‘Until now you have not asked anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete’ – John 16.24.
Rooted in Jesus Report from Kolwezi, Diocese of Katanga, DR Congo
Rooted in Jesus was introduced to the Diocese of Katanga, which lies in the south eastern region of DR Congo, in 2014. The team was led by Matthew Grayshon, and included members from the UK, South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania. Revd Stéphane Makata was appointed diocesan coordinator by Bishop Kasima Corneille, and has sent us regular and inspiring reports of the difference Rooted in Jesus is making to people’s lives as they learn to pray, live and read the Bible differently. The following report (translated from French by Alison Morgan) contains testimonies given in public on the occasion of the presentation of certificates to those who had completed Book 1 of Rooted in Jesus. Many of them are based on group members’ experience of praying according to the memory verse John 16.24.
Kolwezi lies 360 km south west of Katanga. Notwithstanding this, Bishop Kasima Munono Corneille was willing to travel from Lubumbashi to Kolwezi using his own financial resources, in order to be present at the ceremony at which the Rooted in Jesus certificates were awarded. Rooted in Jesus has been able to plant several new churches, and so Bishop Kasima also presented poles and tarpaulins which will enable group members to construct their own places of worship.
KOLWEZI DEANERY, Parish of St John
Catechist JOEL NGOY MAKOBO, group leader
“After my training in Lubumbashi on how to use the Rooted in Jesus Christ programme, I went to Kolwezi for my final academic placement. I travelled by bicycle, and I have now been ministering there since April 5th 2014. When I arrived at Kolwezi I began to attend a church in my placement parish where there were 6 people. I decided to begin by teaching the Rooted in Jesus material every Sunday, and it captivated more and more people. After two months the number attending had grown to 45. God continued to help us by calling further people through healings and answered prayers. We have numerous testimonies, and today the church has at least 95 members and we have groups such as the choir, the prayer group, the Mother’s Union, the Boys Brigade and prayer cells each with their own leaders.”
The following testimonies were given by those who have been taught through Rooted in Jesus:
“I was lost and I had abandoned the church, but when I discovered the teaching of Rooted in Jesus I received the Lord Jesus for real. I used to dream about prostitutes, but through prayer and the teachings, I have to say that I am now completely free of this. I didn’t know how to share my faith or stand against witchcraft, but now I can do both these things. Certainly Jesus Christ has saved me.”
“I was never interested either in the church or in prayer; but today through the teachings of Rooted in Jesus Christ I love to serve God in the church. I was a thief but now I have renounced that. Truly Jesus Christ has saved me.”
“I was a great sinner: rude, insulting, arrogant and slanderous. However, after receiving the teachings of Rooted in Jesus Christ, Christ has truly saved me, and I now share good news with others so they too may be saved as I have been.”
“I was a self employed miner, searching for minerals. I was far too fond of brawling and drunkenness, and each time I did this I would dream that I was fighting against supernatural aliens – they were like wild beasts. I even had a child with a prostitute. After receiving the teachings of Rooted in Jesus Christ, I now share the good news of Jesus Christ. I now know to pray for myself and for others. I love Jesus Christ.”
I was lost and I was following wrong paths – for example adultery, lying, pride, and evil spirits. These spirits were in me, but after receiving Jesus Christ through the teachings of Rooted in Jesus Christ, I am saved. I am now going to serve God.
“I was a slanderer, adulterer and thief, and I had never loved the church. Today I have been saved through the teachings of Rooted in Jesus Christ, and I love Jesus Christ.”
DEANERY OF KIPUSHI, Parish of St Peter
These are the testimonies of those who have completed Book 1 of Rooted in Jesus.
“I thank God because he has shown his power in me since I had an accident and broke my pelvis. When I received the teaching from the Rooted in Jesus course, especially John 16.24, I prayed according to what it said. One night while I was asleep, I saw someone come in and cut my hip, and my leg fell out of my trousers, so I cried out to my wife that I have lost my leg, it has just been cut off! When I opened my eyes, I could feel no pain and all my limbs were there, healed – as they have remained to this day. So I can travel by motor bike either to church or to the hospital. My family are all saved, and we believe in Jesus Christ. He is our Lord and Saviour forever.”
“I am a soldier, and although I would go to church I had no foundation of faith. But with all these teachings that I have just received, I my faith is now founded on Jesus Christ. Me and my family, no one can snatch us from his hands. He is our only Lord and Saviour. We will feed on his words in the same way that we feed on real food.”
“My daughter was going to give birth but it was difficult; the doctor told us she needed surgery which would cost US $500. I am a widow – where was I to find all this money? At one o’clock in the morning I remembered the teaching from Rooted in Jesus. I went alone to church and I prayed. Jesus Christ had encouraged me to pray according to John 16.24, “So far you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be complete.” I prayed like this: ‘Cast your eye uon your widow now, for you are the father of orphans; fulfill your word in me so that my joy may be complete according to your will.” At five in the morning my children, who had been looking for me all night, found me in church praying. It was the last place they come to after searching several other places thinking that I had committed suicide.”
“We divorced as a result of the anger which dominated our home. Now we have been saved through the teachings of Rooted in Jesus Christ, and we will remain forever attached to Jesus Christ.”
“I am a pastor and preacher of the gospel, but I have always been weak. However, I now feel as if I have been vaccinated, so that I can exercise the ministry to which the Lord has called me. Already many have been saved, and have placed their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. They are now united with him and will remain so throughout their lives, thanks to the teachings of Rooted in Jesus Christ. They are no longer ignorant. They were ensnared in the teachings of the world, and they want to leave this and base their lives on the teaching of Rooted in Jesus Christ.”
REGINE PACIFIQUE KASIMA, the wife of the bishop and the group leader:
“As for me, how these lessons make me grow! No one will separate me from Rooted in Jesus during my life on this earth, because I do not think I can testify one minute and not the next. I have been awoken from the deep sleep and from the distractions in which I lived. May God bless the person to whom he revealed this programme!”
Rooted in Jesus is a project of ReSource. From its beginning in one diocese 12 years ago it is now in use in over 70 dioceses or denominations in 15 African countries. To find out more, to join the RinJ prayer network or to make a financial contribution to the fund which makes it possible, please visit www.rootedinjesus.co.uk.