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



 

Laban Ministries International

March 2022

 

Hi everyone,

The big focus this month is the upcoming evangelistic outreach starting on March 20th and running through March 23rd. Pastor Ebobo, Director of Evangelism and Radio Glory, will head out with the evangelism team, which includes our 5 other professors/pastors, and the students from  Laban Bible Institute. They will be traveling to 4 villages in the bush of Congo. Included is a picture of those who will be attending, including some of our staff who will help with set up, gathering firewood, cooking for the team, and being there for overall support and filling in where necessary.  

Will you please join us in prayer starting now and pray specifically through March 23th? 

Pray that the Holy Spirit will go before them. Pray for prepared hearts. Pray for the defeat of Satan.  Pray for souls to be redeemed.  

 

Servants of our Living Lord Jesus Christ,

  • 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

February 2022

Hi Everyone!

Our staff in Congo greet you in Jesus’ Name with great joy and gratitude! They are so thrilled to have the batteries and panels dispelling the darkness of the Congo night. Thank you for providing for all of them.

Our midwife, Marvina, who has been with us since the 80’s said, “Oh!  Thank you so much for lighting our homes. Now we can sleep in the comfort and rest of knowing that if a snake approaches, it will be readily visible, as the whole room will be bright."  

In other news, the Director of Evangelism, Pastor Ebobo, is eager to get rolling again to embark on another evangelism outreach. They are gearing up to travel to 4 villages in the month of February, as there is somewhat of a little dry season, a distance of 80 kilometers or 48 miles from the mission. The team will include our Bible students and pastors.  

Since stark poverty plagues each village, the gasoline to operate the generators, diesel to travel the miles, food, and wear and tear on the big MAN truck must be provided by Laban Ministries. The new music equipment, sound system, shovels to repair roads, tents, water, medicine to keep the team healthy and fight malaria, and contaminated water, plus overall needs will be carefully selected and packed in the vehicle. Much prayer will go into this endeavor ahead of time.  Souls are at stake. Satan will fight to keep his kingdom at bay.

Evangelism is a life line of Laban Bible Institute. There is protocol with each outreach. Our team first contacts the chiefs ahead of time, and then on the day of arrival meets with the chief of each village to confirm his permission and blessing. They will choose a central set up location for  the tents, sound equipment, fuel for running the generator, placement of all the students presently attending the Bible institute, seek volunteers to cook the food for the team, and meet together for prayer.

As the sound of the guitars fill the air and men’s voices are lifted in praise, people start to gather from not only the village they will be ministering in, but also nearby villages.  Live music is a strong drawing card to evangelism. After introductions are made, greetings to the crowd, and much singing, the text is taught, the gospel is preached, and the invitation to search one’s heart is given.  People are asked to respond to the good news by raising their hand. Then a little piece of white paper is handed out to those interested in finding out more. Next, each one expressing interest is dealt with in a crowd, and then one on one. They will have heard the gospel 3 times by the end of the evening. Each individual is prayed over and assured of what his decision means.  

The next day, the process starts all over again in the following village. This is a team effort.  Will you please pray for all the needs of this outreach and the defeat of Satan? 

 

Thank you so much for standing with us!

  • Jim and Nancy Smith

Servants of the Most High



 

*Prayerfully, we are returning to Michigan to hold our next benefit dinner at Crystal Gardens!

16703 Fort Street

Southgate, MI 

48195

 

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

January 2022

Happy New Year!

News from Congo is that most likely the Omicron strain of COVID is active in Kinshasa. At any rate, COVID is on the rise there. So, we are still on hold as far as making plans to return soon. However, in our part of the bush, people remain free from COVID. Thank you for praying!

Your response to the panel and battery projects for our staff in Congo has been amazing! All panels are now in the hands of our people, and we are just about there with the batteries as well.  Just a little ways to go!!! Put yourself in their shoes for a moment and try to imagine what it is like to have light in your home for the first time! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for caring so deeply and giving so generously and even sacrificially! “For the Lord is not unrighteous to forget or overlook your labor and the love which you have shown for His Name’s sake in ministering to the needs of the saints, as you still do.”  Heb 6:10

The Bible institute students are on Christmas vacation and will return on January 16th as will the women enrolled in the Ladies Literacy School. This trimester the women will learn to use the hand-operated sewing machines and continue to learn cooking skills as well as study Scripture verse by verse, improve their writing, enjoy knitting, needlepoint, and crocheting plus read the Bible out loud, and memorize verses. It’s so exciting to think about the Word of God becoming hidden in their hearts, altering their thinking, protecting their minds, and gaining the ability to share it with their children, most for the first time in their lives. 

Below is an excerpt from one of the ladies by the name of Sophia:

“Hello. I am Sophia, the wife of Chief Sona from the village of Longo Kuma Kuma. I want to testify that I knew nothing in my life, such as how to read Kikongo or knit or make donut holes for our family. People saw me as if I were of little worth. My relatives did not acknowledge me but did acknowledge my male relatives. Now that I have been in classes in the Ladies Literacy School, I know how to knit sweaters. I know the history of the Bible, such as Esther, Ruth, and the Psalms, and I know how to lead people to Christ! My husband especially loves it when I make donut holes.  Thank you. God bless you.”  

Praise God for the differences you are making in the lives of our beloved brothers and sisters in Congo as well as those who are responding to the Gospel!

Gratefully yours,

Jim and Nancy Smith
 

*Prayerfully, we are returning to Michigan to hold our next benefit dinner at Crystal Gardens!

16703 Fort Street

Southgate, MI 

48195

 

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

December 2021


 

Christmas 2021

What a wonderful year with which Laban has been blessed. Thank you for standing with us so strongly through COVID and beyond! Our staff of 41 men and women in Congo thank you as well. December begins our 44th year serving the Lord in Congo. Laban and Marcella went to Africa in October of 1938. That means the ministry has had a presence there going on 84 years.  

We’d love to celebrate God’s goodness over the next year by providing our staff at Nkara with light in their homes. This is made possible by a solar panel for each household as well as a strong, durable battery. We have funding for all of the staff solar panels plus 15 1/2 of the batteries. Our men’s dormitory as well as the dispensary could use a panel and battery as well, leaving a total of 22 1/2 more batteries.  

Will you consider designating a special Christmas gift to help us reach this goal?  The batteries are $325 each, and any size donation earmarked “battery” will be put toward the purchase of one of these treasured items. We have included pictures of the staff receiving their solar panels. 

Pastor Mboma, the staff in Congo, the Board of Directors of Laban Ministries, and Jim and Nancy thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your incredible faithfulness to this work, and we all wish you a very Merry Christmas!

 

  • 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