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my aha moment

Updated: Nov 3, 2022


31 years ago, Chrisann and I landed hundreds of miles in the interior jungle of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire) with the usual American Missionary mindset. The mindset that taught me this ministry of getting the Gospel out to the Congolese, rises and falls on American missionaries. “If the American missionaries don’t do the work, it will never get done right!” So I went about my way with this mindset. Until…

War struck in 1996, rolling over from the Rwandan genocide and combined with the ousting of the late dictatorial president, Mobutu Sese Seko. He had passed at the same time Laurent Kabila came into power as the new president. Not too long after, President Laurent Kabila was assassinated and his son Joseph Kabila became president. War still raged.

Due to this unrest, I saw no American missionaries coming to the Congo to get the Gospel out to our Congolese. I thought within myself, “What is a missionary any way?” My conclusion was simply broken down to this, “Christian mouths that preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” So, knowing no American missionaries where coming out, I saw an army of Congolese mouths needing to be trained to preach the Gospel and start churches. This was my big aha moment. We immediately turned to Congolese nationals and began developing and financing them with our new-found answer. Congolese nationals would now train other nationals to preach the Gospel and start churches with financial support.


2 Timothy 2:2

“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”


When furlough time arrived, I eagerly shared with churches that already supported us and with new churches, my aha moment, sadly many churches dropped our support, some churches listened, but very few could understand. I was heart sick with what was being taught in our Christian colleges’ missions departments and with the mindset of our churches. I do have to say in defense of our American colleges and church brethren that many mean well. We were not given the ear to hear concerning our different circumstances of war and lack of American missionaries. It was with a broad brush stroke that we were painted. This caused years of delay of financial support for our Congoleses brothers to carry forth the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

God gave light! He redirected our lives to follow this aha moment. God has changed many lives through Rise Congo both in America and in the Congo. We are blessed with wonderful donors and praying friends! We thank God and you all for your gracious love.


How to Donate

Here are 2 easy ways to support Rise Congo.

One: Head over to the www.risecongo.org website and donate through the donate button.

Two: Make a written check payable to “Rise Congo” and send it to Rise Congo P.O. Box 294, Payson, AZ 85547.

Thank you so much for donating!

Gale Dawson, Founder/ Director

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