In the past, youth in the Democratic Republic of Congo have not been altogether very responsive to the Gospel. Sam Vinton with Grace Ministries International (GMI) says, “In the past years, working with the young people, you really saw very little result. There was no enthusiasm, no excitement.”
In recent months, however, that has begun to change. Nothing has happened politically or economically to make the country more hopeful. But for whatever reason, God has opened windows, as Vinton puts it, for the Gospel to shine through.
Through GMI’s work in local schools, over 100,000 have viewed the film “Godman,” rendering about 18,000 professions of faith. These numbers already far surpass the expectations GMI had going in, but further reactions from students have been the real eye-opener.
“The thing that really impresses me right now–as I’ve read over the report sent in from what happened last year–is the additional number of students that have been brought to faith in Christ in the actual religion classes, chapels, services of the school: about 2,700 last fall semester.”
More exciting is the way God is really transforming these students. Excited not only to receive but to give out the Gospel message, 66 students from four churches pulled together to raise enough money to reach a nearby island. It took 500 hours of work, but the students finally earned the $240 they needed to go on the mission field.
The students spent four days on the island, doing house-to-house evangelism as well as conducting an outdoor meeting, which resulted in 32 more lives entering the Kingdom. By the end of it, the kids were not only overjoyed at what God had done, but confident in what He could do with them in the future.
“The important thing was to see the young people willing to go out there, spend four days out there on this island, share the Gospel, and come back and say, ‘God can use us, even though we don’t have very much,'” explains Vinton.
GMI is overjoyed with the transformation taking place in Bukavu, DRC, but there are still many challenges. So many people are coming to faith, that discipleship can get difficult. “I think the obstacle is: how do we get enough literature and pastors or chaplains who follow up?”
Vinton says this immediate follow-up is vital to harvesting true, new faith.