Recent Posts from the Mumena Team

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Davis Missionary Journey: Preaching Dress Codes

What the preacher wears in the Democratic Republic of Congo is very important to the Congolese. After all, everyone tries to have a new pair of shoes, a haircut, and a cell phone (though with no talk time) even as food & the necessities of life are scarce for most. I try to oblige expectations when I am visiting some place, but every once in a while, God chooses to challenge certain cultural hang-ups much to my chagrin.

I remember, while visiting my aunt and uncle in their mission work in India, accidentally packing my suitcase without removing my suit of clothes for the next day. My uncle departed with the luggage at 5a.m. on a Sunday morning while I awoke at 7a.m. to preach at a local congregation. Given the exotic nature of Indian clothing, I received a number of compliments from the brethren that morning on my red lined pajamas with the big white buttons.

I had no such luck in justifying my wardrobe while preaching at the Taba congregation in Lubumbashi, D.R.C. While in route to preach, my shirt sleeve was caught in the door of a departing taxi resulting in my new "tank-top" look for preaching attire. The congregation was shocked and appalled.

"But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of it, they rent their garments, and sprang forth among the multitude, crying out"
Acts 14:14 ASV

At least I'm in good company.

Making fashion statements in Africa,
Brian, Sondra, Noah, and Bryson

Pictured below: Lazare & Agnes Wandalika, dear servants of the church in Lubumbashi (properly attired)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Davis Missionary Journey: An Angel at the Border

The brothers in Lubumbashi, D.R.C. had warned me of the seedy elements infesting the Kasumbalesa border crossing between Zambian and Congo. I was still caught off guard by the tempest in which I found myself being hussled and jived in every conceivable manner. After having contributed substantially to the local economy and finally finding myself on the Congo side of the border, I deeply connected to Paul's feelings as he faced Corinth. As no one from the church was there to meet me (with 100 kilometers to go to Lubumbashi) and as the local loiterers were beginning to perceive me as a target, I thought to myself, "I'd better blend." Then remembering my lineage, I realized that THAT just wasn't happening. Suddenly a lady - whose face looked strangely familiar - appeared out of the crowd calling my name and pointing to a vacant seat in a taxi. Overjoyed with a way of escape, I assumed that she was from the church in Lubumbashi and was sent to help me. So I jumped in the taxi, and off we went. A kilometer or so down the road, I thanked her for coming to pick me up. She replied, "I didn't come to pick you up. I had just arrived from South Africa to visit family in Congo and saw you needing help at the border. You may not remember me, but I was one of your Bible students among the Congolese refugees in Cape Town." "Oh," I replied, "Help me with your name again?" She replied in her French accent, "Angel."

"Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?"
Hebrews 1:14 KJV

Fairly "unawares",
Brian, Sondra, Noah, and Bryson

Pictured below: all too common African taxi experience

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Davis Missionary Journey: Swaggart, Nelson, & Iglesias

Travel in Africa can be quite the faith challenge. Christianity is often used as a superstitious veneer to ward off evil much in the vein of traditional religion. As I traveled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to encourage some of our young churches there, my bus rolled out of Solwezi, Zambia at 6 a.m. to the deafening honky-tonk beat of Jimmy Swaggart's "Holy Spirit Dancing Feet" while one of the bus workers preached a lesson and prayed violently for our safe travels.

With no suspicion of spiritual incongruity, our bus driver then took us to the sublime heights of Willie Nelson & Julio Iglesias singing "All the Girls I've Loved Before". Our musical rapture then degenerated into some rap lyrics that shouldn't be repeated this side of Gahenna. Had I been an ungrounded searcher for truth, I would have given serious consideration to Islam at this point.

"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus"
Colossians 3:17 KJV

As another bus I took broke down for several hours and a third was run off of the road into the bush, I was moved to tearful thankfulness for the Christians, churches, and foundations who sacrifice to supply missionaries with vehicles (and cd players)!

God Bless You,
Brian, Sondra, Noah, and Bryson

Pictured below: Sunrise departure from Solwezi