sensation returned, and finally full use, in what they view as a miraculous healing.
Isaac testifies to the impact of Langham Preaching in his ministry (translated): “I’ve participated in the Langham Preaching program and discovered that it’s a program seeking to help all preachers to better communicate the Word of God to their hearers. This program has greatly helped me to improve my ministry and to prepare messages. Many have testified that my messages have become more edifying. My hearers are experiencing transformation in their lives.”
“Sadly, I don’t have enough time often to prepare messages, because there isn’t food in the house. We are experiencing sickness and the cost of medicines is high given the lack of money. I preach two to three times daily: in the church, in the primary school and high school, at funerals, in the local college. Teachers and pagan gold-panners have been saved and taught, baptised and have become church members. People possessed by spirits have been delivered through our intercessory ministry. We don’t have enough money, but live by the grace of God. Our children eat, are clothed, get medical care and have school fees, miraculously. God loves us. May he be praised. Pray for our situation.”
Blessing with a book
In such a world, new books are an impossible luxury. Most pastors will own fewer than ten. In parts of a country like the DRC online materials can partially remedy this lack, but for most of the country, internet is unavailable, or very expensive.
When Langham Literature reports that last year it distributed 8,892 books to Preaching seminar participants, the reality is that pastors like Isaac are blessed with several precious new books to help them study and prepare.
Langham serves throughout the Majority World. Each Preaching movement works within a unique national environment. Many preachers have needs as great as Isaac. All have come to Langham Preaching because they are called by God to a preaching ministry, and want to hone their skills so they can be more effective servants. Every preaching seminar – every book put into the hands of a local pastor – every Scholar preparing the next generation of pastors at a Global South Bible college or seminary whether in a remote village or a teeming metropolis – is part of Langham’s vision for the strengthening and equipping for ministry of the Majority World Church.Tags: African Pastors Book Pack, DR Congo, literature, Preaching