LABAN MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL

May 2024

Hello dear friends,

We want to give a shout out for your amazing backing for the next evangelism outreach due to take place beginning on June 6.   Please continue to pray for those awaiting this thrust at the village of  Milundu Kitambala, 150 kilometers or 90 miles from our mission campus.   Our pastors and Bible institute students will be walking into Satan’s territory.  Pastor Ebobo writes today from Congo that the village was founded by uncles of the chief of Milundu Kitambala about 8 years ago.  During the process of opening up the village, "witch doctors were called to come in and set the stage for demon activity by pronouncing a malediction or curse on the grounds.”  Words were uttered to invite evil or destruction.  Some of the evil resulted in people being buried alive!!!  Though the chief’s uncles undoubtedly were involved in these incantations, the chief himself wants no part of it.  In fact, his great intent is to have our pastors go and pray these strongholds be removed.  This is serious stuff.  Will you please set aside time to pray specifically for our team as they prepare their hearts to see the Lord fight this battle? Pray for protection for the population in general, our team of pastors and students, and the chief and his immediate family.   Pray that the light of God’s Word will break through this bondage and heinous sin.  Pray for the chief as his uncles will undoubtedly look for devious and subtle ways of revenge as they face the threat of this power being taken away from them.

And, while you are praying, please remember Pastor Mboma, Director of Operations at Laban Congo.  Undergird him as he oversees the entire ministry, including Laban Bible Institute, Evangelism, Radio Glory, the Women’s Literacy School, and the Dispensary.  Of course, under him is great leadership for each division of the work, but these capable men and women are accountable to and led by Pastor Mboma.  He has faced some health issues that continue to pop up from time to time.  Please pray for answers and healing.  This humble man whose grandfather most likely participated in cannibalism speaks 5 languages, hearing perhaps 7 or 8 languages, but definitely able to communicate in 5, including English, has remained a faithful servant of the Lord with great transparency,  and carries a lot of weight on his shoulders.  

Thank you our faithful friends for sharing the load, praying, loving, and providing for dear servants of the Lord you most likely will never meet.  “For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and labor of love you have shown for His name in serving the saints as you still do.”  Hebrews 6:10

Blessings and gratitude.

  • Jim and Nancy Smith

Pictured left: The chief of Milundu Kitambala, pictured in the red outfit, along with Pastor Ebobo in the middle and the chief’s motorcycle driver on the end.

Pictured right: Pastor Mboma preaching

 

Laban Ministries International

P.O. Box 1712

Columbia, TN 38402

Phone: 313-516-4883

www.hopeforcongo.com

Facebook: @labanministries

Email: labancongo@aol.com



 

LABAN MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL

April 2024

Happy Spring Everyone!

Good things are happening in Congo! The month of March is Ladies Month in our area.  In April the youth participate in the services of churches under the banner of Laban Ministries.  Pastor Ebobo, who heads up Radio Glory and Evangelism, is also vitally interested in the young people of our area.  So here are some pictures of our young ladies meeting and planning how they will serve this month.

Evangelism beckons us once again.  Students are returning at the end of this month after an Easter break, and so Pastor Ebobo has plans for them as well as our pastor/professors to travel all the way to Kwilukimbata Sector to the village of Milundu Kitambala, a distance of 150 kilometers or roughly 90 miles.  That’s 90 Congo miles!  Does anyone want to help us with the following?

1.   Two 55 gallon drums of diesel fuel at $390 a drum to travel there and back? Cost is $390/drum.

2.   A 55 gallon drum of gasoline to run the generator and musical instruments to gather a crowd through the music and show an evangelistic movie? Cost is $390/drum.

3.    Provide food for the pastors, students, driver, and men who guard the big MAN truck?  Cost is $375.

 

Pictured is the Chief of Milundu Kitambala in the red garb with Pastor Ebobo in the middle, and the chief’s driver next to Pastor Ebobo.  They traveled the 90 miles from his village to Nkara to give Pastor Ebobo and our staff an official invitation to come.

There is great anticipation on their part as well as ours, and we take these opportunities very seriously, always with prayer and sometimes fasting.  Will you join us in prayer for this incredible chance to minister once again after several years to this locality, whose arms are outspread and whose people are thrilled to be exposed to the Word of God for several days at a time.  There will be great rejoicing.  Let’s pray for many to open their hearts and lives to our Matchless Lord Jesus Christ!

