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New Bible school serves Congo, recovering from war

The war claimed an estimated 3 million lives – many from the fighting, but many more because of resulting disease and malnutrition.

Today, as the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo face the monumental task of rebuilding their lives, a small school in the capital, Kinshasa, is training ministers to reach their souls.

Congolese ministers Gabriel Ngwanza(below) and André Kabeya (left) launched the Hilton Terry Congo Bible School in September 2004 with 10 students. Its name honors Hilton Terry, a veteran missionary to the French-speaking world supported by the Prestoncrest church, Dallas.

Ngwanza completed a Bible training program in the Ivory Coast and returned to the Congo in December 2003, just months after a fragile cease fire ended the country’s five-year civil war. Kabeya arrived in March 2004 after graduating from a Bible school in Banso, Cameroon.

The ministers hope to expand the school to serve churches in Democratic Republic of the Congo, recovering from years of civil war, and all nations of Central French Africa, where churches of Christ are few, according to Doyle Kee, a missionary in Switzerland, who assists in missions to French-speaking Africa.

Barry Baggott, another longtime missionary in French-speaking Africa, met with members of the Kinshasa church in late January to discuss how to use the limited resources available to continue operation of the school.

The Prestoncrest church and the Ames, Iowa, church are assisting in financing the school and supporting its students.

The leaders of the Kinshasa church will help oversee the work, and church members from Africa, Europe and the United States plan to form an advisory board to further develop the school, Kee said.

“Ngwanza and Kabeya have demonstrated the value of their own training” Kee said. “Their initiative is developing into a well-structured Bible training center.”

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