Laban Ministries International

January 2023

Dear Friends,

It is with great joy that we write you wonderful news from Congo.  All of our 36 staff families have been provided with 3 brand new beautiful mattresses from the town of Kikwit!  Praise the Lord for your incredible generosity.

How great it would be if you could see their happy faces and hear their grateful voices as they describe what comfort these mattresses are bringing to their families.  In fact, you gave so generously, we are going to be able to throw in a bottom sheet, top sheet, pillows, blankets, and mattress protectors as well!  A merchant in Kikwit gave us a very good deal on these extras. Our six pastors have cement homes, and the remaining staff who have been with us since 1979 have cement homes, which means they have cement floors.  However, 27 staff families live in mud huts.  So we would love to be able to provide a wooden bed made by our carpenters for those who don’t have beds to elevate the mattresses off of the mud floors.  We are pricing wood in Kikwit because there is little available in our area of the bush.  

This month, Lord willing, our mechanic and 2 of our pastors will travel to Kinshasa to pick up the recently provided motor for the big MAN truck.  Once this has been successfully placed in the MAN, our evangelism team and Bible institute students will be on their way to do village evangelism once again.  The second trimester of Laban Bible Institute and the Women’s Literacy School will begin soon, and Radio Glory is broadcasting everyday with the newly shipped and installed 18,000 watt diesel generator sent from America in April of 2022!  Our cup overflows!

Thank you, thank you for your hearts of gold, showing such care and concern for a people 6,500 miles from your doorstep.  May the Lord return to you your gift a hundred fold.  The men and women of Laban thank you from the bottom of their hearts.  Nzambi sakamuna beno yonso or God bless you all.  

 

Happy New Year!

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

Support Laban Ministries while you shop on Amazon!

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



 

Laban Ministries International

December 2022

Christmas, 2022

PRAISE!  PRAISE!  PRAISE!

Our hearts are bursting to tell you the good news!   In the first quarter of 2021, we began raising funds to ship an 18,000 watt diesel generator to Congo that had been sitting in Detroit for years, paid for, and ready to go, just waiting on God’s timing.  That time came, and in April of this year, chairman of the board, Jerry Hubbell drove that beast to Chicago, and off it went by boat, arriving in Kinshasa in May!  Thank you for your faithfulness!  You prayed it all the way there.  However, Kinshasa is hundreds of miles from our mission.  

Just last week in torrential rain, our missionary friend, Dan Grings, drove that huge piece of equipment on the “worst roads” he has seen, arriving safely at Nkara about midnight, November 28.  Because it hadn’t been running, just sitting in a warehouse for a long time, there were some adjustments that needed to be made, and Dan figured out just what they were!  We are so thrilled to tell you that on Wednesday, November 29, the generator began humming with success!  

The old generator was on its last breath after 18 years, held together by the prayers of God’s people and His mercies, which are NEW EVERY MORNING!  Thank you, thank you, thank you for believing in this ministry.  The new generator will be so much more efficient and cost effective.  Radio Glory keeps on going in the middle of the bush of Africa by the grace of God, broadcasting reading through the Bible every year--since it is the only Bible many have--Christian music, sermons from men of God, women’s programming, local Congo news, church services, including the beautiful voices of Congolese choirs, family matters, Bible messages geared especially to children, and more.  You are all a part of giving our audience SO MUCH HOPE!

We’re in the process of buying mattresses, sheets, and pillows for our wonderful staff in Congo for Christmas and are at just above 52% of our goal.  Thank you all so very much for your generosity.  May the Lord return it to you your investment one hundred fold.  “He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and that which he has given, He will repay to him.”

With full, grateful hearts,

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

Support Laban Ministries while you shop on Amazon!

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


 




 

Laban Ministries International

November 2022

Dear Laban Family,

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and Christmas is just around the corner.  Because of your generosity, we are already at 42% of our goal of 36 sets of 3 mattresses for each of our 36 staff families in Congo!  Our staff is very excited about the prospect of having these beautiful sleeping aids in their homes.   And if there’s enough left over, we plan to buy them sheets as well.   

