Global Mission and Service executive director Jay Wittmeyer spent several days visiting the fledgling Brethren group in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), returning on Sept. 18. Wittmeyer flew into Bujumbura, Burundi, and then traveled overland into the Congo, first to Uvira in South Kivu and then south to Fizi and Ngovi.
He reported that the self-identified Brethren group in the DRC now has grown to include seven congregations, under the overall leadership of Ron Lubungo. Wittmeyer participated in a two-day strategic planning workshop that helped the community identify its needs and list out its priorities over the next three years.
During his visit to central Africa, Wittmeyer and Lubongo also visited some Quaker congregations and leaders in Rwanda and Burundi. These groups and leaders have been partnering in peacemaking and agriculture initiatives that focus on Twa (pygmy) people and have been supported by the Church of the Brethren.
A high point of the trip, Wittmeyer said, was participating in the baptism of five new church members in Lake Tanganyika.
A link to an online photo album from the trip will be made available in an upcoming issue of Newsline.