Day-to-Day Life in DRC... For a Westerner

5/31/2011 02:58:00 PM sendtheroths 1 Comments

People of Eastern, DRC use chuckadoos as a work tool.
Goma is situated north of Lake Kivu. Photo Credit: Steve Evans
A mixture of thoughts and emotion
On the mission field it is very easy to be disturbed by the senses. The road is too dusty, the power is not permanent, the internet is extremely slow, the water has run out, the food is different, cultural barriers are problematic; and I don’t fully understand the language. 
The smells can be alarming and the sights even more so. Every minute of every day is a fight to reduce the amount I am being taken advantage of. 

 It is not a question of if I will be taken advantage of but rather a question of when I’ll be taken advantage of. Let me give you an example.

I am driving down the street on my motorbike and the traffic police wave for me to stop. Then a long argument in broken French combined with Swahili ensues before nothing is accomplished. The police officer is upset, because he couldn’t find any fault with me and didn’t get a bribe. I’m upset that 30 minutes of my time has passed. 

To the north of Goma sits Mount Nyiragongo.
Let me give you another example, I am trying to find an affordable compound that is in good condition at good location. Well they start the price at $1,000 USD, which is $600 overpriced. They know it and I also know it. The problem is that because I am a Westerner, they refuse to bargain. Some Congolese get so upset and nearly accuse me of cheating them. Meanwhile, the house will go unrented for nine months, not making any money on the house.

They’d rather have the house not rented for months then to bargain down with me. 

So why do it? Why be here? Why put up with the silliness?
God loves them and has a plan for them. The world has nearly given up on them; in fact, Congolese are just shy of giving up on themselves.

 We are here to bring the Gospel, advocate justice, spread righteousness, lay hands on the sick, pray to open the heavens. We are called to minister in the places where people can’t or won’t go, to be a refuge to those in need, to be a voice for the voiceless.

I often feel small, as if I am not doing anything. I am just one person, trying to change an entire nation. Hundreds have come to Congo before me with good intentions and have left weary and heartbroken—People who under a different set of circumstances would’ve succeed, could’ve been written about in books for their accomplishments. 

How am I different? Will I fail? How will I overcome the obstacles they faced?
The answer is that I don’t know.

What I do know is that I am in Christ and that it isn’t me who will bring any change— but God through me. If we can impact the lives of 12 passionate people, through them God can flip this country upside down (He did it with a bunch of fishermen and tax collectors.) If we can influence just one village we have accomplished something.

But I’m not comfortable with that.

I want more.

I expect more.

I know God will do more despite the struggles, circumstances and hardships.

1 comment :

  1. very well expressed. I feel the compassion that you have in your heart. I pray that our Heavenly Father continues to give you the strength and courage to press forward despite the struggle. Through Christ all things are possible.