A wonderful group of men and women serve at Laban Ministries, including professors in Laban Bible Institute, who also broadcast the Word of God on Radio Glory, pastor churches, preside as Academic Dean over the student body, nurses who work in the dispensary and deliver babies, carpenters, a mason, evangelists, musicians who help draw crowds for evangelism, qualified women who direct and teach in the Women’s Literacy School, Pastor Ngunga who repairs all of the motorcycles you have provided, sentinels who guard the homes, Radio Glory, the buildings on the mission, and property in general, pastors churches, maintain the vehicles, and pastor the youth of the area, as well as Pastor Mboma who is Director of Operations.   They are hard working, dedicated to the overall good of the ministry, and make sacrifices to serve the Lord in the bush of Africa.  

Be assured that the comfort and dignity you are providing this Christmas season is appreciated beyond words.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for responding so kindly and abundantly to men and women you most likely will never meet this side of heaven.  May God richly bless you and return to you your investment a hundred fold!

Gratefully,

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

Support Laban Ministries while you shop on Amazon!

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



 

Laban Ministries International

October 2022

Happy Fall Everyone!

We are praising the Lord for the wonderful benefit dinner held at Crystal Gardens in Southgate, MI in mid October. Among the attendees were 50 first timers, many of whom were youthful and empathetic towards the needs of the ministry in Congo!  

In answered prayer, a new motor has been provided for the big MAN truck, which is of vital necessity in carrying out evangelism in the bush. A few weeks ago, loaded, it was traveling to the villages of Ekubi and Tebetebe to do follow up with the many who responded to the Gospel in March.   The plan was to hold a week of exposing the Scriptures all day everyday, teaching basic Bible principles. About 30 kilometers (18 miles) outside the mission, it broke down in the nseke or plains, loaded with some of our pastors, many of this year’s students, women from the literacy school, and general staff who do the cooking, water fetching, tent set up, and take care of the details so our pastors can give themselves to ministering. Motors are available in Kinshasa, and we are thrilled to tell our staff that they can make the trip to buy a replacement for this important vehicle! Thank you Jesus!!!

As some of you may recall, this year’s Christmas project for our staff is to provide a large, almost king size mattress for the mother and father, and two almost double size mattresses for the children. The total package for each of our 36 families on staff is $775. The large mattress is $325, and the two smaller ones are $225 each. At this point in time, we have five complete sets, which means we have 31 more sets to go, and this is only October! A video shown that evening displayed the process of assembling the deplorable grass concoctions on which they now sleep. Each family gathers enough grass to fill a small sized pickup truck. It is then dried for a month, stuffed into a flimsy, sheet-like material, and used for one more month, and then the practice starts all over again.  When you go to bed tonight, think about how much more comfortable they and their children’s lives would be if they had the “luxury” of a real mattress!!!

Laban Bible Institute and the Women’s Literacy School are in full swing. Soon our recently shipped generator for Radio Glory will make its way to Nkara from Kinshasa thanks to missionary Dan Grings, who is also rebuilding our well and replacing the plumbing, flooring, and toilets in our upstairs and downstairs bathrooms. Will you please pray for his safe arrival as he and Paul, a very talented national, travel the  “roads” to Nkara? Please pray for good weather, as the rainy season begins soon, and torrential rain storms could make the journey difficult.  

“When Jesus saw the crowds, He was moved with compassion.” How can we thank you enough for showing such compassion to a people who live and die in oblivion here, yet are known, dearly loved by God, precious in His sight, and with whom we will spend eternity?!

Gratefully,

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

Support Laban Ministries while you shop on Amazon!

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



 

Laban Ministries International

September 2022

Dear Laban Family,

Christmas will be here before you know it. Two years ago, you helped provide rain barrels for our Laban work staff in Congo. Last year, everyone received a large solar panel and heavy duty battery to provide light in each home. These wonderful gifts have added comfort and convenience to their lives, and they are so grateful for your generosity.  

