A community validates its members by listening to their voices. The Mennonite Brethren community has grown from 18 families meeting under one roof to 18 conferences spread across the globe. As distance and diversity increase, it becomes more challenging to hear each other’s voices.
The Global Mennonite Brethren Devotional is one way the MB church is rising to the challenge. In the 50 days between Easter and Pentecost, 50 men and women from MB churches around the world will share their reflections on Scripture.
One contributor is Sublime N. Mabiala. He writes from the University Center of Missiology in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, reflecting on the happiness of God as a motivation for mission:
I was born into a Christian family in Democratic Republic of Congo… My personal commitment to Christ occurred as a young boy, when I was 10 years old. I always remember the image of God [that] my mother, a kindergarten teacher, gave me in my childhood responding to my question: “Mum, how does God look like and feel while He is observing this world?”
She portrayed God as the wealthiest person living in the greatest and most luxurious house surrounded by a wonderful garden…, an extraordinary place where every human being would like to live. Despite [this], God, the landowner of this splendid place feels deeply sad to stay there alone and weeps every day because most of His children are lost now!
This paradox deeply struck my heart as a child and I asked one more question to my tender mother: “What can people do in order to make God happy?” She replied that God would be happy when His lost children will come back home safely.
This metaphor from my mother which finds resonances in Luke 15:1–10 increased my passion for God, my compassion for the lost and still motivates my missionary endeavor among unreached people. As a result, I have served God…among unChristian refugees in DR Congo,…among unchurched African Americans in Fresno, Cal.,… and in West Africa with MB Mission and Service International and Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission.
Beginning Easter Sunday, links to the English audio version of these meditations will be available at www.icomb.org, the website of the International Community of Mennonite Brethren.