A DRC/Zaire reunion
Old friendships forged in the ‘Amazon of Africa’ were reignited and a 40 year-old BMS film aired as former mission workers in the Democratic Republic of Congo gathered earlier this month (September).
The DRCongo/Zaire Reunion at Baptist House in Didcot saw more than 70 people meet to renew acquaintances and reminisce, including the children of mission workers in the country.
Many were connected with BMS World Mission, which has been involved in DRC for more than 100 years. A 1971 BMS film called A River of Life was shown, which charted the often perilous missionary work from the 1870s to the then present day, highlighting the transformation of the mighty Congo River from a ‘river of death’ into a ‘river of life’.
The guests included Pat Woolhouse, the last long term BMS mission worker in DRC until her departure just over two years ago. BMS still has close links - with the Baptist Church of the River Congo (CBFC), it supports 40 national workers and also makes annual grants to theological training, evangelism and church planting, and relief grants from time to time.
The gathering followed a similar event in 2011, and a number of new people were able to attend.
‘It was an occasion to renew friendships which were built out of shared experiences of working together in the DRCongo/Zaire,’ said Jon Spiller, Baptist House manager who had worked in the country for 14 years from 1972.
‘We had people who had not seen each other for 30 or 40s years. The long list of guest was an indication of the eagerness of people to meet.’