Work in Congo??? Crazy or…called?

Do you also have the impression that time flies? I do, and even if we are already 15 days into 2010, I still like to wish you a blessed year. We don’t know what it will bring, but one thing is sure. God is with us. He made that promise in his Word and will do it. I experienced that strongly last year. Although things didn’t go as I wished, things were well in the end. The financial problems seem to have ended and we could start with team building as our coordinator, Drudra, moved to Adi. Also Abraham, our consultant earlier in the year, came to strengthen our team. From Adi we work with two others, a pastor (Bhayo) and a youth worker (Likambo). Bhayo lives in Abedju, which is about 18km south of Adi, and he works with the churches, the young people, AIDS orphans and the personnel of the health center. Not to forget the people living with HIV/AIDS. Every month this group meets together. Likambo works with the young people and also with orphans. They are orphaned for several reasons, AIDS being one of them. They came from Aba, and from there they fled the LRA with the widow who was already taking care of them there. We help several of them to go to school and found new accommodation for Mama Anna and the kids the beginning of the year. Where they live now begins to fall down. We hope that they can move in February, there’s still work to be done.

Mama Anna and her orphans

Mama Anna and her orphans

The Democratic Republic of Congo. LRA (the Ugandan Rebel Army of the lord) in the north of Congo, fighting in North Kivu, murders, child soldiers, destruction, rape, tortures, executions, hunger, insecurity, internally displaced people, international criminal court in The Hague, … All words mentioned in the few news items about Congo. And the whole world thinks that Congo is a very insecure country and I am frequently asked the question how the situation is there where I work.

Safe. And everywhere where AIM has its missionaries in Congo it is safe. And now the sad news. We only work in two places, Adi and Bunia. And we are only five.

I have just returned from a missionary conference of AIM Central Region. This includes the Central African Republic, DR Congo, Sudan, Uganda and Rwanda. We were about 100 missionaries, not included the children. And I was reminded that when I started in Congo in 1989 and we had our conference, that only in Congo we numbered that number. From 100 to 5. This is very sad because there are enough opportunities for missionaries, both long-term and short-term. We need IT personnel, teachers in our secondary schools and Bible Schools, at the university in Bunia, nurses, doctors, administrative personnel, accountants, youth workers, and what more… We in the AIDS Awareness, Care and Support Program could use young people who can help in the production of a DVD (filming and editing) and also would like to help in the music groups and choirs of the church (most of the time the music is way to loud so that the text of the songs cannot be followed) and who just want to make friends with the youth. Opportunities abound, but people are frightened by all the news coming out of Congo and also because Congo is a French speaking country. However, for some of the ministries French is not necessary although is would be an advantage to know a little bit of the language. The regional languages, Congo Swahili and Bangala, are much easier to learn than French and learning another language is a very good way to establish friendships. The population is encouraged when there are people willing to learn their language. I am regularly asked when I will start learning Kakwa, but that is way more difficult as it has the masculine and feminine nouns, like the French has. People are encouraged when visitors come to see how they live and survive. Also the missionaries. Even if it concerns a visit of one day, one week, one month.

Work in one of the villages at World AIDS Day

Work in one of the villages at World AIDS Day

May I ask you a question? Are you praying for workers in the harvest (Mat.9:37-38)? Have you been thinking about mission? Have you visited a missionary? We are all asked to make disciples; in Jerusalem, in Judea, Samaria and until the ends of the world. Are you sure ‘Jerusalem’ is the place that God wants you to serve Him?

May God bless you.

Annemarie

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