Our time in the DRC and Rwanda
Obviously I did not fulfill my good intentions of sending home detailed and lengthy blogs about my experiences in the DRC and Rwanda. But honestly, the combination of pace and emotional intensity left little energy or opportunity to write. I did take copious notes along the way, however, and will write more when I get home. Let me just say that every bit of tragic news I read about the DRC ahead of time is true. Women don't talk about "if" they get raped, but about "when" they will get raped; it truly is the worse place on earth to be a woman. Thousands of people are still living in tent-camps for "internally displaced people." They had to flee their homes because of military and rebel violence and they don't know when they will be able to go home--or what will be left for them to return to. The exploitation of the Congo's vast resources of minerals continues, and fuels the ongoing violence. Time and again we heard the same refrain: We just need peace. If we had peace we could take care ourselves. Please pray for peace.
But there is hope in the DRC, and it's coming from one source: the church. We met extraordinary pastors and church volunteers who are truly "being the church" in their communities. With their very meager means they are caring for widows, for women who have been raped, for displaced people, for orphans....for anyone in need. In order to do this, they are crossing denominations and ethnic divides. And they are initiating grassroots peace-building initiatives. I wish I could write more, but our ride to the airport will be here shortly. Let me sum it up this way: I have fallen in love with the Congo. (Photo by Christine Anderson)