Laban Ministries International

November 2020


 "The faithful, fervent prayers of a righteous man avail much.” Where would we be without them?  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

These are some results of your prayers and sacrificial giving in 2020:

  • Faithfulness of our wonderful Congolese staff of 40, our unsung heroes

  • A wonderfully successful Pastors’ Conference in February with 200 graduates attending 

  • Safe arrival, time well spent, and departure of Laban board chairman, Jerry Hubbell, Jack Smith, Jim, and Nancy Smith, visiting Congo in Jan-Feb

  • Radio Glory becoming “the church” for village after village, speaking hope and life to the Bandundu Province during lockdown in Congo

  • Deliverance of our people and general area in our part of the bush and much of Congo from the devastations of COVID-19

  • The reopening of Laban Bible Institute and the Women’s Literacy School in October

  • 40 rain barrels for our Congolese staff

  • 4 brand new tires for our Land Cruiser to make runs back and forth to Kikwit for supplies

  • 4 brand new tires for our big MAN truck for upcoming evangelism outreaches

  • Encouragement and sustainability to a people group you will most likely never meet this side of heaven

You have blessed us beyond our expectations!  

As we approach the Christmas season, we ask you to please consider remembering these unsung heroes of the faith in the remote bush of our part of Africa. Two in particular stand out. They are Pastor Isaac and Pastor Ngunga. Pastor Isaac wears many hats. He is Academic Dean of Laban Bible Institute, Director of Evangelism, preacher and minister on Radio Glory, and pastors the Yangalala (rejoicing) Church at the village of Nkara about 3 miles from our mission. He has been walking 6 miles round trip to minister there most Sundays and Wednesdays for years. Would you pray about the purchase of a motorcycle for him to lessen the travel time to and from Nkara as well as to preserve his strength for preaching and teaching there?  

Pastor Ngunga as well has varied responsibilities of preaching on Radio Glory, heading up the worship team for evangelism, keeping the motorcycles we now have in good repair, and making runs to Kikwit when needed to save wear and tear on the Land Cruiser.

His old motorcycle is worn out and needs to be replaced as well. Would you please join us in prayer for a new one? Cost is between $1200-$1500 for each bike.

Some day in heaven we will sit around the Throne and share the profits of ministering together in Congo. Until then, our hearts are filled with thanksgiving for your partnership.  

 

  • Jim and Nancy Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pictured above: Pastor Isaac

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pictured above: Pastor Ngunga


 

Upcoming events

  • Semi Annual Benefit Dinner - April 29, 2021 - 6PM

           @ 242 Community Church - Taylor Campus

              24800 Eureka Rd, Taylor MI 48180

Tickets are available for $25 at www.hopeforcongo.com on the calendar page.

 

Laban Ministries International

P.O. Box 1712

Columbia, TN 38402

Phone: (313) 516-4883

www.hopeforcongo.com

FB: @labanministries

Email: labancongo@aol.com

Support Laban Ministries while you shop on Amazon!

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/38-2974598

 



 

Laban Ministries International

October 2020


 Dear Friends of Laban Ministries,

Thank you for your incredible response to the rain barrels you purchased for our staff. Every needed barrel was supplied and then some, and the left over funds will provide a small bonus for each staff member at Christmas time. In addition, our white Land Cruiser which we use for runs into Kikwit to get supplies for Laban Bible Institute and the Women’s Literacy School now has 4 brand new tires.   And that’s not all. We have a large truck called the MAN, an ideal vehicle to pack up our students and professors/pastors, food, water, and all supplies needed to take on evangelism outreaches. It still has the original tires on it, but just this week, the Lord spoke through a treasured prayer warrior whose friend honored her late father by purchasing 4 new tires for that truck also!  

Due to COVID-19, we have had to put evangelism on hold and close our Bible institute as well as the Women’s Literacy School for the third trimester last April. On October 10th, both schools will resume classes, and with the new tires for the MAN, we can proceed with plans for a major evangelistic outreach next year!  

Jim and I would love to return to Congo next year. Would you please begin praying about that? How wonderful it would be to be there for the evangelism outreach, watch our third year Bible institute students prepare for graduation, renew our relationship with the women in the literacy school, catch up on our national staff, host breakfasts and dinners with meaningful conversations around the table, hear our people pour out their hearts in prayer, laugh and cry together, and just do everyday life.  Their input and perspective are so valued by us, and you know what? We miss them!

Thank you for sustaining this ministry. Thank you for loving the work the Lord has called us to. Thank you for investing in souls in a far away land. This month we celebrate the 82nd anniversary of Laban Ministries, and you have helped make that possible.  

