Kasai Kapata (Bernard) was the son of a doctor diviner in Belgian Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo). He received his education at Kafumba, the first Mennonite Brethren mission station in Congo. He accepted Christianity early in life and began his Christian ministry as church secretary and assistant to Pastor Djimbo Kubala at Kafumba, and, later, as a pastor-evangelist in a village 30 miles (50 km.) away.
During the Mulele rebellion (1964-65) Kasai and his family fled. Later, when he was on his way back to Kafumba to see how the Christians were faring, he was apprehended and forced to dig his own grave with a hoe. Some of the captors felt more kindly and he was buried only up to his neck. Three days later he was dug out. He often said after that that Jesus Christ was with him in the grave. He came away from the experience with a renewed commitment to Christ and his service.
Kasai's greatest contribution was at Pai-Kongila and its surrounding area where the Mennonite Brethren mission contracted with the government to supply staff for the government hospital. Kasai was asked to serve as hospital chaplain and pastor of the local congregation. Through his ministry 10 congregations and 10 extension churches have sprung up with a total membership of 2,300 in 1987.
Burkholder, B., ed. They Saw His Glory. Winnipeg and Hillsboro, KS: Kindred Press, 1984: 44-48.
Toews, J. B. The Mennonite Brethren Church in Zaire, ed. Paul G. Hiebert. Hillsboro, KS: Mennonite Brethren Publishing House, 1978: 145-146, 227.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, pp. 482-483. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Friesen, Irvin L. "Kasai Kapata." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 24 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/K37783.html.
APA style: Friesen, Irvin L. (1987). Kasai Kapata. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/K37783.html.