José Thontwa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Dear Friends,

Thank you for praying with us for Dr. José Thontwa Sabungu Von in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Around 92 million people live in the DR Congo, where 96% of the population identify as Christians (48% Protestant and 47% Catholic), 2% practice traditional African religions, and 2% follow Islam. Nearly two decades after the Second Congo War (1998-2003), armed conflict among dozens of rebel groups persists in the northeast over multigenerational ethnic rivalries, the country’s rich mineral resources, and acute hunger. Pray for the Church in the Congo as it serves those in need and proclaims hope in Christ amid ongoing violence and displacement.

After overcoming significant disruptions to his studies, José earned his PhD in Systematic Theology last year from Faculté de Théologie Évangélique de Bangui (FATEB), a client school of the Vital SustainAbility Initiative, in the Central African Republic (CAR). José completed part of his doctoral work at FATEB’s extension site in Yaoundé, Cameroon after an ongoing civil war broke out in the CAR months after José’s family had moved there in 2012. More recently, the COVID-19 pandemic prevented José from returning to his studies in Bangui for almost five months, leaving him without access to reliable Internet and electricity.

Despite these challenges, José persevered and now teaches theology at Ubangi Protestant University in northwestern Congo. His scholarship focuses on Christian identity, a crucial topic for a region that faces ongoing ethnic conflict and political strife. José received support from both ScholarLeaders and Langham Partnership for his studies. José and his wife Amina have six children: Josepha, Naomi, Joshua, Caleb, Christian, and Princess.

José shares the following message:

Hello. I am Dr. José Thontwa Sabungu Von from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Last July, I completed my PhD in Systematic Theology from Faculté de Théologie Évangélique de Bangui.

Ten months ago, my family and I settled here in Gemena in the northwestern part of the DR Congo. I am working as a lecturer at Ubangi Protestant University, where I also served as Academic Dean for six months.

Currently, my wife Amina, our children, and I are working to evangelize poor areas through a pastoral ministry among the needy. We have started working with small groups. Every week, 187 people gather around the Gospel of Jesus Christ we’re preaching.

Please pray for the wisdom and strength we need from the Lord. There are lots of sick people who need healing and help. Let’s pray for them.

Keep praying, please, for the DR Congo. There is still violence in several areas, and people are facing sorrow. Please pray for our ministry in this context, that Christ shall be with us till the end, according his promise in Matthew 28:16-20.

Many thanks,

José Thontwa Sabungu Von

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