Photo courtesy of Frederick Cain District Superintendent Daniel Mumba distributes Bibles in camp to Congolese Scouts.
TENKE, Democratic Republic of the Congo – Five Scouters from the Indiana United Methodist Conference traveled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) at the invitation of United Methodist Bishop Ntambo Nkulu to lead a Jamboree for the Scouts of the North Katanga Episcopal Area. The Jamboree was held in Tenke, DRC, at an Orthodox Church camp.
The Jamboree included a full chaplaincy program with morning prayer, daily Bible study and the distribution of Bibles in French. In addition to providing fun program to the Scouts, the team also led leadership roundtables for Scouts, Scouters and local clergy, with the aim of strengthening both the program of Scouting and the effectiveness of the church doing Scouting as ministry.
The Rev. Daniel Mumba, superintendent of Tenke District, provided overall direction. Chief Scout Sampasa of the North Katanga Conference was in charge of the camp itself. Conference Evangelist Nyembo acted as chaplain for the event.
The five members of the American team were: Dr. Arthur Collins, formerly president of National Association of United Methodist Scouting (NAUMS); the Rev. Frederick Cain, formerly Indiana Conference Coordinator of Scouting Ministries; Mrs. Nikki Gainey, a doctoral candidate at the University of Cincinnati and former Philmont staffer; David Elser and Mitchell Prather, Eagle Scouts of Troop 227, chartered to Castleton UMC, now students at Indiana University and Ball State University, respectively.
Although the commitment and primary relationship that made the mission possible between the Indiana and North Katanga Conferences, the execution of the mission – planning, fundraising, recruiting, training and logistics – were carried out between the Pathfinder Chapter of NAUMS under the leadership of the Rev. Curtis Hurley and United Methodist-related Friendly Planet Missiology under the leadership of the Rev. Bob Walters.
Support for future events and on-going needs are under discussion. As a practical matter, planners estimate that it costs $40 per Scout to hold this type of event (American travel costs and program costs excluded).
A Bible in French or Kiluba costs $13 and can be procured locally. The Pathfinder Chapter, Friendly Planet Missiology, and the Conference Committee on Scouting Ministries will be discussing the possibility of creating a small fund to provide seed money for Scouting ministry in the North Katanga Episcopal Area.