At around 6:00 a.m. the sun has been up for a little while and it is peaking over the neighboring apartment building and hitting our bedroom window. This is the cue for our “early bird” to begin his assault on our sliding door, and acting as our automatic alarm. Meditation, yoga, and breakfast and by 8:30 a.m. the work begins – with our French lessons with Professor Jacques. By 10:30 a.m. we are at the office and waiting to go to “the farm” and visit a WFP (World Food Program), except…. we don’t. Instead we go to the WFP office just up the street to meet with program managers and discuss how we can work together. The words for “office” and “farm” are no where near the same in French, so we wonder how we managed to get that mixed up – and yes it, was a wardrobe fail for the day. But the meeting went well and we were so glad to have our colleague, Norbert with us to discuss future projects!
Back to the office and we find ourselves getting ready for the next meeting at the Department of Development, but wait! Unexpected meeting with a representative from the Belgian Embassy. (See note above about wardrobe). A good but short meeting about projects and soon we are off to the DOD.
Our taxi driver, Tesor, takes us to the DOD for a meeting we have been hoping to have for several weeks. Such a blessing to meet the director Mr. Malanda and hear the history of the department that has worked so hard to help churches throughout the Congo to develop local community ministries. We look forward to meeting with him regularly. We get a chance to relax over a cup of coffee and discuss the province known as Bas Congo (Mr. Malanda’s home province) and the area in that region that sometimes gets snow!
Then – back in the taxi as we travel through rush hour traffic to drop off our good friend and translator, Guy and colleague, Jeff before heading to the UMC for a meeting with youth leaders.
How we love church meetings in Congo (yes you read that correctly – we love meetings). We open with singing, then prayer, then more singing, more prayer, more singing, more prayer, scripture and then a discussion on youth ministry, more singing and more prayer. (I begin to sense a pattern…..)
Then – like all good Methodists, we talk a lot after the meeting – although not in the parking lot – and are enriched by the stories we share, and the opportunities we are granted to get to know people a little better.
Finally, time to go home and do a little blogging. Tomorrow – we have an appointment with Innocent at one of the orphanages along with the Ghanaian Peacekeepers. They are working on some drainage and structural issues today. Tomorrow they will be providing medical exams for the children.
Feeling very thankful for our Congolese, Ghanaian, and Zimbabwean partners today.