Congo River Shipping

Good morning friends.  Today is July 6th and I hope everyone has enjoyed the holidays. Since I last wrote last Congo has had their Independence Day, June 20th, Dan celebrated Canada Day in Toronto, South Sudan had their 5 year Independence Day on July 5th ( in the midst of a civil war) and of course most of you celebrated the 4th of July.

Happy Independence Day!

This Missionary continues to be surprised. I have no idea from day to day what God has in store for me or who I will be blessed to meet next.

Last week my surprise was the opportunity to meet and spend a few days with two people from JAARS. They are in the DRC to study transportation.  How is it possible to transfer materials, supplies, vehicles and people to the interior villages and cities? I don’t know much about the commercial river traffic or the ports but lets see what I can learn.

What does this have to do with mission work?????  Well…JAARS is the transportation arm of Wycliffe Bible translators.  They are responsible to transfer everything that is needed to the remote interior villages where the scriptures and bible stories are being translated into dozens of languages.

I have written before about the struggle here reaching and communicating within the Congo. Every ministry and mission first has this challenge before anything can happen.    If transportation the experts from JAARS can learn from this visit, maybe I can learn something useful to the many programs at the ECC.

So we were off, first to a commercial dock on the Congo River in Kinshasa.  It took a while to get entrance but with the help of our government host we were in.  Few vessels but many barges. They look old, (will they stay afloat?) but we were told all of them would be gone in two weeks and replaced by more.

I also was surprised how many families lived at the dock and on the boats. Family life here happens where you are and many times where you work.

AND what to my eyes should appear to me but … a row boat full of natural rubber. I have seen rubber before,but never like this arriving by Congo row boat.

Then we were off again further up river about 50K to Maluku. We had been told that another large commercial port was there. NOPE! it had been closed.  We did however find a fishing village with many fishing canoes and great lunch of river fish and fried bananas. There is no words to describe these delicate fish, steamed in side leaves and served moments after catching.

A great day with new friends, great food,and its always good to be on the water.  I’m still not sure what to do with my new knowledge about the Congo River.

Someday, somewhere, sometime, someone will ask,

I will say HEY! I remember????

Kinshasa River Ports LO-4890



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