KINSHASA, DR CONGO (July 15, 2016) – Duale Lengena Sabuli Petro, former president of the Congo Covenant Church (CEUM) and called “truly a pillar” of the denomination, died Thursday in Kinshasa. Duale, 85, served as president from 1984 to 1992.
Services will be held in Kinshasa and Gemena over the next week.
Current and former missionaries lauded Duale as a person of great faith, possessing excellent leadership skills, and devoted to prayer.
“He was always deeply, deeply appreciative of the missionaries coming to bring the gospel of salvation to Congo and his prayers would repeatedly reference this long history,” said current missionary Pete Ekstrand. “His prayers were legion, memorable. He would squeeze your hand, not just hold, but squeeze, during these prayers as they were intense.”
“He was a pillar of faith and his presence in a room radiated his faith and love of his savior,” said former missionary Janet Thornbloom.
“He often sat and shared over coffee how he remembered Bob’s (Thornbloom) father and mother working at the Karawa hospital in the 1930s when he was a little boy. He was there as a special friend and confidant for three generations of Thornblooms. When we would talk to him about a problem or situation we were having, he would share how God’s will for our lives was not always evident at that moment in time, but we could go ahead in confidence that we were in God’s plan. His prayers were absolutely from the deepest part of his heart. Pure poetry and a salve for all who heard them.”
“When I hear or read the word ‘saint’ I immediately think of Papa Duale,” said former missionary Roger Thorpe. “I thought his leadership of the CEUM, during some troubled times, was so caring.”
“He was a man who followed God,” said Keith Gustafson, missionary and Serve Globally mission coordinator for Congo. “He led with wisdom, prayer, humility, and strength.”
Duale is survived by his wife, Olofio Saki Divine, to whom he was married for 64 years; 10 children, and many grandchildren.