“Faith can move churches”
“You gave a wonderful testimony of your faith.” This is how the Chief Apostle responded to the move of the church in Kananga. But he is not the only one by far to have been amazed.
Not only the new central church in Kananga (Democratic Republic of the Congo) was jam-packed but also the area around the church. Far more people were sitting outside the church under canvas awnings than inside the building. All in all, the service celebrated by Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider in July 2016 attracted more than 19,000 participants.
“Let me tell you how thankful and amazed I am,” he said at the beginning of the sermon. “I congratulate you on what you have achieved with this beautiful church building.” The District Apostle and the responsible Apostle had told him about it. “I was really impressed by what I heard and saw.”
Church building moved by hand and on foot
The whole story had begun back in May 2014: the central church in the capital city of the province Kasai-Occidental was dilapidated. Repeated flooding had led to the erosion of soil under the building, causing massive cracks in the walls. A renovation seemed out of the question.
Although the Church owns a piece of property in the city centre, there just was not enough money for a new church building. Together with the members, the Church leaders decided to deconstruct the old building and move the materials to the new site to erect a new building with it there.
The adventure began in December 2014. Brick by brick and beam after beam thousands of members carried their church building to its new location eight kilometres away. Without any trucks; everything was done manually, and carried by hand or balanced on their heads. The move took one month and seven days.
At the end of January 2015 there was a setback: the new piece of land was not level enough. Again the brothers and sisters went to work and started to bring tons of sand to the site in buckets and bowls—balanced on their heads—from a pit six kilometres away. Members also helped at the construction site under the guidance of professional construction workers. On 1 December 2015 District Apostle Tshitshi Tshisekedi was finally able to dedicate the new church.
People around the world were thrilled
“A big thank you to all the brothers and sisters, young and old, adults and children. They showed such commitment and put so much effort into building this new church,” Chief Apostle Schneider said during his visit. “Everyone contributed to the work, whether minister or member, you worked on this together and with joy. And in the process you not only built a church but you gave a wonderful testimony of your faith.”
Following the report on nac.today , many from around the world expressed their amazement in the social networks. “This is really moving—literally,” one young woman wrote on Facebook. Others posted “Chapeau””, “I’m impressed!”, “Amazing!”, or “Wow, wow, wow!”
“Yet again it shows that working together as one we can conquer any challenge set. United we stand, divided we fall,” a South African woman posted on nacworld.net. And a brother from Cameroon wrote, “Faith is not only able to move mountains but also churches.”