A little bit about us
Ginny arrived in Kamina, southern Congo, in February 1991. She was an art teacher and gifted musician from Essex. Having been a Christian from the age of eight, Ginny had felt a missionary call while a trainee teacher, when doing a summer beach mission. She attended the International Bible Training Institute in Sussex and found out about CAM through some old Mission magazines given to her and by a visit of Carol Seymour to the College.
At Kamina, Ginny first concentrated on learning Kiluba, expecting to do women’s work. She also taught sewing in a church secondary school. However, seven months after arriving in Congo, while Ginny was on a holiday in Zimbabwe, troubles broke out in Congo, and she was unable to return to Kamina. After a few months waiting in Zambia, she settled at the Living Waters Centre in Lubumbashi, sharing a house with Carol Seymour, who was by now a close friend. Her varied ministries at that time included teaching English, art and music; Sunday school seminars; church and prison visitation; literacy and women’s work. In 1996, Ginny and Carol, working together, launched a TV and Radio ministry which continues to this day. They also still undertake regular ministry together in Congolese churches and prisons.
‘Making lifeboats out of shipwrecks’ is the original slogan for the Lighthouse Project, a discipleship training centre for disadvantaged young people in Lubumbashi. Ginny’s vision for this ministry goes back to her Bible College days in 1988. In 2000, she purchased a ten-acre plot of land in Lubumbashi with mature trees by a river, adjoining the Living Waters Centre. A dilapidated building was repaired to house five young men; an extension provided accommodation for Pastor and Mrs Mwila, the house-parents. A workshop and other buildings were put up; the boys helped with this, grew vegetables, were helped with schooling and given Christian training.
Over the years, the Lighthouse Project has developed. Now it has its own recognised church, an annual youth camp, a primary school and a secondary school specialising in sewing. Prayer and worship are central, with an emphasis on worship songs, many composed by Ginny. These, in her words, ‘lead us up into the heavenly places of God’s presence’.
Carol has been working in Congo with CAM for over 40 years.
She became a Christian while in her first year at Nottingham University, studying maths and philosophy. Soon after this, she joined the AOG church in her home town of Wickford, Essex. During her second year of studies, she received her missionary call while at West Bridgford AOG church, Nottingham. The pastor put her in touch with CAM (then ZEM), who recommended that she first finish her degree and get a teaching qualification. After her probationary teaching year, Carol went to Belgium for French language studies and then out to Congo in August 1973.
Carol’s initial place of work was Kamina in southern Congo. She settled into teaching at the church secondary school. An evangelist at heart, she helped organise a youth meeting called ‘Ambassadors for Christ’ on Sunday afternoons. Later, she worked with a local team of teachers and young folk, going out every Sunday afternoon to share the Gospel. In the eighties, she began a weekend visitation of churches in the area and saw God do miracles of healing following a personal revelation or word of knowledge from the Holy Spirit regarding the sickness or healing. She also began holding meetings at Kamina prison, seeing God transform the lives of hardened criminals.
In October 1991, all our missionaries were evacuated from Congo (then Zaire). Carol’s ‘temporary’ residence at the Living Waters Centre in Lubumbashi, from January 1992, became permanent, as it was not possible to return to Kamina. Since then, a strong working relationship has developed with Ginny Perkins, who joined CAM in 1991, and they developed a joint ministry in the prisons, church visitation and in producing programmes for State and local TV and radio. This fruitful ministry partnership has continued for over 20 years, with Carol generally sharing the Gospel or a Bible message while Ginny plays her guitar and sings.