Idaho Church Helps MAF Return to Nyankunde
In 2002, as violence and civil wars ravaged the MAF base at Nyankunde in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), MAF staff and many of the Western missionaries were forced to evacuate—many never returned.
The first MAF family returned to Nyankunde in 2013. The process of getting them there was a long one and one church in particular played a big role in paving the way for their arrival—Ustick Baptist Church (UBC) in Boise, Idaho.
In the years following the evacuation, work teams from UBC made three trips to Nyankunde to repair four MAF staff homes and two hangars, which had been completely gutted and destroyed. They paved the way for three other MAF families to join the Jacobssons there in 2014. As a church, UBC has been supporting Dave and Donna Jacobsson since the early 1990s. John Dalyrmple, one of the members of UBC’s mission committee, has made the trip to Nyankunde three times.
“It’s always gratifying as a church, when we can get to work with our missionaries and do something for them,” said John. “We want to do things that will engage the Body, and this has been really good that way. This is something that we can do directly to support the work they are involved in and to get the people from the church involved. I think that it’s really important that people get up and go. The trips have not just affected the people of Nyankunde. UBC Pastor Greg Reider can see a change in the members of his church when they return home. “It’s a way for the church to engage with the missionaries, use their gifts and talents, and be part of the good work that MAF and the Jacobssons are doing,” said Greg Reider, pastor of Ustick Baptist Church. “They are better servants when they come back.”
John has witnessed improvement in Nyankunde in the years since his first visit in 2009. He sees signs that healing is taking place, not just in the hearts of the Congolese people but even in the landscape itself.
“It’s really good to see life return to the village … to see all the livestock, the gardens. I mean, those were things that were missing the first trip,” said John.
The road to healing will still be a long one for the people of Nyankunde, but MAF and churches like UBC remain committed to sharing Christ’s love in the DRC. Partnership with UBC and other churches in America play a vital role in work like this being done around the world.
Visit http://maf.org/connect/church to find out how your church can partner with MAF.