We frequently say we never know what our week will be like. A few weeks ago, Aaron bought a white board so we could put our schedule up and try to keep our coworkers aware of where we might go next! There are things that never make it onto the calendar, for example the unexpected presence of writers and illustrators for Christian comic books who came to church last Sunday and stayed to talk about their upcoming conference in Kinshasa. Some talented and passionate young women and a young man!
On the schedule for Tuesday was a round table discussion with the UN Foundation and Congressional delegation from the US as they heard from representatives of the religious communities in Kinshasa. It’s hard to describe the impact of the MUNUSCO presence in Congo in a brief blog post, but we keep learning about the work of these troops around Kinshasa and especially in the East. To the religious community MUNUSCO represents the ability to overcome or at least address the huge transportation, communication and security needs of the upcoming elections.
Another way we know that the Ghanaian MUNUSCO troops are involved is their help with our Global Ministries Missionary, Innocent Afful. Innocent works with us at Eglise du Christ au Congo, focusing on orphanages and vocational programs. Friday we were able to visit Chero Orphanage in the Cimetiere area. The orphanage is in a compound that rests along a ravine in a roadless area of Kinshasa. The path to the orphanage follows the trickle of a stream that runs along the bottom of the ravine with hundreds of small dwellings on either side. Madam Muyombo, who is the matron of the orphanage, accepts children of all ages and abilities. While we were there we met one of the boys who has polio and have begun looking for ways to connect him to services in Kinshasa that he needs to live a more comfortable life. As always, we are humbled by the workers we find serving the needs of the children. In this case from an infant up to the late teens. The MUNUSCO troops are also looking for ways to support Chero and other orphanage homes in the Kinshasa area.
A big bonus for us in the last week were visits from Global Ministries staff! We were so thankful to have our Executive Secretary for Africa with us, Yollande Yambo! Yollande and her husband Greg had dinner with the Afful, Zigbou and Vandersommers families while we shared our experiences in Kinshasa. What a treat for us to have her visit not only our home but our office so she could meet our co-workers and neighbors as we walked home for a lunch meeting. We are so very encouraged by her presence, her knowledge of DRC and her integrity. As if that were not enough, Assistant General Secretary, Mande Muyombo also visited us on his way to Angola. Feeling supported, which is no small thing!
And then today, we returned to the political, as Aaron and I attended the unveiling of the kits being used throughout the Congo, by the CENI (National Independent Election Commission) for enrolling voters. The kit includes photo recognition, finger printing and other data to confirm the voters identity and eligibility in a specific community. Quite a fascinating process which led us right back to the discussion from the previous week about the huge need for transportation and communication as well as security and election education. Big challenges.
And I preached this last Sunday, and as the photo shows – my hands were in flight. God is pleased to give us the Kingdom – which is certainly good news! We get that sense every day, many challenges and many blessings!