Our eyes are on you, Lord Jesus.

Servants of the Living God,

Jim and Nancy Smith

 

 

 

Upcoming events

  • Save the Date!!

Semi Annual Benefit Dinner - April 29, 2021 - Taylor Michigan

Tickets are available at www.hopeforcongo.com - calendar page

 

Laban Ministries International

P.O. Box 1712

Columbia, TN 38402

Phone: (313) 516-4883

www.hopeforcongo.com

 

FB: @labanministries

Email: labancongo@aol.com

 

Support Laban Ministries while you shop on Amazon!

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/38-2974598

 


 

Laban Ministries International

September 2020


 Dear Friends,

The following is a recent email from Pastor Mboma:

 

Hello Mr. Jim and Mama Nancy,

God has given this pause time and time to return to Him and to trust Him so that we can be happy to share again greetings with you brothers and sisters in Christ in America. We have just to encourage one another and to remember that God sends both happiness and trouble. No one knows what will happen next.  

We praise God who continues to lead us by showing us His everyday love and graces through Jesus. We are doing well at the mission station, and so are all the families here. We hope that the powerful hand of the Lord is upon you brothers and sisters in America. We pray He is protecting you all in this hard time.   

It is really a new beginning in the Democratic Republic of Congo with the reopening of classes and churches. The celebration and the joy to return to the Lord by church meetings are complete.  Through Radio Glory, we could receive and listen to different denominations, multitudes of people testifying how happy they were to hear that the state had decided to reopen churches.  

Here in Congo, we owe you all respect and thanks for your support for fuel, oil, and money to function the radio station. Our radio has been a powerful church, while other churches were closed, where people could hear preaching everyday.  

Thanks for the money for medicines you sent for our sustainable giving projects. Farmers in the region of Sia lost almost all of their cows due to an unknown epidemic. The needs are ongoing here for the vehicles as well. We need rings, bearings, rod and gasket for the MAN vehicle and new tires for the Land Cruisers and front suspension. 

We praise God that he continues to watch over His created universe and every person He has created in His own image, and we have never ceased to pray for you.  

 

A servant of Jesus Christ,

Pastor Mboma Nicolas  




Your donations to sustainable giving are working! 

 

Praying for 4 new tires for this Congo vehicle.


 

Laban Ministries International

P.O. Box 1712

Columbia, TN 38402

 

Phone: (313) 516-4883

www.hopeforcongo.com

 

FB: @labanministries

Email: labancongo@aol.com

 

Support Laban Ministries while you shop on Amazon!

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/38-2974598

 


 

Laban Ministries International

August 2020


Great News Everybody!

Pastor Mboma, Director of Operations for Laban Ministries, reports that everything is back in full swing in Congo. This means that...

Churches are now open in the bush as well as in the cities.

Evangelism will soon be resuming.

Our Sunday School children are returning to their classes.

Our dispensary can now hold prenatal care and deliver babies again plus provide lab services to treat malaria, infections, and test for diabetes and other conditions.

We can welcome our Bible institute students back at Nkara in October to finish their final year before graduation in July 2021.

And women in the literacy school will resume classes in October as well. 

We are thrilled to say the least!

Of course, this means we now need to gear up for the fall, which entails buying more fuel to get the big MAN truck out to the sites where the Gospel will be preached, thus facilitating evangelism.

Purchase food in Kikwit to feed our dorm students at the institute as well as make sure each student is provided with pens, pencils, notebooks, and other school supplies.

Send Pastor Kilasi to Kinshasa to buy the needed lab supplies and medicines which cannot be found in the easier accessed city of Kikwit. And enable our women at the literacy school to continue learning the Word of God by supplying their needed notebooks, pens, pencils, cloth for sewing, and flour, milk, salt, sugar, and oil for cooking classes.

This ministry in Africa has been so empowered by your prayers and provision. The rain barrel funds are coming in weekly! Fuel for Radio Glory outreach was purchased last week. $700 for Bibles has come in. All in all, God’s faithfulness and your generosity has once again been displayed. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for praying about the above needs!  

…”Truly, I tell you in so far as you did it for one of the least {in the estimation of men} of these my brethren, you did it for me.” Matthew 25:40

 

Expectantly,

Jim and Nancy Smith


 

                 MAN truck in the background, which we use for evangelism.

 

Students of Laban Bible Institute ready to return this fall.

 

Women’s Literacy School classes will pick back up soon!


 

Laban Ministries International

P.O. Box 1712

Columbia, TN 38402

Phone: (313) 516-4883

www.hopeforcongo.com

 

FB: @labanministries

Email: labancongo@aol.com

 

Support Laban Ministries while you shop on Amazon!

