Following Jesus in the Congo

Moving from a ritualistic religion to personal proclaiming faith.

Image courtesy Geritte Launina Bakala

Géritte Bakala lives in Brazzaville, Congo. The West-central African country of 3.7 million people shares its border with 5 other countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo or D.R.C. and it is often confused with it.

Although Congo – a country about the size of Montana – has a spiritual climate of almost 90% that claim to be Christians, not all of them really know Jesus.

Géritte was one of them. She first heard about Jesus from her family. But as a child it was following Jesus by custom and ritual, not in a personal relationship. She was “practicing religion” because of her parents, including attending church and praying before meals.

“I must do it because they obliged me to do it,” says Géritte.

When she was older, she would hear the deacons at church as they talked about Jesus. Most of what they said didn’t interest her.

Géritte would see people in her church stand up and say they wanted to abandon everything and follow Jesus and give their life to Him.

At the time, Géritte knew about Jesus, but didn’t really know him personally. “I know Jesus and this is not for me,” she thought.

Yet, in 2004, when she was still in grammar school she made a decision to accept Jesus and gave her life to Him. “I made a decision to follow Jesus,” she said. But she realizes it has been a process of growing in her faith.

Later, Cru staff came to her church to help follow-up and disciple members of her church. The training included how-to tell others about Jesus.

First, they wanted to be sure she really knew Jesus. Before she could tell another person about Jesus. They also helped teach her about the basics of Christianity, so she could answer questions and have basic information of the Bible and the letters and then go and start talking to others about Jesus.