Nathan “Hobbes” and Anna Wagner are the school leaders for the Bible School of the Nations (BSN). This summer, they were outreach leaders for the BSN outreach to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where they partnered with the BELT (Biblical Education and Leadership Training). Part of this program and their outreach included teaching biblical seminars to local pastors and community leaders. Anna and Hobbes describe some of their experiences and the impact the BSN outreach had on the people of Congo.
After our plane ride to Uganda, a night spent sleeping on airport chairs, an 8-seater plane ride to the Congo and a 12-hour jeep ride down a very bumpy road, we finally arrived in Poko, a town in a far-off corner of the jungle in the Congo. Over 300 people surrounded the car to welcome us with singing and dancing. It was all a little overwhelming, but we also felt very honored. We’ve never seen a welcome like that before! The day after our arrival, we started the BELT seminar, which we taught together with three of the BSN students on our team.
It was a hot afternoon, and we were over 100 people in the church. The theme we were teaching about was forgiveness and reconciliation. After we finished the teaching, people began washing the feet of those they had forgiven or had asked forgiveness from. At first, we thought that people were getting out their handkerchiefs because it was so warm outside, but then we realized that many of them were crying as relationships were being healed: between tribes, generations and people of different positions. One lady was crying as she washed the feet of her husband who now lived with another woman. When she could have so easily chosen bitterness, she chose forgiveness. Seeing people changed in these ways makes it easy for us to travel to remote places and do what we do.
Relationships were healed as many of the participants washed each others feet, asking for forgiveness and praying for one another.
During our outreach, we also partnered with Kairos, an organization which is working to make an oral Bible available for local languages all over the world. According to statistics, almost half the population of the Congo doesn’t know how to read. With over 200 known languages in the nation, many people don’t even have the Bible in their own language yet. That’s why it was so exciting for us to partner with Kairos to make this oral Bible, in the local language of Zande, during our time in Poko. Six Zande speakers recorded 70 stories and we edited them with the help of a local school teacher –all with the sounds of goats and chickens in the background. The finished product was put onto solar powered audio players and distributed, to the joy of the Zande speakers.
We are so thankful for the passion that Anna, Hobbes, and the BSN have for bringing God’s Word to the nations. Please pray for the continued work that BSN and BELT teams are doing- that more people would be equipped, trained and transformed with the Word of God through these programs. You can read more about BSN here and BELT here.