Our guest today is Frederic Libert from Laliberte.live. Fred and Nadine live in Kinshasa, Congo, and pastor laliberte.live.
CCV helped start this amazing church less than 1 year ago. They have more than 50 small groups on 4 continents and have just planted their first physical campus in Kinshasa (DR Congo) the most populated French-speaking city in the world. Kinshasa has the largest population of any city proper in Africa with a population of over 10 Million and ranks as its third-largest metropolitan area. It's also the largest French-speaking city proper in the world by any other measure,. After decades of armed conflicts imposed by neighboring countries, the infrastructures of the once leading modern African city are now being remarkably restored.
Facebook: Frederic Libert
Christ’s Church of the Valley: https://ccv.church/
CCV Missions: www.ccv.church/missions
Pastor Larrie Fraley: linkedin.com/in/larrie-fraley-53445032
Frederic: [00:00:00] Once we arrived here in Kinshasa, that wasn't like, Oh, now we are here, everything is nice and perfect. We just need to plan. That's easy. No, not at all, because we've been very sick due to food poisoning. So for almost one month, it was so difficult here.
Larrie: [00:00:30] Well, welcome to another episode of Let's Go 360. It's a podcast for listeners who want to know more about what God is doing around the world here, near and far. God is on the move like no other time in history. Let's Go 360 is sponsored by Christ Church of the Valley, also known as CCD. One church, but many locations across the Greater Phoenix area with plans to expand wherever God wants to go. My name is Larry Fraley and I'm your host and lead pastor of the local and global missions at CCD. As always, our podcast will include show notes and important links of each episode. Today, our guest is Frederic Leiber from La La La Fredrick. Welcome to the show!
Frederic: [00:01:15] Thank you personally. I'm very happy to be here.
Larrie: [00:01:18] Well, Fred has an international career in legal and business development, and Frederic and I would call him Fred is dedicated to church planting with his wife, Nadine. They are both pastors of a church called Lila Bear Live and the founders of the Foundation African Christians based in Kinshasa, Congo. Our guest today is the online version of what we helped start in Kinshasa. In La, La lives to exist so that you can know Jesus Christ live free and discover who you are in your walk in your destiny. They started a church about a year ago and are already more than 50 groups large and on four continents, and they have just planted their first physical campus in Kinshasa, D.R. Congo, the most populated French speaking city in the world. Yes, I said the most populated French speaking in the world, and that includes Paris. Ccp has gotten involved with Frederick and his church plant. Oh, I don't know. Maybe almost two years ago when God connected Fred and I over the internet and email and we developed a relationship and he had a passion to start a church, both him and Dean in the Congo. But we were in the middle of it, so they were trapped in actually Canada trying to start their church in the Congo. So Fred said he would like to start a church online first build a base so that when they arrived in the Congo, they'd had an already ready church to go with people ready to come. Well, they started and had no idea what God was going to do. That online church took off, and today Stadium Church Planting is looking at that as a model for future church plants. So, Fred, before we dive in today, tell us a little bit about you and your family.
Frederic: [00:03:14] Yeah. So my wife is pastor too. We do have two kids, two daughters. My first daughter's name is Celeste. She's six years old and my second child. It's a girl, too. And her name is Stella. She's seven months old.
Larrie: [00:03:36] Wow. And you guys had a little bit of a trouble getting to the Congo. I know you had your daughter was sick. You were. You were battling some other illnesses, but you persevered. It would have been so easy for you to give up, but you didn't. And that is what impressed me and and our church leadership with you as you hung in there and fought through those obstacles. Tell us a little bit about those problems you had trying to get to the Congo.
Frederic: [00:03:59] So because of COVID, of course, it was quite tricky to start even the online church. And it was extremely difficult to gather everything we need to go to Kinshasa, Congo, because as you know, it costs a lot of money when you move from a continent to another and just to move from a continent to another, it costs a lot. But when you go and plant a church, it costs even more. So that was tricky to gather all the funds and everything, but God made a way. Thanks to you guys from the ECB and once we arrived here in Kinshasa, that wasn't like, Oh, now we are here. Everything is nice and perfect. We just need to plan. That's easy. No, not at all. Because we've been very sick due to food poisoning. So for almost one month, it was so difficult here in our home. So that was the beginning of the journey in Kinshasa being sick for one month.
Larrie: [00:05:05] I remember walking with you in that journey and yeah, it was not the highlight of your trip and your experience so far, but you persevered. And now you are operating a church there and God is doing some amazing things with you and your family. So as we get ready to talk today, there's, I guess, a big question I should probably ask to start with. So your ministry is up and running. But what problem were you trying to address in in Kinshasa?
Frederic: [00:05:36] So this is a global problem, I think, and it's a big problem in the French speaking world. Too many people are not being saved and too many Christians are not working in their destiny. So that's the big problem.
Larrie: [00:05:57] Yeah. So you're there now. So could you maybe explain your ministry a little bit what what tactics or what things are you doing to solve that?