This year, we are excited to tell you our Christmas project is to provide mattresses for each family. Normally, the African mattress consists of nothing more than grass covered by flimsy, sheet-like material. It’s nasty, requires frequent replacing due to hygiene issues, and provides little if any support. The other option is bamboo strips weaved together with woven string attached to 4-6 inch bamboo legs to elevate them from the floor. These, of course, don’t give and are very uncomfortable to say the least.  

Mattresses are available in the large town of Kikwit, 60 miles from our mission, but of course they are expensive—too expensive for the average large Congolese family. Sizes are measured in metrics and vary from our king size and twin size mattresses. Therefore, the large mattress is  comparable to a king, and the smaller mattress is almost the size of a double. We would like to provide 1 large mattress and two smaller ones for each family. This would be a dream come true for our staff.  

The large mattress will run $325, and the smaller one $225. We need 36 large, and 72 small.  This seems like an incredible amount of money per family, (a total $775), but we are putting it out there to see what the Lord will do since nothing is impossible with Him. “Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.” - Jeremiah 32:17.           .    

Can you imagine what a difference having the comfort of a real mattress would make? How many of us have known anything different? How many of us have slept on straw or grass covered makeshift “mattresses” as a permanent structure in our homes? We have not because we ask not.  James 4:2. Will you help us remove this daily hardship from these wonderful families’ lives? Let’s elevate their dignity a little by providing a small dream of theirs, which is entirely reachable. Let’s be the lifter of their heads as Psalm 3:3 says.  

Blessings and gratitude, 

Jim and Nancy Smith

P.S.   The benefit dinner is just around the corner. Consider joining us on Thursday, October 13, 6 pm at Crystal Gardens in Southgate, MI. Tickets available at www.hopeforcongo.com.  Hope to see you soon!

Laban Benefit Dinner

October 13th at 6:00 pm.  

Crystal Gardens

16703 Fort Street

Southgate, MI 48195

$25 per person

Go to www.hopeforcongo.com to purchase your tickets!  Click on the ‘calendar’ tab and then the ticket amount

 

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 2022

 

Dear Ministry Partners,

We are praising the Lord for your faithfulness and generosity! The motorcycles have been purchased in Kikwit and have made their way back to our mission, Nkara!

Pastors Kilasi and Ebobo are so incredibly grateful to you who made this possible.  

Everything on the home front is good. In July’s newsletter, we mentioned that the new generator made it all the way from America by boat to Kinshasa and will be transported to Nkara sometime late fall. Please pray for that trip. Missionary Dan Grings will be making the long, long journey in his truck over rough “roads”  which are sometimes not more than a path, really. It will take several hours, more than likely a couple of days. There are no, what we would call, legitimate road repair crews to “maintain” decent roads; other times, just one lane, especially in the bush or interior of the country, where our mission is located. The 18,000 watt diesel generator is very heavy and challenging to carry. Please pray for safety, good weather, no generator or vehicle mishaps or damage, and hassle free or at least minimum hassle barriers or check points once he gets started.  

Laban Bible Institute and the Ladies Literacy School are on summer break right now.  

COVID continues to stay away from our people. Thank you for your prayers!

Next month we have an exciting Christmas project to share with you regarding our staff. We can’t wait to show pictures of what we have in mind for them this Christmas!

Will you Michiganders and others nearby please consider attending our benefit dinner on October 13th at 6:00 pm at Crystal Gardens in Southgate, Michigan? We would love to see you there. It has been 4 years since the last dinner, which is no longer held every year in Detroit. Our attempt to have one in 2020 was squelched by COVID. You’ll find ticket information below.

Serving together in Congo,

Jim and Nancy Smith

 

 

 

Laban Benefit Dinner

October 13th at 6:00 pm.  

Crystal Gardens

16703 Fort Street

Southgate, MI 48195

$25 per person

Go to www.hopeforcongo.com to purchase your tickets!  Click on the ‘calendar’ tab and then the ticket amount

 

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 2022

 

EXCITING NEWS!