Servants of Jesus Christ

  • Jim and Nancy

 

Laban Ministries International

P.O. Box 1712

Columbia, TN 38402

Phone: 313-516-4883

www.hopeforcongo.com

Facebook: @labanministries

Email: labancongo@aol.com



 

LABAN MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL

March 2024

 

 

Happy Spring Everyone!

With your giving, we have been able to feed and provide many of the local population with vitamins, soy, sugar, salt, milk, and medicines to sustain and revive their weakened and malnourished bodies.  Thank you so much.  

We have some of the most courageous women in the literacy school.  Because a few were not able to attend class due to their weakened physical condition as a result of the rotting of their crops, they simply stayed home.  But after receiving the nutrients, food, and meds some of you provided through your generous gifts, they are now back and able to walk the 6 mile round trip trek to the mission to keep up with the courses offered at the school.   Eight additional women, who for one reason or another didn’t finish their prior 3 years of training there, have returned and are doing just that!  We applaud them for their tenacity and courage to leave the status quo village life that sometimes fails to see the value of education because they may not gain monetary value by learning to read and write.  What a sad commentary on life in the bush of Africa.  However, others who do finish have the joy of independently reading for themselves and to their children and appreciate the validation from their husbands and delight from their children as they experience a new world of Bible reading, reading awareness in general, basic math skills, hands on creativity through sewing, knitting, crocheting, and needlepoint plus learning to cook “fast food” such as pancakes and donut holes, which help dissipate their load of mediocrity and low self-image.  Others go on to turn these skills into their own little businesses and help provide the school needs of their children through selling their goods, like blouses, skirts, knitted baby sweaters and booties, dresses, and donut holes to passers by and others in their community.  

So, think about your overall general giving.  It helps brighten the lives of women you most likely will never meet here on earth…women who have been introduced to Christ as the Scriptures are opened week after week, and one day the light of God’s truth beams so brightly in their lives they become daughters of God because you were thoughtful and kind enough to believe in and help provide a training school way out in the bush of Congo!  These souls are a part of your spiritual bank account that Paul wrote about in Philippians 4:17, “Not that I seek for your gift, but I do seek and am eager for the trust which increases to your credit [the harvest of blessing that is accumulating to your account.]”

Servants of the Living Christ,

  • Jim and Nancy

Laban Ministries International

P.O. Box 1712

Columbia, TN 38402

Phone: 313-516-4883

www.hopeforcongo.com

Facebook: @labanministries

Email: labancongo@aol.com



 

 

LABAN MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL

February 2024

Hello Everyone.

Thank you to all who contributed money for beds.  All have been purchased and distributed, three beds for each family who is on staff at Laban in Congo.

Your kindness and generosity in supplying nutrients, vitamins, milk, sugar, soy beans, and medicines to some of the malnourished in several villages near our mission has really made a difference!  Pastor Ebobo sent more pictures, and says they are amazed at the changes in people who have been so severely affected by heavy torrential rains for most of 2023.  Thank you!  We will continue to treat these victims for as long as the food, meds, and help remain.  Thank you so much!  

As some of you may recall, roads were so washed out during December that our evangelism team could not get off the mission to minister.  However, by the time our students came back from Christmas vacation, the roads had dried up enough to take off.  Be sure to look at some pictures of our team preaching in the villages of Mbila, Nkara, Ntshiangobo, and Longo.

You and we know that only the Lord knows how many people were genuinely saved, but I can tell you this from living in Congo:  They are desperate for Christ, and they know it.  There are no distractions, no TV on everyday all day, no internet in our neck of the woods, no entertainment such as we know, no electricity unless one owns a generator and has fuel to make it run, no running water in their homes, the lacks all of which drive people to think that there has to be something more than the life they are living.  And just because we have all the amenities here in America doesn’t mean we aren’t just as desperate—we just don’t know how desperate we are.  We give you the amazing statistics from evangelism outreaches not to be sensational but to show you how the Hand of God is moving in our part of Africa.  And you know what?  Jim has often said that there are probably even more than we are reporting because the Word of God is not chained. II Tim 2:9.  We certainly see that in Congo and want to encourage your hearts with the great responses our team sees there, lest you think every place else is like America is becoming:  stone cold and anti-God.  

