Posted: December 8, 2020
The International Community of Mennonite Brethren (ICOMB) is made up of 21 national churches in 19 countries with approximately 450,000 members. ICOMB exists to facilitate relationships and ministries to enhance the witness and discipleship of its member national churches – connecting, strengthening and expanding.
The Church in Côte d’Ivoire
Godet and Lola Tangkwa from Kinshasa, Congo have been church planting in Gagnoa, Côte d’Ivoire, since December 2017. When they arrived, they had to adapt to a new culture and learn local languages, despite having an official language in common (French). Mennonites were brand new to the area, and they struggled to evangelize under an unfamiliar denominational name. The pandemic has affected their ministry, but they have pivoted to delivering pamphlets and focusing on small family groups praying together. At one point they held 5 services on Sundays to comply with meeting size regulations.
The church planting project is an inter-continental cooperation between: Communauté des Églises des Frères Mennonites au Congo (CEFMC – the Congolese MB conference), Immanuel Church (Germany – Arbeitsgemeinschaft Mennonitischer Brudergemeinden in Deutschland), Gummersbach Church (Germany – Bund Taufgesinnter Gemeinden), and MB Mission Europa.
Gagnoa was chosen because Immanuel Church had started an orphanage there years prior. The church then served the orphanage. After three years, the church has taken off and has strong local leadership. Godet and Lola’s term is ending December 2020, after which they will discern whether to continue in Côte d’Ivoire with a new project or return to Congo.
Pray for Godet and Lola and for the church in Côte d’Ivoire. Pray for the needs of the members, increased by the pressures of the pandemic, and pray for members to return to church after the pandemic.