As many of you may know, the church that AIM is working with in Congo is called CECA 20 (Communauté Evangélique au Centre de l’Afrique). This coming weekend CECA is starting a year of celebrations. It is exactly 100 years ago, in 1912, that the first missionaries of AIM entered the then Belgian Congo. Thus this year CECA 20 is celebrating its centenary. The celebrations that will take place in all the nine church districts of CECA (that have been established from the border with the Central African Republic unto the border with Uganda, and from the border with Sudan unto Goma, a Congolese town bordering Rwanda) will start in Mahagi where the missionaries entered the country. They will end in November in Bunia where CECA has its offices.
In its 100 years CECA 20 has grown to be one of the biggest church denominations in the east and north of the DR Congo. It is involved in many local churches, evangelization and church building, women’s work, education, theological training, radio stations, medical work, development and an AIDS Awareness Program. CECA also has a printing press to be able to print books on a local level. In 2004 the present church leader, Reverend Kokole Idring’i Jean Pierre, has been elected in the General Assembly.
During the 100 years of existence of CECA in Congo, the church has faced multiple problems, like the civil unrest in the country after independance in 1960, the recent wars in 1996 and 1998 and with rebel groups that are active in the country. Also internally CECA has gone through difficulties. It’s leadership however is strong and puts itself under the direction of God. Pray that this dependance upon the heavenly King will continue to caracterize CECA leadership.