Bertin & Esther have 5 children aged between 2 and 22. They live in Lubumbashi in the south of the DRC, close to the border with Zambia.
A couple of years ago Bertin signed up to Dignity’s mailing list. Since then he has been keeping in touch and finding out more about what we do.
In September 2018 he travelled to Zambia to attend an EQUIP camp. He found it uplifting and very interesting, especially hearing from different people in different places. He was struck by the approach that when planting Life Groups you need to know the people, need to be friendly and humble as well as have the desire to reach rural areas.
Since then Bertin has planted 2 Life Groups in rural areas just outside Lubumbashi – Luwowoshi and Kilobelobe. Instead of running a training course, Bertin has looked for a person in each area where he wants to plant a Life Group and worked with them 1 to 1 with them, asking them to start a group and then supporting them as they get going.
A mixture of churchgoers and non-churchgoers attend the Life Groups. For some who will not attend church, they feel able to go to a Life Group. This allows for those who are not Christians to come and find out about Jesus.
Bertin sees that those attending churches are being equipped & discipled much more through Life Groups. This is illustrated by the story of one man told Bertin that since being part of a Life Group he has felt much more grounded in his faith and understanding. He said that he felt he had been born again, like something new had started in his life! Bertin sees that the groups are adding to what people have learnt in church and helping them learn how to live out their faith.
Interestingly, these groups have been ‘free-styling’ as Bertin only has Rooted in Jesus in English. Most people need Swahili. They have used a simple format of meeting, praying, looking at a Bible passage and discussing. We have just posted him some Swahili copies of Rooted in Jesus to help the groups!
He wants to try and plant more Life Groups – when he goes around the rural places close to the city he comes across some places where the people are in need of the gospel and are not exposed to the gospel as much. Life Groups can help! They are a tool he wants to use.
Suggestions for prayer:
- Ask that God will raise up others to stand with Bertin so that he is not working alone but as part of a team.
- Pray for open doors and provision for Bertin as he visits different communities.
- A small beginning has taken root. Pray that God will use this as the start of something to reach many people in the DRC.