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/38-2974598

 


 

Laban Ministries International

July 2020


 Dear Friends, 

All is well in Congo. Covid-19 continues to remain in Kinshasa at a low level without traveling into the interior, and the latest outbreak of Ebola has officially ended, for which we bow our knees and praise our Mighty God! Our staff can now travel into the large city of Kikwit, 60 miles away to pick up funds and supplies, but they are not traveling to Kinshasa at the present time.

Our thoughts continually wing their way to Congo and among those thoughts are some of the daily hardships our people continue to face. One big one is RUNNING WATER. In fact, WATER PERIOD!  Oftentimes, the water source is up to a mile away. There is a way we can bring the water closer to them, and that is by purchasing each one of our staff a rain barrel to place near their home to catch rainwater. It has been a dream of theirs for a long time now to own such a barrel. So, we’re thinking:  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to make that basic necessity a reality by or at Christmas time?  

For $50, you can provide a new barrel to a member of our national work staff.  These barrels can be purchased in Kikwit.  Would you consider doing this? If we start now, we can make this a Christmas goal.  

Thank you for remaining our support base through these trying months. We covet your prayers for the ongoing outreaches of the ministry, including Laban Bible Institute, Radio Glory, Evangelism, Women’s Literacy School, and our small dispensary. May the Lord protect your lives and guard your minds with the Word of God by His grace and mercy.  

 

Gratefully,

Jim and Nancy Smith

 

P. S. The dinner benefit originally planned for Oct 1 has now been put on hold until further notice due to the uncertainty of Covid-19 restrictions in Michigan. August newsletter will bring updated information. 




 

Leaders of Laban Ministries in Congo. Please pray for these unsung heroes of the faith.

A rain barrel for each of our staff in Congo. These can be purchased on our website under "Sustainable.” Cost: $50


 

Laban Ministries International

P.O. Box 1712

Columbia, TN 38402

Phone: (313) 516-4883

www.hopeforcongo.com

FB: @labanministries

Email: labancongo@aol.com

 

Support Laban Ministries while you shop on Amazon!

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/38-2974598

 


 

Laban Ministries International

June 2020


Dear Ministry Friends,

Thank you for standing with us during the Covid-19 crisis. News from Congo is good. The virus has still not traveled to the interior. In fact, some think it already made its heyday in Congo in those months.  When we were there in January and February, our staff told us of many villagers having symptoms of cough and fever-- a cough that just would not go away. Who knows? We could have been there in the height of the pandemic and not even known it? We praise God for His protection on us and on our people during this crippling, catastrophic time. Dear Ministry Friends,

The population is still being told to maintain social distancing. That, of course, means no December and January. Apparently there were more than the usual amount of deaths reported in church! That’s why Radio Glory is such a refuge and reprieve. People are clinging to the hope of the Gospel and responding to the comfort of the Word of God.  

Because you were so passionate about the 2020 Pastors’ Conference, our graduates were fueled up and encouraged by the Word of God and their fellow alumni to keep on keeping on. Many spoke of persecution in one form or another and denominational pressure to close their church and even leave the village where they were serving, having their homes burned down, and being tempted to give up because of lack of tithing in their churches. Others spoke of power struggles in the church leadership who treated them poorly and caused undue hardship on their families by insisting that the offerings be used to put up some kind of church building before the pastor could start drawing a salary. That’s why as Laban graduates desire to bring their churches under the Laban Ministries umbrella, their congregants must agree to change their mindset about the pastor and be willing to take care of him first and view him as a gift to them and a servant of Christ, not a slave of the leadership of the church. Slowly, slowly, changes will come.

Here’s proof of that—a learning-to-tithe church pastored by Aime Kilasi, pastor of the church up the hill at Nstiangobo, lab tech at our dispensary, radio announcer, and professor at Laban Bible Institute. The church’s soil is healthy, and encouraging things are taking place in this church. As you can see, the mud/brick church walls are being replaced by cement blocks.  

Thank you for continuing to remember Laban Ministries. We are managing to stay afloat, but there are needs in Congo we cannot fulfill at the moment. Would you who have not yet joined financial forces with Laban Ministries and are receiving this newsletter, consider giving something for postage?  

“He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and that which he has given He will pay to him.”  Proverbs 17:19

 

Servants of Christ,

Jim and Nancy Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming events

  • Semi Annual Benefit Dinner - October 1, 2020 - Canton Michigan

Tickets are available at www.hopeforcongo.com - calendar page

 

Laban Ministries International

P.O. Box 1712

Columbia, TN 38402

Phone: (313) 516-4883

www.hopeforcongo.com

FB: @labanministries

Email: labancongo@aol.com

 

Support Laban Ministries while you shop on Amazon!

