A building with no roof

Ruashi church

Carol Seymour (CAM International missionary in DR Congo)

I don’t know of any church in UK where the people worship in a building with no roof, or only part of one. But here in Congo, you find them all the time!

Worshipping without a roof
Church congregations can usually manage to construct a building, but the expense of putting a roof on can be too much for them. So, what do they do? Worship, anyway! If it rains, they wait for the rain to stop and so the service could be postponed for two or three hours or, on a rare occasion, it just doesn't happen! If it’s a dry day, they start the meeting as early as possible, because as the sun comes up, it gets hotter and hotter!

Kipopo

Tarpaulins and musical chairs
At Kipopo, a small village contacted a while back by the bike evangelism project, the people have finished the main church building but so far just have tarpaulins for the roof. Out on the Kasenga road, the bike evangelism church is temporary. They have built a brick kiln and hope to do a more permanent building soon. The day we visited this church, it was HOT and the gaps in the roof were BIG. At one point a lady went and fetched a small tarpaulin from her own house and it was fitted as the meeting went on, and we all played musical chairs so as to best avoid the sun!

Encouraging new works
On the outskirts of Ruashi, a suburb of Lubumbashi near the Living Waters Centre, a Mulamba pastor’s congregation has been making about its third attempt to build a church. Tarpaulins are brought out and tied up over part of the church for each meeting. When we see that these new works are really trying to do something for the roofs and have started to buy some metal sheets, we try to give a little help to encourage them.

ruashi 2

Leaking like sieves
It’s not just the churches, though, that are roofless or partially covered. Some local houses leak like sieves during the rainy season, as do many school classrooms. The new school at the Lighthouse Project in Lubumbashi has two recently built classrooms that are currently roofless - but the work goes on!

What’s the moral of this tale? Don't wait until you have everything you need before you get on with the work! Launch out in faith!