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Missionary gets warm reception in Congo

MUANDA, CONGO — When Barry Baggott arrived in this coastal town, a caravan of people met him at the airport. They sang and honked their car horns for the entire 25-minute drive into town. Once there, the missionary saw his face on posters plastered to utility poles across town.
Baggott traveled to Muanda recently at the request of Dan Balcom and the West Fayetteville church in Tennessee.
Balcom, who works for an oil company, had studied the Bible with more than 30 Congolese workers while stationed at a drilling site off the coast of Congo. One of the workers, Longo Simba, returned to Muanda and, reportedly, started a congregation. Baggott, a longtime evangelist for French-speaking nations in Africa, went to Muanda to investigate.
“The situation on the ground turned out to be quite different from what we had thought,” Baggott said. “There was no new church yet that even resembled a Church of Christ.”
Nonetheless, the Word of Life Church, where Simba worships, greeted Baggott enthusiastically and hosted a five-day workshop for local pastors. Simba advertised the meeting on a Muanda radio station, which played several of Baggott’s gospel programs before his arrival.
Baggott taught about subjects including church autonomy, the Holy Spirit, miracles, Bible authority, Christian worship, baptism and restoration. “It was very gratifying to see the spirit with which most of the teaching was received by the members at Word of Life,” he said.

Filed under: International

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