Mboka: Greatest Challenge for CEUM Is Poverty

By Stan Friedman

CHICAGO, IL (May 21, 2014)—Congo Covenant Church (CEUM) President Jules Mboka says the greatest burden he bears is helping the church “become part of God’s holistic plan for us to save people spiritually and physically.”

God has blessed the Democratic Republic of Congo with beauty and rich resources that include soil ideal for planting and minerals for mining, Mboka said in a recent interview at Covenant Offices. “But I also have to say that one of the contrasts is that with all of the things that God has given us, there’s difficulty many people have in living and surviving in Congo. We often ask why that is.”

Mboka leads a denomination of 1,700 churches in the northwest section of Congo that are attended by 1.6 million people, with nearly 250,000 baptized members.

Granting that it is difficult to measure spiritual health, Mboka said CEUM members would be 70 percent healthy. “We’re pretty healthy spiritually, but if you’re talking about physical kind of health, then maybe about 10 percent in terms of education and food and work—all those kind of things.”

The church preaches a “holistic gospel” that addresses the spiritual and physical needs of people, Mboka said. He expressed gratitude for the partnership shared between the CEUM and the Evangelical Covenant Church for more than 75 years.

He also noted the generosity of individuals as well as the Covenant as a whole in investing in the lives of women in the Congo, which the United Nations has called the worst country in the world to be a mother. That investment has included increasing opportunities for educating girls.

“The work that you are doing is not just for today but it’s for the future—especially for women in Congo.… We have been overwhelmed with the generosity of women, especially here in the United States for their support of women in Congo.”

Watch President Mboka Visits Covenant Offices on CovChurch.tv

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Cathy is the managing editor of the Covenant Companion. She lives in Chicago and hates driving so much that she bikes to work even when it’s 20 degrees and snowing. She blogs with seven other Covenant women at theoloqui.net and recently acquired an English mastiff puppy named Helmut.

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