My name is Peter Diome, I am from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In April 2004 I came to Cape Town, South Africa, as a refugee. Being a Christian with the desire to do missionary work, I joined an outreach team called South Africa Care Missions.
I would like to explain how I knew about this group.
Back home in the DRC, when I was still a young man, I learnt English as a third language, as my country is French speaking. While I was studying engineering I felt uneasy, and as if I did not belong where I was. In my third year God spoke to me and said that I should go into missions and working for Him instead of studying to become an engineer. I was afraid of disappointing my mother who, as a single parent, was paying for my studies. I asked God that, if I followed Him, He must open doors for me to go directly out of my current studies into a Bible school, as a sign from Him. When I went home I heard an advertisement over the radio, for bursaries offered at a Bible school, which was only broadcast on the radio twice. I immediately applied and got into the Bible school, focused on training missionaries.
One day there was a visiting team from South Africa and no one could communicate with them because they did not speak French. I was called to assist with translations because I could speak English. In this way I got to know one of the pastors in the group who invited me to look for him if I ever came to South Africa. He gave me his phone number.
After I finished my studies, things were really not going well in the DRC; there was civil war and a lot of other problems. I decided to come to South Africa. I found my way through Zambia, Zimbabwe and into South Africa as a refugee.
I went to Johannesburg and spent two days in Soweto, with no money or place to stay. I came by an Ethiopian church that helped me to raise the money to get to Cape Town by taking up an offering, saying that they too once were in this kind of situation. Two of us travelled to Cape Town and found ourselves in Grassy Park. I phoned my friend from the group for whom I translated back home. He was only ten minutes away, came to fetch me and I became part of their mission team.
In September 2004 I took my first trip with the team to the Namakwaland region, to a village called Nababeeb.
Unfortunately, on our way from Cape Town we were in a serious car accident. The tire on our vehicle burst and the Kombi rolled twice. Two of our team members died during this tragic accident, when they were thrown from the vehicle during the accident. Miraculously I found myself outside but not hurt, helping others out of the vehicle. All the plans for the outreach had to be stopped right there and then. Sad and discouraged we returned to Cape Town for funerals of our two fellow team members. After the funerals we were encouraged to go ahead with our planned outreach and to reach our goal.
A week later we took another trip to Namakwaland. We arrived in Nababeeb late that night. Being foreign and not being able to speak the local language, Afrikaans, I was very shy and introverted. The next morning, as the team divided up to start visiting people, I was requested to remain in the house. We stayed and prayed while the team was busy reaching out to the community, as I would be unable to communicate with the people in Afrikaans.
One of the team members later suggested that I should go along and just listen to see them ministering the Gospel to the people. In the process we discovered that the local people could understand a little bit of English and that I could effectively minister to some of them.
After we completed the outreach, there was a need for someone to stay behind to lead Bible Studies for the newly converted of the Nababeeb community. Coming from a foreign country and not being able to speak the local language, were enough reasons for me to disqualify myself for that calling. I was amazed when I slept that night and God spoke to me in a vision that I was the one called to pastor the newly planted church! In the car on the way back to Cape Town, with a lot of fear and concern, I shared my vision with my team leader. Knowing my language and background limitations, he had serious doubts about this.
In the meantime no one was found available to lead the flock and the need was so great and still pending… He had no choice but to agree and to send me off to Nababeeb.
That is how I started my ministry and the church in Nababeeb. For fear of my limitations, I only offered my services for six months.
I started with seven members in a rented crèche in December 2004. I rented a room in someone’s house and had no transport to get around. The odds were stacked up against me, everything seemed so impossible and hard but God is not limited.
From the humble beginnings of 7 members attending Sunday meetings, we grew to 120 attendees in Nababeeb and another 30 or more in another location.
In 2008 I married Nadia, a local, Afrikaans speaking lady.
In 2010 I was able to buy my first car cash and thus far I’ve already owned 5 cars of which 3 were given away for the Kingdom of God. In that same year our ministry started reaching out to the entire Namakwaland region through radio broadcasts.
In 2014 we dedicated our first church building, a dilapidated, empty store building that we also bought cash and renovated with our own money. We are now busy erecting our second church building.
In January 2015 we were blessed with a house, fully paid for! No more renting for Nadia and I.
The church is growing perfectly, according to God’s plan for us. We are blessed with multi-cultural and multi-racial attendance. Praise God!
Do not allow any challenge to stop you from serving God, just avail yourself, He will manifest Himself!
Glory to God!
Peter Diome, Nababeeb
If and when this Testimony has spoken into your heart, please go to the Commitment page.