3,300 km of driving and sweating for the Gospel…
In the coming weeks, we’ll be putting on two very exciting campaigns in the Republic of the Congo. In June, we’ll be in the capital, Brazzaville and at the beginning of August, in theharbor town of Pointe-Noire (the campaigns were originally planned the other way around, which is why we’ve already told you about Pointe-Noire).
We absolutely believe that the Lord has called us to preach the Gospel there during our summer months. But what does that really entail? What does it mean for our tech team to “just drive” to the Congo? In this letter, I’d like to give you a glimpse behind the scenes.
As you may know, our West African headquarters is in Lagos, Nigeria. Winfried Wentland, CfaN’s Field Director, is responsible for the organization of our “trek,” made up of 4 trucks and an off-road backup vehicle. He drives one of the trucks himself and due to his vast experience on African roads, he knows that this route through 4 countries is a massive challenge for the people and the equipment. A team of 13 co-workers is traveling with him, including a new team member, Markus Ahrnke, for whom a trip of this kind is a first, although he was with us in action in Calabar.
The long journey begins in Lagos, in Nigeria’s gigantic metropole. The planning and organization of all the customs and visa formalities – the transport, cargo, safety and shipping questions foremost – is often much more complicated than one can imagine, and brings a tremendous cost in time and patience. Everything must be sorted by the 12th of May, because that’s when the loading begins, a painstakingly accurate job that takes years of experience and much careful planning. A huge amount of sensitive technical equipment – in which you may well have invested – must be safely and efficiently packed.
Amongst other thing, there are several generators to provide electricity, along with all their cables and accessories. Then there are the light masts and lights for the campaign field, as well as lights for the video cameras on stage. Add to that the entire stage with scaffolding, sections and flooring, as well as the open-air sound system with its two 12-meter-high aluminum sound towers and everything that goes with them (including 45 loudspeakers, steel rigging, winches and various mixing boards).
Since November 2017, we now also have the jumbo LED screens with their entire scaffolding and the extensive technical equipment required to run them. This takes a whole truck of its own to transport it. And we can’t leave the camera crane behind, along with all the video equipment, not to mention a vast quantity of work materials, tools, air conditioners and groceries.
And then there’s something of special importance that has to be taken with us, something vital for every CfaN campaign: hundreds of thousands of follow-up booklets; “Now That You Are Saved,” this time mostly in French.
The route begins in the Nigerian interior, going roughly 800 km east, and then South for about 2,000 km through Cameroon and Gabon. The team is expected to arrive in the capital city of the Republic of the Congo, Brazzaville, at the end of May, where they will prepare and set up everything in time for the CfaN campaign from 7 – 10 June. There are only 5 million residents in the country, although it is almost as big as Germany in area.
From the 11th of June, after the event – 3 days of Fire Conference for pastors and leaders and 4 days of evangelism – everything must be taken apart and packed up again. They’ll take the equipment about 520 km west to the harbor city of Pointe-Noire, where the next CfaN campaign takes place at the beginning of August, and store it there. In the meantime, in mid-June, after more than a month in the field, the CfaN crew will fly home.
Please pray for Winfried and his team:
- Protection from potholes, accidents and dangerous situations on the journey
- Swift and problem-free border crossings (Cameroon, Gabon, Republic of the Congo)
- Setting up of the stage, sound system, generators, sound towers, light masts etc.
- Protection from all attacks (including spiritual) and technical difficulties
- Good weather: no rain or strong wind, no excessive heat or dust, no weather that prevents people from attending the meetings
- And please pray for the timely manifestation of the vital financial provision for the campaigns in Pointe-Noire and Brazzaville