Frederic: [00:06:05] Yeah. So we think that church planting. It's an amazing way to reach people and to be used by God, to be the tool that God will use to save people, you know, so church planting, this is a very, very effective evangelism tool. So that's why we we believe we need to to plant several churches. So we have started online and now we do have a campus here in Kinshasa. But our strategy is quite simple. Everything starts with a small group from that small group because we are very aggressive in a sense that we want to multiply. So when we see a certain amount of groups in a city, we do a monthly gathering. And then when we see a certain amount of people coming and attending that monthly gathering, we start a campus. So that's the tool we are using to solve the problem. But we do have like a flavor, a particular flavor. We we we deliver very practical teachings, very practical. And we are also using social media a lot. So that's that's the basically, I would say, the the the most important thing God told us is to be very practical and we are here to encourage people to stand up and do something, you know, to that the mission of the church, actually, we exist. So as many people as possible can know Jesus. But that's the beginning of a journey. Then they need to live free, discover who they are and work in their destiny. So it's a call to action.
Larrie: [00:08:06] Yeah. I can't even imagine what it was like for you in the beginning. So you were you had this idea that, well, maybe we'll start with an online church first. What was that like? What walk us through from the early days of you kind of launching the the the church and then doing it online and then checking to see the results online? And then as God decided to grow it, you kept growing. What was it like from day one, for instance, all the way up to where you're at now in terms of just the numbers, countries and people involved?
Frederic: [00:08:44] Yeah. So at first it was, you know, in the beginning it was just a vision. I remember it was in 2019 what it was a prayer and fasting time with the staff of the church. I was a pastor there in Montreal, Canada. And we've received that vision and that was clear our season was ending. So we didn't know much more than that. So we're we keep praying with my wife and towards game youth and Africa. So we have decided to investigate that a bit. So we did the next trip just to explore and understand more about that calling in Kinshasa just before the first COVID wave. And we have realized that that was here in Kinshasa. God wanted us to to come here, but once we, we were back from Kinshasa to Montreal, Canada, one week after that trip. It was the beginning of COVID and the world was closed and that was that was weird a bit, you know, for us because we're convinced that we needed to come here. But in the same time it was, it was impossible to travel. So God said, like, start online and we did start Zoom meetings with more than 200 people from different continents. So that was crazy. The worship was in Kinshasa, Congo. I was preaching from Montreal, Canada, and we had volunteers from friends, you know, so that was the beginning of a journey.
Frederic: [00:10:25] So then it was the online church, the launch of the online church. We have we have expanded also the small groups. But. I think the most crazy, if I can say it is the most crazy thing. Was when we arrived here in in in Kinshasa, Congo, and we have started to share the vision God gave us here. And we did it during two months. It was every week vision night, November and December of twenty twenty one. And the crazy thing was when we were sharing the vision. And you see at that very moment that people are responding to the vision saying, like, we were praying for this for years. Oh yes, I know that I need to to take part of it, you know, and that was a touching moment, you know, every week sharing the vision and more and more people attending and they are like, we are ready to serve. And at the end of the worship of the story of the vision nights, we have gathered a core group of 100 people willing to serve, ready to serve and do everything to reach people for Jesus. So that was very encouraging, very encouraging starts for us.
Larrie: [00:11:57] And so now you're in several continents countries, right?
Frederic: [00:12:03] Yes. So now with the online church, we do have more than 50 small groups. We have more and more small groups in France. We do have small groups in other countries in Europe, of course, in Congo. We do have more than 20 now small groups, but also in other countries. In Africa, almost all the French speaking countries in Africa, we do have small groups. We do have also Canadian and U.S. group. We do have a physical small group in Montreal and also in China. So, yeah, that's the beginning. But that's encouraging to see that thanks to the online, we can reach the world and we do have that conviction that online the online space, it's like the biggest mission field ever.
Larrie: [00:12:59] And so when you when you say small group, you actually mean there is a group of people meeting physically somewhere, right?
Frederic: [00:13:09] We have both. We do have small groups using Telegram. It's like WhatsApp, and we do it. It's like online groups and we do have also physical small groups. So, for instance, in a closed countries in the Muslim world, we have started with an online group. It was Morocco and Tunisia. But now from that group, we do have a physical group in Morocco. So it starts online. But then it spread and it's we start physically pulls.
Larrie: [00:13:46] A couple of things come to mind. I think of God expanding our territories. But in your case, God has expanded your territories digitally. So you've got this kind of digital expansion happening and God is using you in a great way. The other the other thing that and you know this because you and I've talked, I personally believe God is on the move like no other time in history. And this scattering of Christians around the world is taking place both in physical departures from one country to another, but also now digitally as you're able to actually engage and have community in a sense digitally throughout throughout the world. And who knows what God is going to do in your ministry with you and Nadine in the future? So that's that's just amazing. Do you do you have maybe a story of someone that has been changed because of your ministry?
