One of the reason I love being a Nazarene is that the Church of the Nazarene is a global church. There are people all over the world that claim the tribe Nazarene.
This week I had the opportunity to see our tribe being the church. This week I had the privilege to meet via email Godson Mulisho Bahabwa who is a native of the Eastern Part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
I asked Godson if he was willing to share a little of his journey. Godson and his family have not had an easy journey. War started in South Kivu in 1996. Even now almost 20 years later according to Godson there is not peace. In 2003 Godson’s family was attacked by rebels, and his father, mother, and elder brother were killed. With no other option Godson fled from his home country and ended up in Namibia. He was then taken to the Osire Refugee Camp where he lived for 12 years. Life there was not easy. According to Godson, he lost almost everything including his hope for living. There were some bright spots in the 12 years. He got married in the refuge camp to Elinda Felisberto from Angola in 2011. They had their daughter Sofia Rejoice and son John. Also during his time in the Refugee Camp he met Rev. Domingo who was pastoring a Nazarene Church and who received him as his own brother. Godson started helping out in several different Nazarene Churches in various roles including worship leader and youth leader.
Then the UN Refugee Agency offered Godson and his family asylum in Greensboro North Carolina. Which is where we got to be a very small part of this amazing story. On Friday evening I received an email from Rev. Domingo who is now the DS of the Namibia District. He was asking for help in connecting Godson and his family with the Church of the Nazarene in Greensboro, North Carolina. I sent an email to the pastors of the Nazarene Churches in the Greensboro area explaining Godson’s situation and asking if one of them could connect and support Godson and his family.
Pastor Will Fields who pastors the Southeast Church of the Nazarene in Greensboro responded. The Southeast congregation is now helping Godson and his family get adjusted to the new place they find themselves in. They have stepped up and helped them buy food and donated needed kitchen and household items. There may even be the possibility that Godson may be offered a job at one of the congregants businesses. Godson and his family have been welcomed into the Southeast Church of the Nazarene family.
Godson and his family have a long journey ahead of them. He asks for continued prayers for them as they adjust to life in the states and as they seek to find ways to provide for their needs. But in Godson’s words “God has been with us and His mercy is upon them.”
This week I am proud to be a part of the tribe called the Church of the Nazarene., whose members welcomed a stranger from DR Congo and helped them to feel at home first in Namibia and now in Greensboro.