Nick and Kym DelportNick and Kym joined our Congo team of missionaries in Lubumbashi in June 2009, after seven months of French studies at a language school near Paris.

Kym is the granddaughter of Alfred and Mary Brown, missionaries with CAM (then CEM) in Congo from the 1930s right up to Independence in 1960. Twenty of those years were spent at Lwamba (then Ngoimani) and in neighbouring Mwanza. Kym’s mother, Judith Wall, was born in Congo, later settled in Zimbabwe and often had travelling missionaries to stay. Kym grew up with stories of Congo from her grandmother and an interest in missionary work. Her training is in secretarial work, accounting and support work with deaf people, using British Sign Language.

Nick was born and grew up in Zimbabwe. He trained in telecommunications and engineering, gained experience in different fields and, as a senior engineer, supervised and managed junior members of staff. He married Kym and they had two daughters. In 1988, while the girls were still very young, the family moved to Britain, as Zimbabwe was becoming increasingly unstable.  As the girls grew up, Nick and Kym felt an increasing pull towards missions. They were actively involved in their local church, Elim Christian Centre, Cheltenham, leading home groups, Alpha courses, etc. and Kym also played the keyboard and sang in the worship team. But in February 2007, they applied to work as long-term missionaries with CAM, feeling called to offer their skills to the growing church in Congo. They were accepted as Elim missionaries and seconded to CAM.

In Lubumbashi, Nick and Kym’s arrival had been eagerly awaited. Nick was needed to take on a managerial role at the Living Waters Centre, overseeing buildings, electronics, mechanics, water supplies and communications. Some of his projects include supervising the building of a new missionary house, a conference centre, a footbridge and a water reservoir at Living Waters. Kym took over from David Gaze as Field Treasurer when he and Julie retired in January 2010, after more than 40 years with CAM. The Delports have also taken the people of Lwamba and Lwamba Hospital under their wing, with Kym checking financial procedures used, Nick doing gruelling supply trips in the new lorry (partly funded by the Elim churches in Northern Ireland) and helping build a new paediatric unit there.

In Congo, Nick and Kym always had the aim to empower local people to rise to the challenge of leadership. In all their projects, whether practical or spiritual, the Delports constantly strived to train their Congolese colleagues, encouraging them in their Christian lives and helping them develop their talents, so that they can take on the burden of work in the future.

Nick and Kym finished their full-time work in Congo in December 2013, but they continue helping in different ways.  Kym is presently continuing to keep track of the Congo finances, doing that from UK.

 

The Democratic Republic of Congo is a large and volatile land where CAM has operated since William Burton and James Salter arrived at Mwanza on 1 September 1915.  Today there are multiplied thousands of converts and thousands of local churches, some with several thousand members, making it one of the great mission outreaches of the 20th century.

The 21st century presents new challenges.  Today's missionary fulfils specialist ministries supporting Congolese churches and hospitals. A good working knowledge of French is essential. Church visitation, Media work, prison and hospital visitation, discipleship training, building, agriculture, Bible College teaching, Sunday school, youth and street kids ministry are all activities undertaken by our missionaries. What contribution could you make?

EthiopiaCAM does not send resident missionaries to Ethiopia but is helping to reach the nation through national evangelists.  Dedicated evangelists face deprivation and active persecution but are effectively spearheading a revival as thousands are won for Christ.  Through miracles and signs God is saving many Muslims.

Who can help?  CAM needs donors to help us support these evangelists on a month by month basis.  But there is also the possibility for Bible teachers with a track record of anointed ministry to teach and train zealous young converts as they go out to win converts in Muslim, Orthodox and animistic areas. We require a new type of missionary-teacher who can travel and teach wherever the need arises.

Ginny PerkinsGinny arrived in Kamina, southern Congo, in February 1991. She was an art teacher and gifted musician from Essex. Having been a Christian from the age of eight, Ginny had felt a missionary call while a trainee teacher, when doing a summer beach mission. She attended the International Bible Training Institute in Sussex and found out about CAM through some old Mission magazines given to her and by a visit of Carol Seymour to the College.

At Kamina, Ginny first concentrated on learning Kiluba, expecting to do women’s work. She also taught sewing in a church secondary school. However, seven months after arriving in Congo, while Ginny was on a holiday in Zimbabwe, troubles broke out in Congo, and she was unable to return to Kamina. After a few months waiting in Zambia, she settled at the Living Waters Centre in Lubumbashi, sharing a house with Carol Seymour, who was by now a close friend. Her varied ministries at that time included teaching English, art and music; Sunday school seminars; church and prison visitation; literacy and women’s work. In 1996, Ginny and Carol, working together, launched a TV and Radio ministry which continues to this day. They also still undertake regular ministry together in Congolese churches and prisons.

‘Making lifeboats out of shipwrecks’ is the original slogan for the Lighthouse Project, a discipleship training centre for disadvantaged young people in Lubumbashi. Ginny’s vision for this ministry goes back to her Bible College days in 1988. In 2000, she purchased a ten-acre plot of land in Lubumbashi with mature trees by a river, adjoining the Living Waters Centre. A dilapidated building was repaired to house five young men; an extension provided accommodation for Pastor and Mrs Mwila, the house-parents. A workshop and other buildings were put up; the boys helped with this, grew vegetables, were helped with schooling and given Christian training.

Over the years, the Lighthouse Project has developed. Now it has its own recognised church, an annual youth camp, a primary school and a secondary school specialising in sewing. Prayer and worship are central, with an emphasis on worship songs, many composed by Ginny. These, in her words, ‘lead us up into the heavenly places of God’s presence’.

 

Bridget LaneWhen Bridget arrived in Lubumbashi, Congo, in February 2007, she was a new missionary for CAM, but by no means a new missionary! She was already of mature years and had worked with CMS (Church Mission Society) for 13 years from 1975. She was then based in NE Congo, working as a secondary school teacher and with Scripture Union. Later came a period of ministry in Tunisia. Between 1992 and 1994, Bridget worked with Scripture Union in Lubumbashi and became well known to our CAM missionaries who were there at the time. In 1999, she got her TESOL qualification for teaching English to other language speakers and served for four years in a secondary school in Zambia, under VSO.

In 2007, Bridget wrote in the June edition of Contact, ‘Now, almost 32 years after beginning the adventure of sharing in the mission of the church in Africa, I’m back again!’ Being a fluent Swahili, as well as French, speaker means that Bridget can chat easily with the Congolese and form close relationships with them. She likes to shop at the markets and is happy using local transport. In Lubumbashi, she soon settled into English teaching at ISTELU Bible College, later adding classes in computer skills. She also teaches at the Living Waters Church secondary school, when her programme allows it.

Bridget’s passion is to see young people grow in their faith and develop talents with which to serve God. She worked with her local Congolese church’s youth group, as part of the leadership team, and took Bible studies for young adults wanting to improve their English at the same time. She also spoke at ladies’ groups and wrote Bible-reading notes in French for Scripture Union. Her other talents led her to offer piano and recorder lessons and teach cookery. (Hospitality is one of her strengths.) She also helped with admin work for the CAM missionaries in Lubumbashi.

Bridget finished her full-time work in Congo in November 2013, returning to her home in Skipton, Yorkshire.  But she is returning to Lubumbashi for a short-term during April 2014 for a few months to help in the Bible School again.