Some of the 35 youth who gave their lives to Christ during an August Bible camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo had been conscripted by forces of the Kamuina Nsapu rebellion in 2017. The anti-government revolt devastated the Nyanga area, killing people and plundering fields and homes.
A refrain in the testimonies of these youth who had been unwilling fighters was “this camp came to liberate us.”
More than 200 young people attended the annual event, held Aug. 18-23 in Nyanga, sponsored by Communauté Mennonite au Congo (Mennonite Church of Congo) and Africa Inter- Mennonite Mission.
The camp’s theme was based on 1 Timothy 4:12-13: “Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. . . . Give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhorting, to teaching.”
The event was organized by youth leaders Robert Irundu and André Kalenga. Pastor Tshibuabua Tshiza led Bible studies and taught seminars on Anabaptist history and identity.
Professionals such as medical doctors, pastors and economists taught on various topics, including COVID-19 prevention practices, consequences of abortion, sexually transmitted diseases, how to choose a good marriage partner, animal husbandry, finance management, discernment of spiritual gifts and Bible study methods.
Mennonite Church of Congo invited youth leaders of neighboring churches from other denominations to join the gathering for the first time.
The camp came to a conclusion with a soccer game and the baptism of eight people in the Nyanga River.