Thank you so much for responding to the needs of new grounding against lightning for Radio Glory.  Please pray as our staff, Lord willing, will be preparing to travel that there will be protection for the round trip to Kinshasa, wisdom in purchasing all that is needed to buy the right materials to install the grounding, good health, and no bandits on the roads in Kinshasa where our men will be traveling, taking taxis here and there as they go from store to store to get the materials.  “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17. This is the heartbeat of Radio Glory now for 20 years broadcasting in the interior or bush of Africa!  Do you know some of the wonder of what you’ve done?  Contemplate the miracle of putting a 300’ tower (that’s a football field) up in the middle of nowhere with just a backhoe and no crane installed by a God fearing man who didn’t exactly love heights, securing the tower in 10’ sections, one at a time, without accident or injury, and seeing God lavishly blessing  all of these 20 years, defeating Satan at every turn from preventing God’s unchained Word beaming out into modest huts, the Holy Spirit releasing His power to save hearts and minds and lives of a people living in abject poverty without hope and without God unless they hear and respond.  So the question bears repeating.  Do you know what you’ve done?  Just the thought of all that the Lord has accomplished though this efficacious tool with no full time radio techs—just men and women who believe He can do what He says He can do and then trusting Him to do it!—the thought of all this makes us fall to our knees in utter awe and thanksgiving!!!  Thank you.  Thank you.  Amen.  Glory Hallelujah!

  • Jim and Nancy

Laban Ministries International

P.O. Box 1712

Columbia, TN 38402

Phone: 313-516-4883

www.hopeforcongo.com

Facebook: @labanministries

Email: labancongo@aol.com



 

 

LABAN MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL

January 2024

Happy New Year!

Here are some updates:

Beds:  Thanks to you, all of our staff beds are paid for!  This will help so much in preserving the new mattresses and bedding.

Emergency Food and Medical Relief:    Your rapid response has enabled us to make two purchases of lab materials, vitamins, sugar, milk, and medications to help recovery from malnutrition, starvation, and death.  Many children have been treated.  As this letter is being written and sent out, more goods are being procured in Kikwit and brought to Nkara to treat the needs of the local population.  Thank you for your generosity.

Second Trimesters for Laban Bible Institute and Women’s Literacy School:   Classes begin again on January 15th.  Food prices for the dorm students and supplies for the Women’s School have increased dramatically.   Prayers are appreciated for these needs.  This trimester will end around Easter, and then the Bible institute students will return home for a break and come back for one more trimester.  We are greatly encouraged by the return of 8 former women who were unable to finish their training in the literacy school due to poor health.  Their determination to come back to complete their education shows how highly they esteem their classes!

Radio Glory:  The old grounding installed in 2003 to protect our radio station against lightning strikes is no longer doing its job.  In order to bring things back up to par, we will need to hire a technician from Kikwit, who in turn has to make a trip to Kinshasa to purchase the necessary equipment to reinstall new grounding.  This will cost between $2,000 and $3,000.  Will you pray about this need?

Evangelism:   Evangelism had to be postponed due to road erosion because of the hard, hard rains once again hitting our area.  This is really serious when the big MAN truck cannot travel!  Please join us in prayer that the rains will let up.

January Trip to Congo:   Due to the recent elections in late December and the unrest, we are postponing the trip to Congo at this time with the family.  We are praying and waiting on the Lord for direction.  

On behalf of our staff in Congo, Jack and Molly, Jim and I, and the Laban Board of Directors, we thank you for another year of prayer support, financial generosity, and concern for this nation which has so much potential.  Your continued standing with us warms our hearts and gives us hope for our beloved people and country.  

Servants of the Living God,

Jim and Nancy

 

Laban Ministries International

P.O. Box 1712

Columbia, TN 38402

Phone: 313-516-4883

www.hopeforcongo.com

Facebook: @labanministries

Email: labancongo@aol.com



 

 

LABAN MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL

December 2023

Merry Christmas!

