Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Venturing with God in Congo - Crew Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. 

Venturing with God in Congo from Conjurske Publications shares a riveting memoir of Darrell Champlin’s missionary exploits in the Congo jungles. The story begins when Darrell Champlin met Louise Grings at the Fundamental Bible Institute. Darrell was raised in the United States and Louise on the mission field in the Belgian Congo of Africa. They were married on June 18, 1951. God brought the two together for a mutual purpose, to serve the God of Heaven on the mission field.

In June, 1954, Darrell Champlin and his family began their first term on the mission field. After working with the people, Darrell describes them as mentally, philosophically, and physically living in the past. The basic drive of the tribal people of African origin is to repeat the past. The people were brought as slaves in Africa and are still dedicated to the preservation of the ways of their fathers. To live with them, missionaries have to physically and mentally step back in time. Isaiah 8 and Matthew 4 describes the people in Congo, people in a helpless state of obscurity, blindness, darkness, destruction, ignorance, sorrow, and wickedness. No one in the Ongo village had ever come near to being friendly to either a missionary or his message. Many attempts to hold a service were spurned by the people. Many departed out of sight; but Darrell continued to preach as loudly as possible, calling upon those behind the houses to listen to the message of Jesus Christ. Galatians 6:9 admonishes us – “Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” The people which sat in darkness saw great light. Twelve people confessed the Lord Jesus in the village of Ongo! The church grew rapidly and it became an all-Christian village.

The church building was constructed with walls of tampered clay, a roof of palm leaves, a dirt floor, and the door was just an opening between the walls at the front of the building. The pews were made of split logs. They constructed the church building, like they constructed their own home. The house had no window or doors, just holes in the wall, so it was possible for anything (even creepy crawlies) to be in the house at any time.

The family lived on $28 a month their first term in Congo. Their total monthly support averaged $168 the first six years. Of this support, $140 went into the work, and they kept $28 for themselves to purchase flour, sugar, powdered milk, palm oil, rock salt, rice, occasional field corn or sweet potatoes, and the cassava root. Darrell hunted their meat and they would eat a leaf of the cassava plant seven days a week as their basic vegetable.

The Simba Revolution of 1964 in Congo evacuated the family back to the United States where they sought the Lord’s direction. God let them in 1965 to their next mission field in Suriname, South Africa where they worked with descendants of tribal groups whom they had ministered to in Congo. In 1977, the Champlin family began representing Independent Faith Mission part-time. They would make two trips each year, spring and fall, to speak at various churches and Bible colleges; while summer and winter months were spent in Suriname. In 1988, Darrell and Louise returned to Congo where there founding churches and schools were still going on for the Lord.

Darrell came to Congo with one God-given question for the people – “Do you know God?” After years of faithful and fruitful service, he passed away in Suriname on August 26, 2015 and was buried in the jungle where he lived, labored, and loved.

Louise has compiled the stories within this book, along with a photo gallery, to stir your heart and challenge your mind to serve the God of Heaven Who is so worthy. I also want to encourage you to visit for a full archive of the author’s sermons. I have always had a heart for missions; but this book has caused me to dig a little deeper and learn to love like Christ loved. Darrell truly loved the people of Congo. He pressed on, despite how he was treated. Luke 6:27-28 admonishes us – “Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you. Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” May we learn to live out this verse, so that we may be a light in the darkness.

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