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Engaging With the Word Through Music

Missionary uses local arts to convey the gospel
Democratic Republic of the Congo – March 2022 Update

Flight Crew Members are making it possible for Congolese people to experience God’s Word through music.

Story by Dominique Villeneuve, an MAF-Canada pilot on-loan to the East DRC program. 

Here in the DRC, music plays a big role in cultural identity, but unlike the western world, the Congo does not have a huge Christian music industry. However, it is exciting to report that there is ongoing work to develop this area.

Using music as a tool for evangelism is not a new idea. In fact, throughout the Old Testament we see music being used to recall God’s faithfulness across generations: just look at the Psalms! And in Acts 16, we read about Paul and Silas “singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them” (Acts 16:25). Clearly, using music to communicate the gospel is not a new idea. 

Those of you who know me know that I love music. I have played the violin since I was 7. I have lead worship at church many times, and have taught music as well. Suffice it to say, music is very important to me. Teaching God’s Word, and seeing people engage with the Word, is also important to me.

MAF recently played a small part in this effort. We flew a missionary (who prefers to stay anonymous) out to a jungle village where she will be working among the Zande people. She served here from 1992 to 2015, but last year (in the middle of a pandemic!) God started calling her back to the Congo to continue her work. 

She is focused on using local arts as discipleship tools; the Zande people love singing, dancing, and drama, and use these medias to tell stories and communicate ideas, both big and small. This missionary will help the local church use traditional art to communicate the gospel and try to go from a surface knowledge of the gospel to a deep-seated heart understanding. 

Overland travel to the village where she is working would take at least a week. The roads are poorly maintained (where they exist at all), and are often blocked by rebel groups and bandits, who are known for kidnappings, murder, and extortion. Not to mention the heat, humidity, and bugs!

If overland travel were the only option, this ministry would be very difficult. But thankfully, MAF is here. We turn this one week expedition into a 1.5-hour flight; smooth air replaces rutted and washed-out roads, while aviation professionals replace rebels and criminals.

I am constantly amazed and encouraged by the way God draws people from all walks of life to His purpose. And, it is even more exciting to be a part of the team that helps them achieve their goal of bringing the gospel of Christ to isolated people in the DRC. 

Thank you, Flight Crew, for the part you are playing to help make this music ministry possible. 


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