 

The replacement generator for Radio Glory that was shipped in May in a 40’ container has made it all the way to Kinshasa! A friend of many years stored the 18,000 watt generator in his warehouse for years until the Lord provided the right time to send it. As you may recall, we had a matching fund campaign, and you gave generously to make this happen. The Lord brought a Congolese couple to us who owned their own shipping company, and it was shipped in late May and arrived in the port city of Matadi around the end of June, was driven to the capital city, and is now in the hands of dear missionary friends in Kinshasa. We are so very grateful to the Lord and to you for making this replacement generator a reality for Radio Glory.

The old generator (operating since 2004) is hanging on by a thread and has been sustained by the prayers of God’s people and the hand of the Lord for quite some time. The plan is to have missionary Dan Grings drive the new generator to Nkara in the fall, install it in the generator house near Radio Glory, and then do a bathroom update on our house, inspect the septic tank, rebuild our well, check the Wood-Mizer saws, and examine the little bit of solar lighting in our home. And by the way, he loves preaching and teaching on Radio Glory while he’s there.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12.  Glory be to God for this amazing feat!! Thank you to Lee and Becky Ward for all their help in meeting the container at dawn and seeing that it was unloaded properly and delivered safely to the Grings’ residence!

 

Here are pictures of some of the process:

The closing of the container in IL before being set to NY. Transported by Mr. Jerry Hubbell, Chairman of the Board of LMI.

The generator as it stood in the warehouse stored by a dear friend.

The generator being hoisted and taken off the 40’ container after arrival to Kinshasa.

The van that took the generator from Kinshasa to the home of a missionary friend.

Safe and sound until it will be driven to Nkara and installed for Radio Glory this fall!

Update on the motorcycles: Both motorcycles have been supplied! Their purchasing is a little delayed due to the death of Pastor Mboma’s mother in Kinshasa. She was 98, and he is there now with the family as they mourn their loss. Please pray for Pastor Mboma and the family.  

 

“He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and that which he has given He will repay to him.”  Proverbs 19:17. These motorcycles will be greatly appreciated!

Servants of the Lord Jesus Christ,

Jim and Nancy Smith

 

Laban Benefit Dinner

October 13th at 6:00 pm.  

Crystal Gardens

16703 Fort Street

Southgate, MI 48195

$25 per person

Go to www.hopeforcongo.com to purchase your tickets!

 

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 2022

Dear Partners,

 

Some weeks ago, we introduced you to Pastor Kilasi. Now we would like to introduce you to Pastor Ebobo, who is passionate about winning souls and heads up evangelism in Congo. He is also in charge of Radio Glory and ministers to the youth in nearby villages. We thought you might like to read his testimony. 

 

“My father and mother were married during the time of war before independence. Mulele was in charge. All the people ran to the forest, and so my father and mother ran to the forest as well. My mother birthed 3 children: a girl and 2 boys. I am the youngest. My father was a doctor. From an early age, I became a musician who played the drums. This was my occupation. I knew nothing of the things of God…nothing. As a musician, I sinned very gravely and did evil things. In the matter of sinning, I am unable to even talk about it. My life was a very shameful existence.  

I came to know Christ through the preaching and teaching of the late Pastor Kilundu in the region of Idiofa, when the evangelistic team from Laban Ministries came to hold a crusade there. I was born again that night. While in my area, the pastors spoke of Laban Bible Institute, and right away I wanted to go there to learn the Word of God.  

In time I entered class at the institute and graduated in 2011. When my mother came to see me at Nkara, where the school is located, she observed a young woman called Vero and the way she cared for an elderly lady by the name of Mama Dominique. She desired that we marry. After finishing my training, we married, and I began working with Laban Ministries. Today we have 5 children. My wife, Vero, graduated from the Women’s Literacy School in 2009. Her wisdom is such a great help in our family.” 

 

Both of these wonderful young men are in desperate need of a motorcycle to complete all their varied ministry tasks and outreach. Will you pray to that end? Thank you so much. Your partnership in this work is so very vital.

 

  • Jim and Nancy Smith

 

 

Benefit Dinner in Michigan

October 13th at 6:00 pm. 

It will be a ticketed event.  

More info to follow!

 

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 2022

 

Hi Everyone!

