Well Amethyst and I have arrived to the Congo with relative ease despite having flown on five different flights, driven in four different vehicles spanning over three days (if you count how the world spins.) Last year we left a post entitled, “The Congo is Different.” May we, for lack of creativity, borrow an old title for a new post.
We have found many things the same just as we have left them… the city has not much changed other than the pot holes have grown wider and deeper. Otherwise, the internet is still slow; the buildings are much the same; many of the organizations have remained. Life continues on. Our friends have been eager to see us. Many have fasted and prayed for our journey back to the Congo and for the ministry while we are here.
But, many things are different. One small point is that Weebly, our web host has been blocked in the DR Congo. For a country with so many issues and a developing government, why block a simple web host? That means we have to figure out a plan to get a different web host and also figure out how to make a new blog site with dismal internet connections at best. Pray that this issue gets resolved.
The Congo is also different mainly if you travel just five kilometers outside of the city. What once were acres of internally displaced people (IDP) camps are now nothing more than rubbish. Where was this in the international news? Just a few weeks ago the Congolese government shut down 95% of all the IDP camps within the North-East in an effort to show that peace is returning to the Congo. This means over 100,000 IDPs now called returnees were forced to return to their home villages. The war is still going on and the lives of the IDPs have gotten worse as they are living in conditions worse than in the IDP camps. Now, they’re living in shelters similar to the IDP camps but in an active hot zone without the support of the United Nations or any other aid organization.
Furthermore, the way that they were forced to leave is an outcry. As sources of ours have said, they stopped giving the IDPs any food, water or assistance for many weeks and then the Congolese government went in and said that they must leave the camp as it will be deconstructed. They were instructed that they must return to their villages! Most of these IPDs left their villages because the rebels burned their village and have now occupied that territory. More on this to come.
This gave us a major curve ball! We have searched every major news agency for articles about the Congo but none have told of this major development. As we continue to make ministry arrangements for the upcoming weeks and months please join us in prayer for direction and guidance for what to do.
We are settling down and getting acclimated to Congo. Our bodies are slowly adjusting to the new time zone. Strength is returning after a tiresome itinerary. As we go forward, we are still in the process of arranging accommodations for our long-term stay. Pray that the Lord works out all of these logistics. Also, pray that the remaining funds for a vehicle come in! Glory to God!
We know that Jesus is with us despite not having our long-term accommodations, logistics and detailed ministry plan all finalized. These next couple of days are where the real work begins in finalizing these details which could not otherwise have been done besides getting here on the ground.
So here is your cue to hit the floor and start praying open the heavens!
· Pray for Amethyst as she is taking two online courses and that she will get nothing lower than a B+ in both of the classes. Her scholarship depends on it! The internet is sometimes unreliable. Pray for a stable and reliable internet connection and grace from the teachers should there be internet failure.
· Pray for the Lord’s guidance as our accommodations, logistics, ministry plans and everything else is finalized. We need the Lord’s wisdom, knowledge and revelation to be effective and strategic.
· Pray for both God’s favor and protection upon us as we go and minister bringing the word of God, praying for the sick and that they would be healed both spiritually and physically. Pray that we will display Jesus to everyone we encounter.
· Pray for the Congolese that have returned to their villages, which most have been reduced to nothing. Our hope is that we might be able to visit them but security is always top priority. Pray for peace and safety to spread throughout the region.