News: Chaplains find common ground in Africa
Story by Staff Sgt. Kassidy Snyder
KINSHASA, Congo -- Three and a half years to build; more than 6,000 members; completely debt free - a church is built by the people for the people.
“This church is the fruit of the sacrifices of our people,” said Guy-Roger Dang, the associate pastor at Centre Evangelique La Resurrection.
The two-story church standing in the middle of Kinshasa will celebrate the one-year anniversary of its opening in December.
Illinois National Guard Chaplain Col. Daniel Krumrei along with chaplain assistant Sgt. 1st Class David Penny were welcomed by the pastor and his congregation as they made a visit of goodwill.
“We are very happy and encouraged to see people of other countries come to visit our church,” said Dang.
The church proudly displays multiple flags on the alter to signify the different countries of its visitors.
Krumrei of Springfield, Ill. and Penny of Buckley, Ill. are in Africa with MEDFLAG 10, a joint medical exercise aimed at providing humanitarian assistance to the local people. The chaplain and his assistant’s primary mission is to take care of servicemembers involved in the exercise, both personally and spiritually.
In addition to supporting U.S. service members, the ministry team is engaging with chaplains of the armed forces of Congo.
“Our Congolese counterparts showed special interests in discussing areas of trauma, family care and post-traumatic stress,” said Krumrei.
The Illinois National Guard ministry team is conducting a three-day workshop with FARDC chaplains, aiming to bring peace within the country and to the people, said Krumrei.
This is the first visit to Africa for the ministry team. However, the mission is a familiar one. Krumrei has been a chaplain for more than 25 years and visited multiple countries.
“Each mission is a privilege and it is important to understand our similarities and differences so we can work together to accomplish the overall mission,” said Krumrei.