We are showcasing two men in the next few weeks who are an integral part of Laban Ministries, Pastors Kilasi and Ebobo. Today, we present to you Pastor Kilasi. He was born the eldest of three children, a boy and two girls. His parents are Christians, and in his youth, they lived in a village of another faith. A Christian organization in Congo known as the League visited his town of Bulungu in 1993 and introduced him to Christ. He became a teacher by profession in the local school and evangelist out of his church in Bulungu.    

In 2000, he enrolled in Laban Bible Institute, graduating in 2003. Upon returning to his hometown, he decided to enter lab tech school and married his wife, Syntiche, who was also saved through the evangelistic outreach of the League. They now have 4 children.  

As he was about to graduate from lab tech school, he returned to Nkara for a Pastors’ Conference, and we approached him to ask if he was interested in working at the dispensary at Nkara. In 2010, he joined the Laban work staff. A year later, the nearby village of Ntshiangobo asked him to pastor their church. In addition to being lab tech and pastor, he also teaches at Laban Bible Institute and ministers the Word of God on Radio Glory.  

Pastor Kilasi is a vibrant and enthusiastic servant of God. He is gifted in the areas of teaching, encouraging, and seeing things through to completion. The many hats he wears require travel to the church he pastors several times a week, the Bible institute 5 days a week, and several trips to broadcast on Radio Glory. His present choice is walking. Will you help make his life a little easier by enabling us to purchase a motorcycle for him?  

Prices have gone up since we purchased motor bikes for Pastors Isaac, Ngunga, and Mboma. The cost for a motorcycle, helmet, license, insurance, and all papers is $2,000. Will you please pray with us for this wonderful tool?

Serving Christ together,

Jim and Nancy Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benefit Dinner in Michigan

October 13th at 6:00 pm. 

It will be a ticketed event.  

More info to follow!

 

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 2022

 

Evangelism Update

The results are in! Your prayers for and your giving to the evangelism outreach at Ekubi, Tebetebe, and other nearby villages in Congo made an incredible impact on the Kingdom of God in March. Ekubi is so mammoth, they held the meetings on one side of the village one day and the other side the next day. On Sunday, March 20, 4,120 people attended and 3,005 made professions of faith. Pastor Mboma, Director of Operations in Congo, preached. On Monday, March 21, out of the crowd of thousands watching and listening again on the other side of Ekubi, 4,399 souls responded to the Gospel, with Pastor Kilasi preaching. Ten other villages joined the crowd, and we don’t have the total attendance. Tuesday, March 22, the team traveled to Tebetebe, where 3,800 people showed up, and 1,800 responded, with Pastor Isaac preaching. The last day, March 23, was spent in smaller villages evangelized on the way home to Nkara, where Pastor Ebobo preached.

Pastor Mboma sums it up this way:  “As the pictures sent to you show the joy among people, the salvation of several people was a real fact. The chief of Ekubi and the elders confirmed that real peace comes from the Lord. Ekubi and the area had become a kind of Sodom and Gomorrah, with killing by knives because of disputes of lands. Evangelism brought peace in the hearts of many people. The chief also testified that evangelism was an occasion where the village and people were taken from Satan’s hands to return to the Lord Jesus. At present, ‘Ekubi for Jesus’ is the new name of the village, taken after evangelism. The same testimony came from Tebetebe, the second village of evangelism. Here the chief, whose name is Musha, said he has accepted the Lord and has dedicated his life to the Lord Jesus, and he invited his village people to repent and become members of a church of the village. He gave as a law that each Sunday, everyone should attend a church. A lot of testimonies are being broadcast from Radio Glory these days. Thank you so much to you people from America who supported with funds the Laban evangelism."  

Truly amazing is the fact that today (April 5, 2022), two weeks after our time with Ekubi, two men came to my home and assured us there is now peace in the village! “God has truly worked in our village. The men who were murdering others have now vowed that murdering will never take place again!!!” - Pastor Ebobo

Thank you to everyone for your prayers and financial backing of this latest evangelism endeavor!  Jesus, be praised! 

  • Jim and Nancy Smith

Benefit Dinner in Michigan:

October 13th at 6:00 pm. 

It will be a ticketed event.  

More info to follow!

 

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