When I (David) was only 1 year old, my parents felt a call to go to a hard-to-reach place. Mongolia was part of the Soviet Union and was completely closed to the gospel. There weren't any missions organizations working in Mongolia at all... and yet they still felt called to go. And so they stepped out in faith and started building a new organization called Mongolian Enterprises International (MEI), which would later become Kairos International.
My parents' strategy for initially reaching the Mongols, even while they lived under communist oppression, was to build a cultural bridge. We moved to the Navajo Nation and my parents began to assemble a team of Native American believers who could culturally connect with the Mongols in ways that western missionaries could not.
The Lord blessed the work of the hands of the team and began to draw the Mongols to Himself. In 1990, the first two known believers in modern history were baptized in Mongolia. At the end of 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed and Mongolia became an independent nation. In 1992, when I was six years old, my family moved to Mongolia and we spent the next eight years serving in that country.
God was working mightily in Mongolia in the 1990s - a great spiritual transformation took place as tens of thousands of Mongols received and believed the gospel of Christ. Mongolia is now almost unrecognizable from what it was like in 1992 when we arrived. The Lord has blessed that entire country over the past 25 years and it has become significantly more prosperous and developed.
I do not think it is a coincidence that the entrance of the love of Jesus in Mongolia corresponded with its amazing economic growth and development. As more and more people began to turn their hearts toward Jesus, they turned away from things like corruption, hatred, violence, drunkenness, and larceny and the Lord's blessings and favor have increased along with the gospel in that land.
I believe the same thing can happen in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and I believe that the bridge that can bring the love of Jesus into Congo is Rwandan believers. The Rwandans have a strong cultural connection to the Congolese people to their west. They speak the same language, wear the same kinds of clothes, and have the same traditions.
Just as the Native Americans were able to connect with the Mongols in ways that western missionaries could not, Rwandans are able to connect with their neighbors in the DRC in ways that we (and other western missionaries like us) cannot. I do feel called to bring the love of Jesus to the people of Congo; but I believe that the most effective way for me and my family to do that is for us to build that bridge between Rwanda and Congo. Transformation can come to the DRC and it can change from being one of the hardest places in the world to being a place that is blessed and is a blessing.
I would love for all of you to join us and become a bridge-builder with us. Some, like my family, are called to go, some are called to give; all, I believe, are called to pray. So please keep us in your prayers. Here are some things we would love for you to be praying for specifically:
a smooth transition to Rwanda for our family next summer
that the Lord would already be planting a call to Congo in the hearts of the Rwandan believers who will make up our team
that the Lord would bring spiritual transformation to the Democratic Republic of Congo
We are so grateful for your generous financial support and for your faithful prayers. We thank God for you and pray for you as well. If there is anything we can specifically be praying for you about, please reply to this email and let us know.
David and Vicki Leatherwood and Family
We'd be honored to have you partner with us financially.
If you'd like to join our support team, please visit our website for easy online giving.
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Our mailing address is:
PO BOX 1242
Stafford, TX 77497