Wheaton Lectureship in Christian Moral Formation
Sponsored by The Center for Applied Christian Ethics
“Does Christianity Make Sense?”
November 6 - 8, 2006
DAVID & KASWERA (KASSIE) KASALI
Monday Evening: "When Christianity (as we have defined it) does not make sense: Christianity and the Democratic Republic of Congo"
Tuesday Evening: "Re-visioning Christian Formation. Holism and the Community Context—Our Response as Christians of the South"
Wednesday Evening: "A Call to Action. Your Response as Christians of the North—New Paradigms in Kingdom Partnerships"
Both David and Kassie were born and raised in Christian families in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Together, they have three boys, Baraka, Chris and Steve. David's father received the Lord when the first missionary from USA arrived in the East of Congo in the early 1900s. He learned to read and write, accepted the Lord, and served as pastor for his people in Congo for over 60 years until he was promoted to glory in 1996. Kassie's father was a civil servant. Both David and Kaswera grew up in large families where they learned the values of community, relationships and service at early age.
David earned a Masters degree in geography and education in Congo in 1980, then served as assistant manager in a private company for two years before the Lord called him to full time Christian ministry. In 1982, David left his job; he served for two years as a teacher and chaplain in a high school. David and his family joined Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology (NEGST) in 1984, where he graduated in 1987 with a Master in Divinity. After NEGST, David served as Coordinator of the department on Ethics, Society and Development of the Association of Evangelicals in Africa (AEA). During that time, he traveled extensively in the continent of Africa holding seminars with African pastors and theological educators to deal with issues that churches and societies face in Africa, e.g., polygamy, evil spirits, poverty, witchcrafts witchcraft, etc. In September 1989, David and his family joined Trinity International University (TIU) in Chicago, Illinois, where he graduated with a PhD in New Testament and his wife, Kassie, with Master in Religious Studies.
Kassie trained as a nurse in Congo. While in Nairobi, Kenya, she got her diploma in Christian Ministries and Bachelor's degree in Bible and Theology and received her Master of Religious Studies at Trinity in 1993.
Upon their return to Africa, David served for two years as a faculty member and eight years as President of Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology (NEGST), equipping pastors and Bible teachers for churches in Africa. During that time, Kassie served as a faculty member teaching in the Christian Ministries program. She enrolled in the PhD Educational Studies at Trinity International University in 1998 and wrote her dissertation on “Perceptions of Learning Community in East African Theological Context,” which she defended in June 05.
While serving at NEGST, the Kasalis were torn by the war situation in their country, DRC, and felt called by the Lord to help rebuild lives, families and communities through holistic ministries with churches from various denominations. Together, they created Congo Initiative, which has both a Conglese and US boards ( www.congoinitiative.org). David is serving for two years as part-time pastor at Elmbrook Church, Wisconsin. They are using this time to build partnerships with churches, institutions, and individuals in the US. David and Kassie take short mission trips with US Christians for various ministries in Congo. David also serves as Adjunct faculty at Phoenix Seminary. The Kasalis will relocate to Congo in 2007, where David will not only led the Congo Initiative, but serve as founding President of the Bilingual Christian University of Congo, located in Beni, North Kivu Province.
Congo : the Challenge
Since war started in DRC over six years ago, more than 3.8 million Congolese have died out of a population of 60 million. In the US, that would amount to Sept. 11 happening every day for three consecutive years. No other conflict since World War II has claimed so many victims. Many women have been raped and many children orphaned. And yet the world, both church and government, have paid no or little attention. A government of transition was installed in Congo in June 2001. Peace and stability are slowly returning. The Congolese people will hold the first free and democratic elections in June 06. This is the time for the people of God to move in and make a difference for Christ.
Jesus Christ: the Answer
The answer for Congo, like many other parts of the world, is Jesus Christ proclaimed, believed, and lived out in changed lives. Only through the Gospel can there be true reconciliation, forgiveness and peace in DRC. The great commission is not a choice, but a mandate. Congo needs Jesus now!
Congo Initiative (CI): the Solution
The mission: To model, nurture and shape authentic redemptive communities of Christ followers whose calling is to transform society in Congo.
The values: Community , Service, Reflection and Holistic ministry, serving both church and society. CI seeks to integrate church, Christian service and witness in all sectors of Congolese society (politics, business, HIV/AIDS, etc.), leading to post-war holistic solutions.
CI Ministries: Congo Initiative includes six centers:
- Center for Church Development and Partnership- church training and church partnership network.
- Christian Belingual University of Congo –- liberal art degrees, research center, library, etc.
- Center for Holistic Family Development –- women's rehabilitation center, child development, health center, primary and high schools, sport center;
- Center for Professional Development –- skills training, professional development, HIV church mobilization;
- Creative Center for the Arts –- music, worship, radio/TV, recording, art (performing arts, art as therapy);
- Center for University Development –- income generating, micro-financing.
Through its presence and initiatives, CI seeks to bring together the multiple constituencies in civil society, including church, political and business communities under the leadership of Christ.
For more information, contact:
Dr. David M. Kasali
777 South Barker Rd
Brookfield , WI 53045
"Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16
Promoting and encouraging the formation of moral character and the application of biblical ethics to contemporary moral decisions