Africa 2014 Update 11

Apr 19, 2014 | International Updates

Daphrose+Katavo

Meet Daphrose Muteho (far left) and her husband Jean-Pasteur Katavo (far right). As I had the privilege to minister alongside these amazing Mending The Soul leaders this week, I was moved by their commitment to transform evil and suffering. They were nearly killed in Rwanda during the genocide, where Daphrose gave birth to their first child. Today they are Christian leaders in Eastern Congo, an area that has known nothing but war and suffering for over twenty years. Daphrose has a powerful ministry to traumatized youth (like the ones in the photo) through Gratia Counseling Centres, which she founded. The following is one of her miraculous, redemptive stories titled “I Killed People; Now I Must Heal People.” This story is shared in By His Wounds, the resource created for the conferences we are doing this trip.

There was a boy named Valentin (not his true name) who lived a happy and stable life with his two parents until the day militiamen killed his father. The mother ran for her life. This 14 year-old boy decided to join one of the local Mai Mai militia groups that infested the area in order to avenge his father’s murder. He spent two years in the bush as a dedicated Mai Mai member. Valentin’s training included arms drills and occult initiation rites. He made rapid progress and went deep in the mystery of the devil. As a consequence, he was quickly promoted. In fact, he became a captain and had a group under his authority. The gang operated in the Virunga National Park. They plundered people, set vehicles on fire, raped many women and girls, committed murders, and even buried people alive. Eventually, his mother was told that she was wanted by the authorities because of the crimes of her son, so she went into hiding. During his third year in the bush, Valentin demobilized from the militia and joined the regular national army. On his way to the military base he met one of his family’s former neighbors who insisted that he go back to school. Then Valentin was guided to Himbi Institute, where Daphrose’s Gratia Counseling Centre is located, with the hope that he would be given good care. He returned to school and registered for form three. At school Valentin was not happy. In fact, day and night, in public and in private, he dragged his heavy burden of guilt. However, during one of our evangelistic campaigns at school, the Lord touched Valentin. This former child soldier’s heart was warmed by the Gospel of forgiveness. Naturally, he tried to resist under the pretext that God would not forgive his terrible evil deeds. But the grace of the Lord prevailed during the long healing and uneasy journey of redemption.

As we celebrate Good Friday in Rwanda, I am reminded that our Lord and Savior Jesus is not only “reconciling the world to himself” but is also “entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:19) That means that Christ has commissioned His followers to take this message into places that desperately need reconciliation. Places like Rwanda, Sudan, and Congo.

Please join us in praying for the following needs:

+ Tomorrow we will wrap up our first of two three-day Mending The Soul conferences. God has been so extremely faithful to guide and direct every facet of this first conference. Pray that God will lead each participant to identify and apply the instruction and resources we gave away at this conference.

+ Ask the Lord to pour out His Spirit and draw people to faith in Christ this Easter weekend at each if the four Africa New Life churches. In particular, pray that the Lord will anoint, heal, and help Pastor Kayumba as he prepares for Easter and Good Friday services at New Life Church Bugesera.