The African Battle Drums
Guest Editorial: Tim Kernan – Lead Evangelist of the Paris Church
“Some men from Judah also came to David in his stronghold. David went out to meet them and said to them, ‘If you have come to me in peace to help me, I am ready for you to join me…’ Then the Spirit came on Amasai, Chief of the Thirty, and he said: ‘We are yours, David! …Success, success to you, and success to those who help you, for your God will help you.’ So David received them and made them leaders of his raiding bands… Day after day men came to help David, until he had a great army, like the army of God.” 1 Chronicles 12:12-23
The ever-increasing beat of the battle drums comes out of the heart of Africa! A righteous zeal for the honor of God fuels an outrage that comes from watching once unified disciples deceived into suspicion and distrust of one another. As with Phinehas, this outrage comes from watching once heroic and valiant leaders seduced into pride and selfishness. (Numbers 25:7-13) Ultimately, this outrage arises from watching once joyful congregations ripped apart by the Devil, “the roaring lion,” because they are alone and without help. (1 Peter 5:8) The disciples in the heart of Africa – Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo – have had enough! Like the courageous men who joined the “banished” David fleeing from the unrighteous Saul (1 Chronicles 12:1), today 151 disciples led by Micky Ngungu have renounced the ungodly autonomy of the ICOC and have “wholeheartedly” joined the SoldOut Discipling Movement, as they too share the Biblical convictions taught from 1979 to the present by our dear brother Kip McKean.
In 2007, Lola was the Congregational Campus Leader of what was left of the Kinshasa ICOC. After listening to several inspiring lessons by Kip in Portland and Los Angeles, Lola courageously decided to join the SoldOut Discipling Movement! I will never forget the fire in Lola’s eyes the day the Spirit used us to initiate the French-speaking Kinshasa International Christian Church, the first remnant group in Africa!
There were seven disciples in my room at Hotel Grand Kinshasa when we started the congregation. Despite incredible poverty, unimaginable persecution including false imprisonment, and the terrible snarl of demons in the darkness surrounding them, they stayed firm in the faith and baptized their way to 51 sold-out disciples today! Despite all the difficulties, Lola faithfully sounded his “battle drum” in the darkness. The 51 disciples who have stayed faithful to God and His modern day movement are pure saints. Their example of joy and perseverance is the standard for all disciples worldwide… Micky Ngungu heard the drums.
In 1993, Micky Ngungu, after graduating with a degree in Political Science, left his native land of Congo to look for work in Johannesburg, South Africa where he was met by disciples. There he was baptized on April 13, 1993 along with his lovely wife Lili. Later, they were chosen to go to Abidjan for ministry training under Blaise & Patricia Fuemba and Herve & Janet Fleurant. After a year in Abidjan, Micky & Lili were selected to lead the Kinshasa Mission Team. They courageously led the church planting for one year, baptizing many souls, until Micky was struck with malaria and had to return to Ivory Coast to heal. In spite of the danger to Micky’s health and the precarious political situation in the city in 2000, the Ngungus returned to take-up the reigns of leadership of their beloved Kinshasa Church once again! Even in the face of the Henry Kriete Letter, Micky took an incredible stand for discipling, Bible Talks, and world evangelism against the growing darkness of “Mainline Church of Christ theology” and in particular – the sin of autonomy. Sadly, Micky was eventually overwhelmed in 2007 when ungodly leaders in the church forced him to resign.
In 2010, though still loosely associated with the ICOC, Micky and 12 committed disciples came together and decided to forcefully advance the Kingdom; this they did as they baptized their way to now 151 heroic disciples! However, by August 2012, Micky realized that he could not fight the battle alone. There was only one door in Kinshasa that he could go to in order to find help… and that was the door of our dear brother Lola Lof, leader of the Kinshasa SoldOut Movement Remnant Group. Afterall, Micky had followed the new movement over the internet for years, and he could not resist God’s Spirit any longer! Nevertheless, having been poisoned by ICOC leaders, Micky and his disciples still possessed a great deal of fear and trepidation about uniting as one with God’s new movement.
