BY JOHN COLEMAN
Eastern PA Conference members are urged to come meet the Central Congo Area’s new bishop at Lima UMC on Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 7 PM, and celebrate our successful, life-saving Congo Partnership mission efforts there. We will also consecrate a team to visit that area next February.
Bishop Daniel Onashuyaka Lunge, elected in March as episcopal leader of Central Congo, and Dr. Adolphe Yamba Yamba, who heads the Congo Partnership there, will be in Eastern PA Nov. 1-2, after visiting the Peninsula-Delaware Conference the day before. They both will be at Lima UMC on Wednesday, All Saints Day, for a 7 PM worship celebration and consecration.
During the worship service, they will celebrate Eastern PA’s relationship with the Peter D. Weaver Congo Partnership, which includes the Pen-Del and Western North Carolina conferences. Donna Baker and the Rev. Jonathan Baker, our Global Ministries missionaries in that partnership, will be present for the celebration, along with Bishop Peggy Johnson and Cabinet members. Music will be provided by the Lima UMC Praise Team and the Clearview UMC choir.
“We want to fill the sanctuary to celebrate our generosity and our gratitude to God for all the wonderful blessings–past, present and future–that are bearing fruit and saving lives through this mission partnership,” said Bishop Johnson. “I urge everyone, from all our districts, to come be a part of this great celebration.”
The service will consecrate a team of Eastern PA and Pen-Del conference leaders who will travel to the Central Congo Area with the Bakers in February 2018 to visit mission sites and teach a Local Pastor’s School in Wembo and Dienga. In particular, they will visit the Mpasa area, where the South and North districts have both supported advances in the Mpasa Medical Clinic and Nutrition Center in recent years.
The Rev. Dawn Taylor-Storm, South District Superintendent, will lead the team, which will include Bishop Johnson, the Rev. Bob Wilt, Lima UMC’s pastor, and Lima UMC members Tony Barnett and Ann Jacob, a seminary student. Also on the team are two clergy members serving in the Pen-Del Conference: the Rev. Joseph Archie, a superintendent; and the Rev. David Ryan, who is on-loan there from Eastern PA.
“Our hope is to further the relationship with the Congo Partnership as we plan for an Eye Clinic/Cataract Care facility in the Mpasa area,” said Taylor-Storm. “I sense that all the participants will experience transformation as we learn from our Congolese sisters and brothers.”
Dr. Yamba Yamba is the Congo Partnership Mission Coordinator in Central Congo, a region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). He also serves as Director of the Mpasa Medical and Nutrition Center.
He and Bishop Lunge will meet and dine with Bishop Johnson and other mission team members prior to the worship celebration. Bishop Lunge will also meet with the conference Cabinet and leaders of the conference UM Men on Thursday, Nov. 2, before departing to attend the UMC Council of Bishops meeting, Nov. 5-7, at Lake Junaluska, N.C.