Frederic: [00:14:49] So we do have many stories, but a very recent story was here in Kinshasa, a woman reach out through social media because we do have an online presence and as we said, that's very important and it starts from there. So she sent a message saying, We do not have any food at home, so please help us. So I said, in which city are you living? She said, Kinshasa. I said, Nice. Come and join us on Sunday. So she came. She has four kids, so she's so vulnerable right now. Four kids, the youngest is two years old. Her husband is in jail and in addition to that, she has AIDS. So HIV, this is very, very tough for. So she came to church on Sunday two weeks ago. She felt very welcome and loved her kids love the Sunday school where they have received a breakfast and the t shirts because they are in need of lots of clothes and food, you know? So after that, we've helped her to to buy food. Then we did visitor during the week with food supplies. And now we are helping her to find a job.
Frederic: [00:16:21] So now she has just received a job offer. So we think that. Being Christian is more than attending church on Sunday. We need to show the love of Christ to each other, and that's exactly what we want to do online and here in Kinshasa. So that's just one story, but we do have a lot of stories. So here in Kinshasa, I would say all the behaviors that are part of the local culture that are not in line with the culture of the Kingdom of God. So there is like a tendency not giving it 100 percent slow pace, not striving for excellence and setting for a minimum service. So people are very late when we schedule appointments. So it's sometimes it's tough, you know, because we are I pace with my wife and here it's very slow pace. So it's like sometimes that stuff. And also concerning the finances because Kinshasa, it's an extremely expensive city and it's a great challenge to plan. Churches serve people, build leaders and at the same time, raise funds for the mission. So that's the main challenges.
Larrie: [00:17:40] Now I also know you're taking a different approach to ministry in the Congo, as it is common in most African cultures. There is a formality a very formal church involved where when people go to church, they dress up in ties and jackets and and look very proper. And yet in your church, you are trying to reach the young people with a more. I'll say come as you are kind of dress, which has to be very appealing to the younger person, but I assuming that that may rub some of the more formal churches a little in little bad way. Is that
Frederic: [00:18:24] Right? Yes, that's correct. I'm it's I'm being intentional. I'm wearing a T-shirt and and running shoes on Sunday, and that's weird for most of the people here. But what we have experienced so far is that interestingly, we do have people attending the church coming from university, and they are smart. They want to grow. They want to know how to win or to success in their Christian life. And they know that it's not wearing a suit that will make you a winner or. You know what I mean, you know, so the people offended by that kind of cloth? They are not attending anyway, you know, but those attending, they're like, OK, that's great because here it's not about wearing the best suit ever wearing expensive shoes or the gold watch. No, it's about God's words and Jesus. And oh, to have a successful Christian life. So I think that's why we see more and more people attending the church because we have more than doubled the attendance in one month. So I guess they are. The word is spreading right now, you know?
Larrie: [00:19:54] Yeah. Well, let's praise God for that growth. And so I know, I know CVS supported you now for for some time. And can you describe maybe a time or something that enabled you to accomplish something because of CVS support?
Frederic: [00:20:12] So I like your question, because the support of CCD has always come at crucial moments. First, it is allow us to start uniting church, then to start the campus here in Kinshasa and now to do the work and prepare the new place. We have just friends at two days ago. We are we have brand new space, so it's like three crucial moments and CTV has been here to help. So wow, the timing is so perfect.
Larrie: [00:20:45] Well, we're so honored to do that. Our our our people are so generous and it's through their generosity that has allowed ministries like yours to get started and to continue. So we we want to continue to encourage you and we will continue our support. I look forward to getting over there. As you know, we were planning to go over the 1st of January and then this Omicron virus was just beginning to to be unveiled and no one really knew what that was. And so we decided to hold on that. And so we look forward to kind of rescheduling that when when I can get over there with our partner stadium church planting. So, yeah, well, thank you a lot for joining us today, Freddy. For those of you that may not be aware, is actually calling in from the Congo, and it's probably going on eight o'clock in the evening where he's at. And so maybe we can do another podcast in the future and have you and Nadine on and talk about some more, more things that God has been doing there in your ministry?
Frederic: [00:21:49] It's a very big honor for us to share what God is doing here. We love you and we are so grateful because we feel we are a team and we are doing ministry together. Different continents. Same mission.
Larrie: [00:22:05] How can we pray for you?
Frederic: [00:22:07] So, first of all, from our family, health protection also for the team, because we are right now building a strong team and that's the the most important thing, I think right now it's a season to build a strong team. The third prayer request would be for a move of God online and in Kinshasa because we want to see a multitude of people follow Jesus and walk in their destiny so well.
Larrie: [00:22:40] Thanks, Fred, for joining us, and we will include your contact information on your website in our show notes. And thank you to our listeners of Let's Go 360. And if this is a podcast that you think you might want to follow, well, please tap the follow icon and gives us a thumbs up on your favorite podcast app such as Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts and more so that others might hear what God is doing around the world. You can also follow us on our website at Let's Go 360 dot org. I'm Larry Frehley, your host, and we look forward to joining you in our next episode of Let's Go 360.