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/38-2974598

 


 

 

Laban Ministries International

May 2020

 

Dear Laban Family,

Thank you for your prayers regarding the COVID-19 crisis in Congo. Our national staff continues to inform us that, miraculously, it has not made its way into the bush. Kinshasa is reported to have 500 confirmed cases, which is far below what was expected. All churches are closed, and social distancing has been in place now for weeks. How we praise the Lord that His mighty right hand of righteousness has kept this disease from afflicting any of our people! 

The men and women of Congo have tremendous tenacity and flexibility and have dealt with so much these last few years, including a horrendous outbreak of measles, killing some 5,000 children, with few or no vaccines available in our area of the interior plus the 10th onslaught of deadly Ebola, which reduces the body to soup in days. Threaded through the lives of our staff is fervent prayer, their very breath most days, depending on the crisis at hand. These are a strong, vivacious, hopeful people whose lives are sustained not by any health care facilities because there are none close by.  They can’t use their affluence to gain any medical or financial advantage because their incomes are in the abject poverty range. There is no escaping from their surroundings as many do not even own a bicycle. So they adopt a lifestyle of gluing themselves to Jesus, as they would say, “kangama mu Yesu,” or as John 15:4 renders, “Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you.” Jesus is their escape. Jesus is their wellness. Jesus is their strong tower in whom they find refuge. They’re the real deal.

If our staff, Pastors Mboma, Isaac, Kilasi, Richard, Ebobo, Ngunga, and the other 34 members of our Congolese team were here, they would thank you deeply for your incredible support during January and February of 2020. They would ask you to continue to stand with us in this COVID invasion to keep Radio Glory broadcasting, to remain faithful in sending out our evangelism team, to provide funds for the ongoing training of nationals at Laban Bible Institute to reach their own people, and to minister to local women in the Women’s Literacy School who have claimed Psalm 3:3 for their own, “You, oh Lord, are a shield for me, my glory, and the lifter of my head”, as they can now read the Word for themselves, casting the ignorance and darkness of illiteracy to the wind.  

What incredible teamwork you have shown. We can’t do this without you. Know that you are a vital link to Laban Ministries International. 

“This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because at your standing of the test of this ministry, they will glorify God for your loyalty and obedience to the Gospel of Christ which you confess, as well as for your generous-hearted liberality to them and to all the other needy ones.”  II Cor 9:12, 13

 

So grateful,

Jim and Nancy Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pastor Ebobo, Kilasi, Ngunga

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pastor Mboma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pastor Richard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pastor Isaac

 

Upcoming events

  • Semi Annual Benefit Dinner - October 1, 2020 - Canton Michigan

Tickets are available at www.hopeforcongo.com - calendar page

 

Laban Ministries International

P.O. Box 1712

Columbia, TN 38402

Phone: (313) 516-4883

www.hopeforcongo.com

 

FB: @labanministries

Email: labancongo@aol.com

Support Laban Ministries while you shop on Amazon!

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/38-2974598

 


 

Laban Ministries International

April 2020

 

Dear Friends,

God’s timing in this last trip to Congo was truly amazing, with our leaving America on January 24 and arriving back in the US on February 26—just in the nick of time before COVID-19 turned our whole world upside down.  Regrettably, the Corona virus has also hit the capital city of Kinshasa. In the bush at Nkara, people are no longer meeting in groups any larger than 20. That means that church is no longer an event they look forward to with great anticipation every Sunday.  SO, CHURCH IS GOING TO THEM THROUGH RADIO GLORY!

Pastor Mboma recently reported over the phone what a thrill it is to beam out programs everyday, but especially on Sunday, to who knows how many hundreds of thousands, even millions of people gathered around their huts outside worshiping Jesus, taking in hope, and being saved and/or restored to fellowship because they hear the powerful Word of God in this time of COVID-19 crisis!  This is how we do church in the bush!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for continuing to back us in prayer and financial support as we face these unprecedented times.  And thank you for continuing to give hope to the Congo via Radio Glory by supplying 

diesel fuel, high quality oil for the generator, plus air filters, oil filters, and fuel filters for the generator on a regular basis.  The fuel is purchased 60 miles away in 55 gallon drums at a cost of $375 a barrel, including all costs involved.

Special appreciation is extended to our dear friends, the late Jack Westerbeek and his dear wife, Nita, who were greatly responsible for making Radio Glory a reality.  

Please pray that the Corona virus is held back by the Hand of God from traveling into the interior of Congo.  And please help us stay on the air. “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.”  Proverbs 11:30. 

