Pictured left to right are: Art Collins (team leader), Nikki Gainey, Phred Cain, Mitch Prather, Bob Walters (Friendly Planet Missiology) Ken Hudgens (standing in for Annual Conference Scout Coordinator) John Dockery not pictured.)

INDIANAPOLIS – Five Eagle Scouts were commission for a mission trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo during a May 30 commission service led by the Rev. Curtis Hurley of Connersville at the Indiana Convention Center.

Those five scouts include: David Elser, an Indiana University student in non-profit management; Nikki Gainey, a doctoral student in neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati; Mitchell Prather, a Ball State University student in exercise science; the Rev. Phred Cain, retired, former Conference Scouting Coordinator; and the Rev. Arthur Collins, pastor of First United Methodist Church in Ellettsville.

The team planned to fly from Indianapolis, July 5, arriving July 6 in Lubumbashi and traveling overland to Tenke. The camporee takes place July 8-13. The Indiana team will return to Indianapolis July 17.

United Methodist Bishop Ntambo Nkulu of the North Katanga Episcopal Area in the Democratic Republic of Congo, recognizes the value of Scouting for counteracting the influence of the gangs and militias that severely damaged the fabric of civil society in that country.

In 2011, Bishop Nkulu expressed a desire for our two conferences to work together to host an event similar to a week of summer camp for approximately 200 Congolese Boy Scouts and leaders and requested that the effort be coordinated under the auspices of Friendly Planet Missiology, with director, Bob Walters, who Bishop Nkulu has worked for many years.

Walters and his daughter, Taylor Denyer, also of Friendly Planet Missiology, will be in Tenke when the team arrives and will make vital connections for them throughout their time in the DRC.

For information, visit www.friendlyplanetmissiology.org.