Great News! FPM co-founder, the Rev. Dr. "Biking Bob" Walters' book, The Last Missionary, has joined the Wipf and Stock Publishers' family in its reprint division. Copies can now be ordered directly through Wipf and Stock
About The Last Missionary
The Last Missionary is a bicycle adventure story set in remote districts in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Bob Walters travels with a team of Congolese colleagues discovering the state of the villages run over by the Pan-African war that devastated the region’s people through the terror of rape and the killing of millions.
Along the way, Bob offers the reader a number of short tutorials and reflections on missiology, the study of mission systems. He ponders patronage and cargo cults, and asks the question, “Is Jesus the answer?” But this is not an answer book, it is a book in search of better questions.
The Last Missionary is a challenge to both evangelicals and progressives in the church, missionaries and mission volunteers, and even non-religious aid workers.
FPM is proud to announce that the doctoral thesis of FPM's head of missiological training, the Rev. Dr. Taylor Denyer, has been published in the American Society of Missiology's monograph series. This work, Decolonizing Mission Partnerships, looks deeply at the evolving relational dynamics between United Methodists in North Katanga and the USA and sets up a multifaceted conceptual framework through which one can analyze other missional collaborations in postcolonial contexts.
The Rev. Dr. Mande Muyombo, United Methodist Bishop over the North Katanga Episcopal Area, writes "Decolonizing Mission Partnerships is a book that should lead us into redefining what it means to be a church engaged in God's mission. Structures and systems that support mission are called to reevaluate themselves through the lenses of the perspective and experiences that Rev. Denyer presents to us. I appeal local churches to reflect on the book."
Printed copies can be ordered directly via Wipf and Stock (for the publisher's discounted price) or from a number of major booksellers. For those on a budget, there is a Kindle version for just $10.
Our Riverboat, The Indiana
We are sad to report that our beloved FPM boat, The Indiana, was busted beyond repair in a storm. She saved countless lives over her many years of service, acting as a mobile clinic and ambulance transporting medicines, medical professionals, and patients to towns and villages along the river (especially during cholera outbreaks), delivering construction materials to numerous clinics and congregations, and offering clergy and lay leaders safe and affordable transport to annual conference and other important gatherings.
While she is gone, the need for sturdy and well-managed riverboats in the Tanganyika and North Katanga Conferences (DR Congo) continues. Please consider helping FPM buy a new boat by making a financial contribution and/or spreading the word. By salvaging what we still can from The Indiana, we are looking at around a $4,000 project.
Testimony from Claudia Mbuyu
My name is Mbuyu wa mbuyu Claudia, and I am an orphan who was raised in the United Methodist Church’s Children’s Home in Kamina, DR Congo. FPM means everything to me; it has changed my life, and I want to testify to some of the ways FPM has been there for me.
It was 2014 when I first went to Zimbabwe to study at Africa University. While I had a scholarship that covered my tuition and board, I did not have enough money to buy a computer to write my papers, proper clothing for the climate, or even laundry soap. This is where FPM stepped in, even sending money for transportation and food so I could spend the long holidays back home in Congo. Because of FPM, I was even forgetting that I was an orphan because they treated me as their son.
FPM has given me a life I had not even dreamt for myself. I now have so many friends from far away from Congo. I made friends my own age from the USA on FPM’s Friendship Tour from Lubumbashi to Mulongo. We traveled around 600 kilometers together by bicycle, and it was the best adventure I’d had in all my life. I love going on these FPM bike adventures: I’ve been on two FPM trips from Lubumbashi to Mulongo as well as from Lubumbashi to Kamina.
[FPM co-founder] Bob Walters was preparing a good life for me—he gave the world to me, and unfortunately, he left us too soon. May he rest in eternal peace. Today his daughter, Maman Taylor, is doing the same thing. This year I graduated from Africa University, and my FPM family is continuing to be there for me as I find my place in society. I thank God for that and say thank you to the leaders of FPM, especially Rev. Bob Walters’ family: Rev. Maman Taylor and Maman Teri; Pastor Lana and her family; Pastor Mulongo and family; Pastor Maloba and family, and Bishop Mande and family for your support in every way. May the God of orphans and widows be with you and your families always.