We had our 7th Annual House Church Seminar last week. 30 pastors and church leaders came from all over the United States but three of them were from Africa and India. Many New Life members got involved in serving them to make their stay here in Houston comfortable and beneficial. So, I would like to thank all of you for serving sacrificially in making this year’s seminar a great success which is an attempt to help churches to be more like a New Testament church.
During the seminar as I was teaching and sharing meals together I got a chance to get to know various participants. One of them noticeably stands out. He is Bishop Bahome Musomeko who is a pastor in The Democratic Republic of Congo. He is a part of Pentecostal Church of Jesus denomination in DRC and oversees 172 churches.
He always sat in the front and asked me very good questions in response to what he was hearing during the seminar. I was able to sense that he was very sincere about learning house church ministry and how he can implement it in his church and the churches he is overseeing.
Pastor Bahome’s story about how he came to this year’s house church seminar is truly amazing. He heard about the seminar from a Korean-American woman who was there in DRC with her church doing a short-term mission. Her church is one of those churches that learned about house church from our KSC and is doing it. She and her church members shared with Pastor Bahome and other church pastors about house church and encouraged them to attend the seminar to learn more about it.
A typical family in DRC makes about $40 a month. Pastor Bahome’s wife is a nurse and has a small pharmacy which generates about $10-15 a day. The cheapest airfare to come to Houston via an airport in the next town, then Nairobi and then Amsterdam was $2,000. He didn’t have this kind of money, so he took out a $2,000 loan from a bank. When he returns home he has to pay back the bank within one year plus $150 to $300 interest depending on how fast he pays it off. When I heard this, I was deeply touched but felt that I must do something to help him.
Also, he has some Christian friends from DRC living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and they wanted him to visit them to share God’s word with them after the seminar. He didn’t know how he was going to get there unless they send him a ticket. Again, I felt like I must do something to help him get there. But when I checked the airfare it was about $1,000 due to it being the last minute purchase. It was too much for me to afford on my own.
Amazingly, this all worked out during this past week’s House of Prayer. Those of you who were there witnessed God’s love and power in a very sweet and personal way. A person who is hosting Pastor Bahome told me on Wednesday morning that he left to go to Cedar Rapids because the church made the decision to pay for his airfare. I was relieved because I felt like God has taken care of the burden I was feeling in my heart. But then, I saw him at the HOP and was quite surprised. I was informed on the spot that the church purchased him a bus ticket which would have taken him 24 hours to get there but he missed the bus in the morning. He was planning to catch the bus the following day.
Thinking that he was already in Cedar Rapids, I planned to talk to New Life during the HOP about Pastor Bahome and what it cost him to come to the seminar. But it was awkward for me to talk about him because he was there. However, I thought it wasn’t right for him to ride the bus for such a long time in a foreign land and felt the need to ask people to share their resources to come up with an airfare so he can visit the church. If everyone gave $10 to $20, I knew it was possible for us to purchase him a ticket. So, I took out my first $20 and put it on the stage asking members to do the same.
Then, one person shared with us that he has plenty of miles to fly him up there and he will donate his miles to purchase him a ticket. I was ecstatic and I thought that was the end of it. But one member spoke up and suggested we collect the money anyway to help him pay for the loan that he took out to come to the seminar. I thought that was a brilliant idea from God and asked people to give what they can.
After the HOP, when we counted the money, it came out to be $2,114. Praise God! But this wasn’t the end of it. A few minutes later, one member called me and asked me if we collected enough money for Pastor Bahome. He was wiling to pay whatever was lacking. I told him we are short by $50 if we want to take care of his loan completely. He said he will gladly do it.
God must truly love Pastor Bahome, his family, his church and the work he is doing for 172 churches that are under his supervision. He used New Life to touch his heart and meet his needs. When he saw what we were doing, he couldn’t stop saying, “This is miracle! This is miracle!” We each gave a little, but when all of us got involved in obeying God we were able to do something big and amazing.
I think God has something in store for New Life to do in DRC. We will wait and see how things will pan out in the future. But for now, let’s remind ourselves that when God gives us His desire to do His will, He will also give us His power to do it. There is nothing to worry about in this world. He is in control. We simply need to obey and follow Him. God will do the rest.
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