 

Servants of the Almighty God,

Jim and Nancy



 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming events

  • Semi Annual Benefit Dinner - October 1, 2020 - Canton Michigan

Tickets are available at www.hopeforcongo.com - calendar page

 

Laban Ministries International

P.O. Box 1712

Columbia, TN 38402

 

Phone: (313) 516-4883

www.hopeforcongo.com

 

FB: @labanministries

Email: labancongo@aol.com

 

Support Laban Ministries while you shop on Amazon!

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/38-2974598

 


 

Laban Ministries International

March 2020



 

Dear Laban Family,

Our 2020 Congo Trip was absolutely amazing! After almost 5 weeks of splendor in Africa, we returned to the States with full hearts. Pictures speak volumes, and so we share these fond memories with you, hoping they will give you a glimpse into that glorious time we had with our friends in Kinshasa, Laban staff at Nkara, and valuable meetings with Jack, our son, and Jerry Hubbell, Chairman of Laban Ministries International Board of Directors. We were warmly greeted by the Grings in Kinshasa, third generation missionaries, whose heritage in Congo goes back over 100 years. Then on to Nkara, where we were greeted by several hundred people—Congolese style—and caught up with our staff through meals around the table, early morning Bible study and prayer, and specially called gatherings. It took two full weeks to get the house ready and the laundry done, but the home was in amazing shape, considering our last trip there was 5 years ago. A marriage seminar at Pastor Kilasi’s church, visiting our local churches on Sunday mornings, returning to the village of Mbila to visit with many of the more than 70 women who attended the Women’s literacy School in 2011-2014, and surprise visits from village chiefs kept us on our toes until Jack Smith and Jerry Hubbell arrived. The next week was filled with the 2020 Pastors’ Conference in the Laban Bible Institute building. What a time we had, thanks to you all who made it possible. More next month. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for standing with us and our graduates and providing such a marvelous time for all.  

 

Blessings,

Jim and Nancy




 



 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming events

  • Semi Annual Benefit Dinner - October 1, 2020 - Canton Michigan

Tickets are available now on our calendar page

 

Laban Ministries International

P.O. Box 1712

Columbia, TN 38402

 

Phone: (313) 516-4883

www.hopeforcongo.com

 

FB: @labanministries

Email: labancongo@aol.com

 

Support Laban Ministries while you shop on Amazon!

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/38-2974598

 


 

Laban Ministries International

February 2020

 

Dear Laban Family,

We made it! After purchasing supplies in Kinshasa, we flew on King Avia to the city of Kikwit, 60 miles from Nkara, and were picked up by our staff in Kikwit to be driven to Nkara, where we will spend the next several weeks. What a welcome it was for us as we wound our way down the hill to the mission station in our Land Rover—wonderfully heartwarming to say the least after a 5 year absence.

It has been such a joy to reunite with our wonderful staff, attending chapel everyday Monday through Friday, visiting our local churches nearby, having meals together, praying together, laughing and crying together, and tackling the challenge of catching jp. People have come from far away places to witness what they have heard since Jim’s contracting leukemia—that he is alive and well.  Having been born out here, Jim fully embraces much of what this country offers and is embraced by its people as well in a very special way.  

The students are in full swing at Laban Bible Institute, classes at the Women’s Literacy School are in progress, the Evangelism Department is planning their next outreach with great excitement, our local churches are making strides toward becoming healthier, the dispensary continues to deliver babies and help with malaria and minor ailments, and Radio Glory, or “Mama” as she is called out here plays a vital role in beaming light of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ to give hope to thousands and ease and comfort the suffering of those who lack so much by living in the bush.

There is great anticipation as we continue to layout and organize the upcoming Pastor’s Conference which begins on February 17th. Our leaders will encourage and be encouraged as they spend time together in God’s Word with returning graduates and hear the stories of returning graduates who work in hard places, break bread together, and pray for God’s blessing and renewal.

Thank you to all who are praying and have given and will continue to pray and give to make this trip an amazing success in the eyes of God. We cannot do what we do, see what we see, and fulfill our role as missionaries to Congo without you. It is a total team effort.  

Blessings and gratitude,

Jim and Nancy
 

Upcoming events

  • Pastor’s Conference in Congo

  • Semi Annual Benefit Dinner - October 1, 2020 - Canton Michigan

            Tickets are available now on our calendar page

 

Laban Ministries International

P.O. Box 1712

Columbia, TN 38402

 

Phone: (313) 516-4883

www.hopeforcongo.com

 

FB: @labanministries

Email: labancongo@aol.com

 

Support Laban Ministries while you shop on Amazon

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/38-2974598