“I am tired of this confusion of religion,” the Congolese general’s gaze turned grim as he spoke to his watchful wife and children. “From now on, I won’t allow anyone in my house to attend church – anyone,” he paused. “And no one may come to this house to talk about the Bible or to preach.”

The man’s wife nodded. When the general spoke, everyone listened.

There are churches on every street corner in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The sound of drums and music on Sunday morning greets the noise of traffic on the busy streets. “We have millions of people attending church every single Sunday,” the general explained. “But the country is corrupted. Every church preaches about good news, but if you look at the lives of the people in church, they are full of corruption. I don’t like it. They may talk about good news, but the church is not changing people.”

This is why I will not allow my children to go to these churches, he added to himself. For they would become corrupted too.

Disappointed by a lack of genuine godliness in his Christian community, the general proceeded with his day’s agenda. Meanwhile, his wife ventured into town.

The general’s wife quickly learned that a group called, “Train Them 2 Fish” was giving free medical care to the public. Curious, she decided to go through the eye program they offered.

When the general saw that his wife had returned home, something different caught his perceptive glance.

“Where did you come from?” he interrogated her. “Where did you get that pair of eyeglasses?”

“There’s a free medical program around the corner,” she explained. “I went there, and the people gave these to me.”

“Do you have any idea how much those glasses cost?” he demanded.

“I have no idea,” she replied.

“The glasses you are wearing are the best you can buy here. They are very expensive. So, you must explain yourself,” the general insisted. “Where did you get them?”

“My husband, these people are offering medical care for free. The glasses cost me nothing.”

“I will not believe that. I cannot believe that they were given to you for free. They are very expensive,” he repeated.

“Go and see for yourself,” his wife suggested. “Or send someone to go for you and see if it is true.”

The man savored the thought for a moment. “Well, I will send my daughter. I trust my daughter to tell me the truth.”

The following day, the general’s daughter made her way into the street and enrolled in the eye program. She was given a pair of glasses for free.

“It is true Dad,” she reported. “These were given to me. They were free.”

His eyes widened, incredulous. “Who are these people? I must go for myself and see them.”

When the astonished general arrived at the corner, he came just in time for the devotional. He listened to the message thoughtfully. When the program began, he approached the staff. “I want to see the chief – the coordinator – of this program,” he said.

The man in front of him shifted nervously. “I’m not sure…” he began.

“Don’t be afraid,” the general assured him. “I’m not here to arrest anyone. But I am here because I want to see who is in charge of all this. Please allow me to see him.”

The military general was led to Thomas Ongasa.

“Who are you?” the man of influence asked.

“I am a pastor,” Ongasa replied.

“What is the name of your church?”

“Seventh-day Adventist.”

“What is that? I’ve never heard of the name.”

“The name Adventist means that we are waiting for the Second Coming of Christ,” Ongasa began. “And the Seventh-day part of our name is there because we worship Him on Saturday, the seventh day of the week.”

“What?” the man questioned. “Can you come and visit me in my home?”

Pastor Ongasa needed to be present for the remainder of the medical clinic, but he offered to send a Bible worker to visit with the general.

“Yes,” the general replied. “Send someone to my house.”

When the Bible worker arrived, he marveled at the building’s high security – for no one was allowed to step foot inside without permission. But two pairs of eyeglasses had been the key to his entry, and genuine Christianity had softened the heart of a once skeptical man.

“Come to my house any time and tell me more about your church,” the official said as he agreed to Bible studies. “I had made the decision that there would be no more religion in my home, but because of what I see you doing, my doors are open.”