We are so grateful to report that many beds have been purchased for our staff in Congo.  They are very thankful for your generosity and the fact that their mattresses will be protected by a wooden bed.  Please help us finish this project well!

By the time you read this newsletter, the dorm students at Laban Bible Institute will be on Christmas vacation as well as the women attending the Women’s Literacy School.  Plus, evangelism will have taken place on December 9-10 at the village of Niadi.  All students will accompany the pastors/professors on this outreach as always. 

One other thing to celebrate:  2023 COMPLETES 85 YEARS OF MINISTRY IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO!!!

On the other hand, we have some rather disturbing news to share with you.  This past rainy season (August, 2022 through May, 2023) brought unusually heavy rains. In fact, the rains didn’t end in May as they normally do, but they kept coming in our area even until July, 2023.  This has resulted in the crops rotting, leaving hundreds of people in our area not only malnourished but close to death.   In addition, the children have developed worms, their hair has turned red, and they are so weak, they are unable to attend Sunday School headed up by Pastor Mupiya in their local villages.  These devastating realities were found out over the past two weeks.   Two of our ladies attending our literacy school do not have enough strength to make the 3 mile trip to school and then back home.  According to Pastor Mboma, rains this hard and long have not been experienced in his lifetime.  

Pastor Mboma, our pastoral staff, and the lab tech and nurses at the dispensary are asking for help in buying large sacks of powdered milk, sugar, vitamins, worm medicine, and a larger supply of chemicals for the lab to diagnose conditions among the local population.  With elections taking place in the next few weeks, the government is unlikely to help.  

All goods will be distributed through the dispensary and tracked.  Will you ask the Lord what He might have you to do?

On behalf of the Board of Laban Ministries, and Jack and Molly Smith, Jim and I wish you a very Merry Christmas.  Know that we here in America and our 41 member staff in Congo are so very appreciative of your hearts—for Laban, for souls, for them, for the Lord, and for the advancement of the Gospel.   Thank you for all the cups of cold water and much more you have and continue to give to God’s people in Congo!!!

  • Jim and Nancy Smith

Laban Ministries International

P.O. Box 1712

Columbia, TN 38402

Phone: 313-516-4883

www.hopeforcongo.com

Facebook: @labanministries

Email: labancongo@aol.com



 

 

 

LABAN MINISTRIES

November 2023

 

Hi Everyone,

Thank you for your wonderful response to the October newsletter!  The matching funds program was a success.  

Laban Congo is enjoying a wonderful fall with the return to fall classes at Laban Bible Institute as well as the Women’s Literacy School.  The next evangelism outreach is in the making, and Radio Glory is continuing to broadcast each day at Nkara.

Please pray for the unrest in Congo right now.  Elections take place in December, and Kinshasa can be a very troubling place right now.  Out in our neck of the woods, our people are fine, but the capital not so much.

As mentioned in our last newsletter- our Christmas project for this year in Congo is beds for all those people on staff you provided mattresses, sheets, pillows, pillow cases, and blankets for last Christmas!  For $250 each household will be given 3 beds, a large one for the parents, and two smaller ones for the children.  Funds are coming in, and as of this writing we have 16 more families remaining to be given 3 each, a total of 48 beds.  Presently, those who live in huts and have mud floors face the risk of mold and obvious lack of hygiene by placing their mattresses on their mud floors.  

Pictured are the beds already made up for sleeping!  

“. . . anyone who gives you a cup of water in my Name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.”  Mark 9:41

Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Jim and Nancy Smith

 

Laban Ministries International

P.O. Box 1712

Columbia, TN 38402

Phone: 313-516-4883

www.hopeforcongo.com

Facebook: @labanministries

Email: labancongo@aol.com



 

 

LABAN MINISTRIES

OCTOBER 2023

Hi everyone,

We have a new development to share with you as well as our 2023 Christmas project.

Matching Funds: First the new development- We have been given $3,000 in matching funds. That means that every gift given up to $3,000 will be doubled! That is a wonderful opportunity to make the most of donations to Laban this month! So if you gift a $50 gift, it will become a $100 gift. If you donate a $1,000 gift, it will become a $2,000 gift!

Will you consider taking advantage of this wonderful opportunity?

