“He presented another parable to them, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.’”
God allowed me to visit Rwanda this past June. Earlier in the year Pastor Dusabimana Jean Samson reached out to the Covenant Brethren leadership, inquiring if affiliation with the CBC could be available to his congregation in Rwanda. He learned about Brethren practices in the past and had recently planted a church in his home city. I went to Rwanda to represent the Covenant Brethren Executive Board. After I returned to the United States, I gave a report to the Ministerial Leadership Committee and to my fellow Executive Board members. We then accepted the Musanze Covenant Brethren Church as a full member church. This is our first congregation in Rwanda, I believe God will work in this congregation to do powerful things in that nation.
As I travel to different congregations who either are or desire to become Covenant Brethren, I see a common characteristic, namely, a high importance placed on the Bible, the Word of God. This is true with the Rwandan church as well. Their language is different, their music is different, but the message is the same: lifting up Jesus Christ, praising God, and providing strong Biblical teaching. I thank God for bringing us together.
On October 22, 2021, the Covenant Brethren Church Executive Board accepted an independent congregation in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a full member congregation; the Maranatha Covenant Brethren Church, led by Pastor Lewis Ponga Umbe. Nine months later, five more African congregations have become Covenant Brethren congregations. Four are new church plants, and one is an existing independent congregation.
I was unable to receive a visa to visit within the DRC, so I asked their leadership to meet with me at the Musanze church in Rwanda. I was blessed to spend time with our Congolese pastors and leadership. Again, a different language, but the same message. None of this is surprising to me. After all, we have the same Holy Spirit. I am thankful for Pastor Lewis Ponga Umbe and for his leadership and dedication to our churches in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The total number of CBC congregations in Africa currently stands at six. That number includes the Musanze church in Rwanda and the Bashan, Maison de Portier, Maranatha, Philadelphia, and Rhama congregations in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This looks like the parable of the mustard seed becoming a reality to me. Praise God!
Scott Kinnick – Executive Board member