Sorry, we are not yet ready...

... but here is a first text about IAFTA by the organisation “Stategies for hope”:





... and here a report by Pastor Chuck Fluegel who was serving the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Congo for four months in 2011:

17 Seminary Graduates Leave Singing and Dancing (15/7/2011)

A Festival Graduation Service for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Congo Seminary was completed Friday, Juli 15, 2011, in 2 and ½ hours at Kimbeimbe, DR Congo. Some parts of the service were liturgically Lutheran, but the lively musical groups kept everyone alert. Four of the seventeen graduates were women. Two of the women ranked 2nd and 3rd academically. Two of the graduates will return to their home countries - one to Guinea and another to Burundi.

Everyone was ready for a full day of celebration which started at 10 a.m. and lasted into the night. Special musical groups included 2 groups from the nearby Army base accompanied by an Army Officer in crisp field combat uniform on the keyboard, the Youth Group, the Girls’ Choir, the Boys’ Choir, the Graduates Choir, and a family choir. Every group had hand and body movements to emphasize their praise and singing. The music has been influenced by the Pentecostal Churches and regular TV shows of popular religious music.

Every group had their professional and dramatic flair; and they incited the audience to do the Swahili hoot and holler, over and over again. The songs were religious, but there was no limit to the energy, excitement and fervor included. As Garrison Keillor would have said, the Lutherans back in Minnesota and Wisconsin just don’t know how to celebrate.

The graduates were called one by one to receive their diplomas and greetings from Bishop Kabamba, Mr. Frederic Umba Ndolo, ELCCo Treasurer, and a beloved retired pastor representing Presiding Bishop Sumaili (who was at an LWF meeting in Geneva). Immediately families started coming up to greet their graduates with hugs and kisses and confetti and baby powder. In Congolese culture, the powder is a sign of joy. In the villages, they would use manioc flour or whatever was at hand. We had only reached the third candidate and the families were taking over the place with their greetings and white powder. The white powder seemed to be destined for graduates heads and gowns, but even the people who were standing or sitting too close, got blessed with the white stuff.

After the graduates were all joyously recognized, the celebrant had to ask the jubilant families to return to their seats for another special piece of music and the prayers. After the prayers, we returned to a call and response song which called on the people to give generously for the offering. Most people participated by walking dutifully around a red wastebasket sitting on a music stand and contributing their Congolese paper money.

After the service was over, we adjourned to the campus yard for more greetings and pictures. They served cold soft drinks and rice and sauces for lunch. The campus was bubbling all afternoon. Some of the families wanted me in their pictures as a souvenir of their big day.

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The English version of this website will come soon, the Swahili and Chinese one a little bit later.