May 3, 2023
Dear Prayer Partner,
I finished my one day of ministry here in the D.R. Congo but today was tame compared to last night after finishing the Tuesday report on the plane coming here. And as I mentioned in yesterday’s P.S., Murphy came with me.
TUESDAY NIGHT CAP
Even though I’ve been here numerous times I had forgotten just how chaotic, I mean CHAOTIC, no, I mean CHAOTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The streets are here. Kinshasa has a population of 10 million and even though the streets are JAMMED, I mean REALLY JAMED (bumper to bumper) with drivers making up their own rules as they go. The objective? Get to where you are going any way possible. If that means cutting off someone, do it! If that means driving on the sidewalk, do it! If that means driving on the wrong side of the road, THEN DO IT!!! In America we are governed by the rule of law (supposedly). But imagine every driver, EVERY driver ignoring ALL driving laws. There is no way law enforcement could enforce the laws. NOW put a policeman riding “shotgun” in the car you are in, and the driver is doing the same chaotic, crazy things everyone else is doing. (That was us!) And now find shortcuts on the bumpiest, potholed roads ever, kind of like riding on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Disneyland. Now, even with all of those cars on the roads, still the sidewalks are lined 2-3 deep with people waiting to crowd into overflowing public transportation vehicles. I’ve been told, people will wait up to two hours for a bus while standing on the sidewalk at the bus stop. Welcome to Kinshasa at rush hour.
In this atmosphere of chaos, my escort, Joel Mananga (Asst director here) and I rode a nice car (sent by our dinner host) to pick us up with a police escort riding along. I was in the back seat. It took us nearly 90 minutes to get to where our host worked. I was hungry and the bumpity bump, roll to the left, roll to the right, bumpity bump was making me car sick. Another 30 minutes after picking up our host (Bosela Eale) we got to his home. We have known each other since 1999. He and his wife, and their kids have excelled educationally with advanced degrees in subjects that matter.
It was a short time because I had to get back to my room to get some rest. I was still trying to catch up after my first flight out of Portland was cancelled. I went back to my room and Murphy was waiting for me. My electronic key didn’t open my room door. I tried 2-3 times, it didn’t work. I went to the desk, the lady re-programmed it. It still didn’t work. They called someone with a “master key” and it didn’t work. After 15-20 minutes or trying to get into my room, one of the men went out the window in one room and came in thru the window in my room.
My first meeting today was with our DRC team. Covid slammed the door shut on our ministry here. Two years ago, when I was here, that plan was to reengage those who had been through the training in previous years. There was little to no luck, so we are starting over, essentially.
I started by sharing memories of coming to this place. It is a hard place to live. Laying that aside, I have some wonderful, fun memories that include eating termites, to being scammed a few times for a few extra dollars by various agencies or individuals (none are on our team)., to getting food poisoning after being treated like a king upon arrival and being paraded through the streets like a celebrity. I could go on and on.
After reminiscing, we reviewed the strategy and discussed budgeting and restarting the training here.
I returned to my room to rest and freshen up and then went back to lead a session describing and comparing the Biblical Christian Worldview with two others, Naturalism and Postmodernism. Either Murphy or his Congolese imposter was waiting for us at the hall. The power was out so we could not use a standard video projection. Nor was a screen available. We drove back to my room to get my tiny, pocket-size, battery-operated video projector. We rushed back and got started. The battery wasn’t charged much, and it shut down after 15-20 mins. So, we just used the 13” screen on my laptop. After a period of time the power came back on, and we scurried to move desks around and use the plug in video projector the assistant coordinator brought. By the time it was ready, we had used a lot of our available time trouble shooting. Then I remembered, this is not Murphy’s work. This is the DRC. Life is hard here even without Murphy.
ACCORDING TO BARNA RESEARCH
Did you know that (according to the Barna Research group) only 6% of American’s have a biblical worldview. And only 2% of those between the ages on 18-29 have a biblical worldview. And something like only 25% of pastors and youth pastors have one. Those without a biblical worldview are “interpreting” and seeing the world. Those stats are what are diving me these days.
I’ll be up early and, on my way, back to Nairobi on a 10am flight. On Friday I will have a weekend of apologetics events.
Well, it’s past 11pm and I need to be up at 5:15 to get ready for the 6am departure back to airport for 10 am flight.
I’ve added several pictures to the album.
By His grace,