The 2019 Indiana friendship tour is well underway! Despite 3 visa denials, 1 woman and 3 men from the North Katanga and Tanganyika Conferences were able to come be on this friendship-building adventure. They are all amazing people. Pastor Joseph Mulongo, Pastor Daniel Mumba, and Pastor Jackie Ngoy Mwayuma are all pastors and former DS's. All three of them are featured in our late co-founder's memoir The Last Missionary. Papa Londwa is the newest addition to the FPM team and serves the Lay Leader of the Tanganyika Conference.
We are visiting a wide variety of churches and mission centers today and over the next week. Yesterday we visited the Midwest Distribution Center and Lincoln sites in Springfield IL, had supper and worship at our beloved Urbana Wesley Church and Foundation, and got back to West Lafayette around midnight to sleep. We got to know the three students from UIUC are coming on our trip to DRC this summer!
Today we had lunch and amazing conversations with some of Jeff Newton's staff at Kokomo Urban Outreach, African-Americans who were meeting and talking deeply with Africans for the first time. They were excited about telling their "huddle" of kids about this tonight. We also had a tour and did a small service project to help with the food KUO sends home with kids each weekend. Now we are in Zanesville where we had supper, and Joseph and the entourage shared a program and answered questions.
Our friends have a presentation to share about the churches, missions, and struggles in Tanganyika Conference if you have a projector and screen. They want everyone to know how important the work of the United Methodist church is there and what hope it is bringing the Congolese.
We are all pretty exhausted from the 2019 General Conference, but we feel it is as important as ever to share stories, learn, build family and strengthen friendship and connections through Christ and his body.
Rev. Lana Robyne, FPM Board Member