Andrew’s last days in Africa…

8/26/2011 04:06:00 PM sendtheroths 0 Comments

Never fight Africa because Africa always wins
We are in the process of becoming established as a NGO in Congo which is easy in concept, difficult in practice. To begin the process, one must create the bylaws and organizational rules, it must be in French and must be formatted in a very particular way (of which this “way” is subject to change and the scrutiny of the official’s pleasing on the given day.)

This is no easy task to a foreigner who is not fluent in French and very unfamiliar with Congolese technical writing laws. Even few Congolese are familiar…

Where in North Kivu is the Notary?
There is only one notary to service all of North Kivu, DRC. The notary must review the document and then stamp/seal each page of the document. Of course he charges per page: $10 per page and an additional $80 for review and safe filing fee. This totals $220 for a 14 page document to be processed. (This is the local price, if it were the muzungu (white man) negotiating the price, we could expect the price to triple!)

Formatting the document is not a big issue, the money is not even an issue. Finding this man and him giving us services has been one epic battle! For four days straight we arrived at 8:00 a.m. at his office and then stayed until office close at 5:00 p.m. on most days, all four days he was a no show.

We called him several times; he would give one excuse or another. We drove all over the city trying to find him with no avail. We even resorted to getting a letter from the Governor of North Kivu, demanding that the notary give us services! On the fourth day right at the end of the day he arrived at the office, he looked at our document and said he would not approve it.

He Finally Showed, But…
When it was time for him to stamp it, he looked over it again but commented, “This document isn’t formatted to Congo standards, I can’t approve this. Come back on Monday and I’ll meet you at 7:00 a.m. to review the document.”

WHAT!?! AHHH! But getting angry doesn’t help the situation it only makes it worse. You have to play by his game, but the day he wanted us to return was the day that I would be flying back to America. I left the money and document with our Congolese contacts to revise and get approved.

The notary didn’t show up until 2:00 p.m.—seven hours late. We are waiting to hear the status from our Congolese contacts…

Depending on the Lord
I was supposed to fly out on Sunday afternoon. I said my goodbyes to my Rwanda friends, prepared my vehicle for storage in Rwanda and arranged for my taxi to the airport. My taxi arrived 1h30m late, the flight was moved forward by an hour and I arrived when the plane was making the final boarding. In such situations, we can react in the flesh or we can choose to pray… to be honest, I think I did both.

There was nothing that could be done, I would have to wait until Monday morning for any answers but the outlook wasn’t good. The system showed the flight was overbooked by two people. I would need a miracle. After visiting the airline booking office to see what could be done, Monday morning was spent praying and seeking the Lord.

 I made a trip to the airport the next day and Jesus was there for me to provide a way. There was one open spot in business class. A man arrived half way through boarding and requested to be upgraded… I would be able to make the flight! The Lord is faithful: He heard the prayers of so many praying for the situation. Jesus always desires to bring Himself maximum glory and that is what He has done.