Christmas Project for 2023: As far as the Christmas project this year, we have decided to go ahead and continue to provide beds to our staff, which is the third phase of the project we engaged in last year. As you recall, you provided 3 mattresses for each family serving Laban Ministries at the mission of Nkara. In addition you bought sheets for each family to cover the brand new mattresses as well as pillows, matching pillow cases, and blankets! What a wonderful improvement in the life of our brothers and sisters at Nkara.

However, a serious problem remains. Most of our staff do not live on cement floors, but mud floors, so the mattresses are not elevated but placed directly on mud floors and are subject to the effects of such.

Last year we gave you a quote of $180 and after a season of wonderful provision of all mattresses, sheets, pillows, and blankets, we were able to buy a total of 18 beds for our 6 pastors and their families. Will you ask the Lord if He would bless you enough to give the rest of beds needed for the remaining families? That would total the number of beds needed at 87 as each family needs three beds to match the 3 mattresses donated to each staff family. As in America, inflation has run wild in Congo and now we will need $250 for each group of 3 beds.

We are excited about the matching funds opportunity and the completion of the beds for our staff for Christmas!

By the way, a beautiful new mill to grind manioc roots has been provided! Thank you. Thank you.

Soon the Bible Institute students will return for their senior year, and a brand new batch of women will be enrolled in our Women’s Literacy School.

Praise God for our faithful leadership on this, our 85th anniversary of ministry in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

  • Jim and Nancy Smith

 

Laban Ministries International

P.O. Box 1712

Columbia, TN 38402

Phone: 313-516-4883

www.hopeforcongo.com

Facebook: @labanministries

Email: labancongo@aol.com



 

Laban Ministries International

September 2023

 

Dear Ministry Partners,

We have more good news from Congo.  After 4 great days at the villages of Ekubi and Tebetebe, our team traveled to a place called Kanga, a village that Dr. Smith visited around 1949 and supplied with a teacher who had accepted Christ at Nkara as well as was baptized there.  While Laban was there, he could see their interest in spiritual things.  Jim also returned to Kanga during our second term in Africa in the mid 1980’s, during which time he attended a large baptismal service.  Pastor Ebobo responded to their invitation to return these many years later and evangelize.  So off they went, and 5,200 people showed up. More than 1,000 indicated they wanted Jesus as their Savior!   

During their time at Tebetebe, the chief gave the following testimony:

“My name is Chief Kidishusha.  I give you servants of God (the pastors, worship team, and staff who traveled to Tebetebe) great thanks and special honor.  Before you arrived at Tebetebe the first time (March of 2022), I was a bandit.  I did this and that and all kinds of things.  I did not know God, and I never went to church either.  Then you came and placed your feet on Tebetebe, and I became a child of God.  What I did know was drugs, and fighting was my world.  The team from Laban brought out my heart so that I could know God.  Jesus put me in a bottle (so as to confine me and get his attention).  I received a heart to know God, and now I am in God.  Now I am asking the team from Laban that you do not tire of us.  Do not forget us.  Tebetebe has undergone a complete change.  There’s new life and peace. There is worship and prayer. Don’t tire of coming back. No. No. No.”

We know you are rejoicing with us at this news!

In this letter are photos of Kanga and the Chief of Tebetebe.  Also, you will view a photo of our dilapidated mill that was used to grind the root manioc which is their daily mainstay into flour.  It has served us long and well, but the time has come to replace it.  Mills are available in Kikwit for $800-$1000.  Otherwise, the manioc has to be pounded with a long pole, which is very hard on the body.  Vero, wife of Pastor Ebobo, is pictured showing you the process.  

How can we thank you for your continued prayer and financial backing of this ministry?  Praise God, things have picked up financially,  but we’re not there quite yet!  Thank you for being part of the solution.  Someday you will meet our evangelism team, our staff, and the people at Ekubi, Tebetebe, and Kanga who are now accepted in the Beloved because you provided a way for them to know Christ!  Our cup is full! 

Servants of the Living Christ, 

Jim and Nancy Smith

 

 

Laban Ministries International

P.O. Box 1712

Columbia, TN 38402

Phone: (313) 516-4883

www.hopeforcongo.com

FB: @labanministries

Email: labancongo@aol.com

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