The Zaire Model - Dia Diafwila

Brief History, Work, Objectives and Progress

Brief History Of All For Christ Movement

"All For Christ" as a mission movement in Congo started in 1978 when the first Protestant missionaries came to our jungles with the Good News of Christ. All missions societies that came to Congo since then have had one goal: to reach all Congo means all tribes, classes and persons for Christ. This first stage of Evangelism and mission work in Congo included a clear proclamation of the Gospel and church planting among hidden people groups. The "All For Christ" mission movement gave birth to a local church in which many Protestant denominations have been working together for one purpose: to win all Zaire with Christ.

During the Jubilee Conference of 1928, Protestant denominations of Congo were given the name of "Eglise Indigene" (Indigenous Church). During the Conference of 1934, mission church leaders decided to change the name to "Church of Christ in Congo." All leaders were convinced that Christ has only one Church in the world with many diversities, so it was not necessary to build many denominations in Congo. The main objective of Christian mission in Congo was to build one Church in the heart of Africa: the "Church of Christ." Christ is not physically, psychologically, or spiritually divided. He is one Body. So is also His Church in the earth.

From 1934 to 1960, the Church of Christ in Congo had two main institutions: The "Conseil Protestant du Congo" (CPC), and the Church of Christ, as a Body with many local churches or parishes. Each denomination was a section of the Unity. It was very easy to build and realize church growth programs for all the nation.

In February 1960, mission leaders of the CPC decided to transfer the leadership to Congolese. Pastor Joel Bulaya of Methodist was elected as the President, Pastor Daniel Mawanda of the Evangelical section, Vice President, Pastor Pierre Shaumba, General of Executive Secretary. This last leader was the man that God would use to start in 1966 a new revival that helped all leaders of the church to become a part of a great evangelistic movement called: "Christ For All." Pastor Willys Braun, a missionary of CMA, was the technocrat of this movement, and Dr. Makanzu played the role of catalyst and animator.

With the leadership of Pastor Makanzu, all denominations of the Church of Christ of Zaire opened a department of evangelism, mobilizing Christians to pray effectively and witness. Many new movements of evangelism and discipleship like Campus Crusade for Christ and Scripture Union opened their offices in Kinshasa and started working with the Church of Christ to help all Protestant and Catholic parishes learn more about prayer, evangelism, revival, and Church growth. From 1966 to 1976, the nation of Congo (becoming Zaire by the end of this decade) experienced a great revival. In each city, churches organized a March For Jesus each year with a great Crusade in the stadium. All University Institutions were saturated by the Gospel Evangelical Churches were created in all universities. Some scholars were converted and became pastors and evangelists. It was a great miracle because no educated man wished to become a pastor in 1960.

From 1976 to 1986 was a time of great revival in the Catholic Church. Many Zaire church leaders went to the Amsterdam I and II meetings and were radically transformed by the call of the Lord to do the work of evangelism. Coming back home, they organized the third National Congress of Evangelism in April 1985. It was during this Congress that the decision of proclaiming again and again the Word of God was taken. The Church discovered that the task was not completed by missionaries and the first generation of pastors and evangelists. An International School of Evangelism, Christian Communication and Christian Education was opened by Willys Braun to help all the Body of Christ to train many as workers for the great harvest.

In April 1990, a National Congress of Evangelism took place (just after Lausanne II in 1989) with the theme: "Lift Up Your Eyes, and Look On The Fields; For They Are White Already To Harvest" (John 4:35B). On the walls of the room, all participants could read: "Lift Up Your Eyes And Look... Zaire AD 2000." This was the historical start of the AD 2000 Movement in Zaire because it was in this Congress that all Church leaders of evangelism were challenged to reach all people groups in Zaire. A map of pygmy groups was shown publicly and many evangelists became more aware of the unfinished task. At the end of this Congress it was decided to mobilize and train all the church to reach all the nation in a great, new concerted movement of the Holy Spirit.

The Work of Zaire AD 2000

In 1991, after a special workshop with John Robb in reaching unreached people, we built a program of evangelization among twelve tribes of people groups: Gbandi, Water people or Libinza, Bilangi (pygmy of Equatorial Forest), Batswa (pygmies of Equator, Bandundu and Kivu), Balumbe (pygmies who live near water), Basongye, Balunda, Banianga, Bahunde, Yaka Holo, Bawoyo, and Bakusu of Kinda. In building a program to reach these groups, the Church discovered the necessity of building a National AD 2000 team, bringing together denominations and international para-church organizations. In January 1993, a National Consultation was organized under the supervision of Pastor Diafwila with more than 300 evangelists, pastors and layman and women. They decided to become part of a new and great evangelism and Church Growth National movement called: "All For Christ by 2000." During this consultation, all participants worked together to build national programs for Prayer Mobilization, March for Jesus, Saturation Church planting, Unreached Peoples, Rural Evangelism with Portable Schools and "every tree for Christ", Urban ministry, Mission, Research, Youth and Sports, Women Mobilization, Tent-maker Mobilization, and Literature Evangelism.

The national coordinator has the charge of printing a national "All for Christ" program for 30,000 local churches each year. Since 1974, we have been establishing this document for mobilizing the Body of Christ, official and independent churches included.

Church mobilization for prayer, evangelization and church planting national movement is the condition of the success of an AD 2000 movement in a nation. It is why every year we have to print a booklet in which we briefly develop monthly Bible teaching on prayer, evangelization, mission church growth, unreached people groups, family evangelism, witnesses, building prayer and evangelistic teams, etc.

In the field, denominations are using portable schools to train teachers how to teach the Bible to the newly converted. All denominations are using the national program booklets to train and help Christians, pastors and evangelism to reach the unreached and evangelize the non-evangelized.

"The Gospel to every person and the church for every people" is becoming more and more real in Zaire. In Kinshasa, the capital city, many churches are now creating a new baby church or now have two or three Sunday services because of "All for Christ" evangelistic efforts. So, in Kinshasa, the Church of Christ parishes will soon double their number, from 650 local churches now to more than 1300 in 1997.

Using the method of Every Home for Christ Family Crusade among pygmies, we planted 32 churches from 1993 to 1994. Now the 32 local churches have planted 300 new churches in the forest. A missionary pastor in Bosuka has planted a church of 4000 among the Bilangi of Bosuka in the virgin forest. Many Gbandi are coming to Jesus through home to home evangelism. In North and South Kivu, many peoples in which no one has ever preached the Gospel before are now receiving the gospel and becoming active members of new local churches.

The strength of the AD 2000 movement in Zaire is in the fact that it is rooted in local church communities across the nation. The task of national coordinators is only to mobilize, give the vision and train church leaders in Church mobilization for prayer, evangelism, discipleship and church planting.

Later in 1995, in Kinshasa, we will organize an AD 2000 consultation with all the denominational leaders in Zaire. Before this National Consultation for building a five year program from 1995 to 2000, we will have AD 2000 workshops with all the representatives and evangelists of the evangelical churches in the country. The objective of this workshop will be to learn together how to pray, evangelize, plant churches in Zaire and send missionaries from Zaire before December 31, 2000. Our main objective is to double the number of churches and born again Christians by December 3, 2000. It will be done, by God's grace.

-Dia Diafwila, Zaire
AD 2000 Country Coordinator
Director, Every Home for Christ