The ripple of Total Member Involvement has reached North East Congo Union Mission(NECUM) with unprecedented impetus. God has blessed the speakers and their efforts with more than 20,833 baptisms. The North East Congo region is one of the vastest territories in the East and Central Africa Division. According to Pastor Rudatinya Mwangachuchu, president of NECUM, the results of TMI must be understood as a miracle of God because human estimation could not predict them. Travelling in the area is more challenging because of long distances and lack of proper roads.” We use the air much more than the land to visit our churches.”
Prior to the meetings, a lot of planning had taken place including the preparation of church members, the sites and the inviting of visitors. Pastor Malembe Tatasia, NECUM evangelism coordinator, shared that they had 899 sites and church members were mobilised to exercise heart and hands to impact the community. They shared foods, clothes and shelter. “We are grateful to our members for their commitment. We are commending the work of the children in Rubaya whose site baptised more than 100 just on the first Sabbath and the Pastors’ Kids who had their site in Mugunga. The church in Butembo in North Kivu Field distributed 2300 iron sheets giving roofs to 144 homes, and that left the mayor of the city with a lot of excitement. Malembe added that the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) also distributed shoes to many poor peasants who could not afford them otherwise.
In Central Kivu Field, in the city of Goma, Medical Camps were another effective way of reaching out to the people. Many patients were given free medicines and eyeglasses. Dr Kabiona, NECUM Health Ministries Director, shared that many people stopped smoking and drinking alcohol. He revealed this was a result of “BreathFree”, an evidence-based smoking cessation program which accompanies smokers and drug addicts on their journey to better health.
Dr Fesaha Tsegaye, ECD Health Ministries Director, explained that the program started in 1959 and has been undergoing various updates. “Today, it is known as BreathFree 2.0, and it is a joint project between the International Commission for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Dependency and the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, with the support of Loma Linda University School of Public health” He added.
Finally, Radio station Sauti ya matumaini (Voice of Hope) was another site that was very instrumental in promoting the meetings and inviting visitors.
The Union administration thanked speakers who crossed the borders to support the mission in the region, some of them treading DRC for the first time and braving the fear of distances and insecurity.
NECUM is made up of six fields interspersed in 7 provinces, and the headquarters are in the city of Goma in North Kivu Province.