It was at that point, this past August during the 2012 Global Leadership Conference, that Micky found the courage to talk to Lola and asked him to have me call him personally. As soon as we talked on the phone, I knew I was talking to a sincere disciple of Jesus Christ. As I handed the phone to the French-speaking Evangelists Blaise Feumba of London and Amadou Sountoura of Abidjan, I immediately brought Kip up-to-date on the situation and his reply was that Blaise, Amadou and myself needed to get down to Kinshasa “ASAP!” When I told Micky that we were on our way, he immediately began to cry. He told me, “I laid out a secret fleece with God that if Kip sends someone right away, I will know that the new movement is from God! So with this fleece answered, we are now confidently part of the movement in our hearts, yet we would appreciate your visit to help unify us with the existing remnant group.”
Three weeks later, I was descending over the canopy of trees into the Kinshasa Airport. Just like everywhere in the movement, the Kinshasa disciples greet you at the airport with a rousing rendition of We Love You With The Love Of The Lord! The only difference is that in Kinshasa, they keep singing it all the way to the car! Once in the car, praise God, they then switch to other songs! It was an incredible encouragement to see Lola again and to meet Micky, or “Papa Micky” as the disciples call him, for the very first time!
On Tuesday, we went back to the airport to pick up Amadou Sountoura. Amadou is the leader of our Ivory Coast Church and he is an incredibly warm, wise and spiritual brother! It was amazing to have him in Kinshasa, and he helped enormously with all the efforts here. Amadou knows all 30 of Micky’s “Staff” from his ICOC days in Abidjan and was able to relate to them and encourage them in an incredible way. Simply put, Amadou was indispensable!
However, Satan struck later on Tuesday. We waited for our dear brother Blaise, the overseeing Evangelist for all French-speaking Africa for the SoldOut Movement, at the Kinshasa Airport. Sadly, because of a visa technicality (which was aggravated by the jealousy of the airport officials because Blaise is an African born man who acquired a French Passport through marriage), he was deported on the spot. We waited outside the airport for hours, but he never came out. We only heard from the airline later about what happened.
It was terribly disappointing that Blaise could not join us. Yet, God is sovereign. (Acts 16:6-7) What happened actually served to advance the work! The fact that Blaise was willing to come to Kinshasa as the former ICOC overseeing evangelist of the country proved his “good will” to all the disciples here. Yet, if he had indeed come into Kinshasa, it would have been three days of talking about the past, but as it was, we were able to get down to business right away!
Tuesday night, we finally got together with all of Micky’s Staff. The meeting started off very tense, but as I described what God is doing in His modern day movement, the tears started to flow, and we all became united over the Scriptures and the joy of sharing Jesus’ dream for world evangelism. At midnight, we concluded the meeting. Wednesday afternoon, we had the pleasure of having a wonderful African meal at Micky’s house on top of a hill overseeing Kinshasa. We were all impressed when, even though Micky is more experienced than Lola – not to mention nearly 20 years his senior – Micky humbly asked Lola if he and all his people could join Lola’s congregation, and through that, the SoldOut Discipling Movement! I wept
Decided was that Micky would assume leadership of the whole congregation after meeting in LA with Kip and the brothers. On the way home, Micky could visit London and restore his friendship with Blaise. Then, Lord willing, the Kinshasa Church would send Lola to Paris to help me and to complete his training as an evangelist. Everyone was delighted with the plan. That night, Lola, Micky, Amadou and I explained the plan to Micky’s whole group and everyone cheered with delight that our God had performed such an incredible miracle! All the brothers and sisters surrounded Lola and kissed and hugged him as they were reunited in God’s movement! The remainder of the week was spent “counting the cost” with all the disciples that wanted to join us!
On Sunday, after an incredible service with magnificent African singing, both groups (now regions of the same congregation) gathered on either side of a black ribbon symbolizing the division between them. Micky, Lola, Amadou and I all cut the ribbon together with a huge pair of scissors and both groups surged toward one another with loud shouts of delight as they hugged and kissed with tears! Micky has asked that we present to Kip this same pair of scissors at the Inaugural Service in Paris as a symbol of our sincere prayer to God that more disciples and more groups of disciples will join God’s new movement! Excitingly, during the week, five were baptized and two were restored at Sunday’s service!
The deep thunder you are hearing are the battle drums of the united Kinshasa disciples! Know that a global war is being fought to unite disciples, to encourage fallen leaders, to protect the weak and defenseless, and to proclaim God’s gospel into all nations! Like the men of Issachar, who left Saul’s unrighteous kingdom and came to David’s side at Hebron, Micky and Jesus’ disciples with him “understood the times and knew what [spiritual] Israel should do!” Join us in God’s new movement and let the demons tremble!