So this post should be Day 3 of our time in the DRC. I hope to get to that soon but I need to interrupt because I feel God pressing on my heart to share about the things that I don't want to forget, the things that I saw that changed my life.
And I also wanted to say that I have posted on here and on our Facebook page some raw emotions and some realities of the journey we are going through. I just want to make it clear that we are good, that we are enjoying the journey, but Matt and I have agreed that we will not sugar coat it. Because how will that help anyone and reality is reality. But we are in God's will, right now, we are living out God's will for our lives and there is absolutely no better place to be. We are loving it!! He is faithful and amazing! And it is a joy to serve him no matter how challenging it may be. Man how boring would it be to not say YES to what he asks of us. I love the adventure!! So please know that if you ask us how we are doing, we may be having a bad day, we may want to throw the children outside and lock the door, but inside ALL IS WELL WITH OUR SOUL!!!!
Things I do not want to forget-and again remember this is our first trip overseas, our first encounter with poverty, so our reactions and emotions may be different than those who have seen it all before, but one thing I do think, is how can your life not be changed by the things you see in a 3rd world country.....I know ours is forever changed.....
** I do not want to forget the soccer field, a dirt bottom with garbage everywhere and tons of adults and kids playing soccer on it. It looked like a garbage dump seriously.
**I do not want to forget the conditions the people lived in, the dirt floors of their shops, the garbage everywhere, the unsanitary water they washed their hands in.
**I do not want to forget the people sleeping on the street and making their beds on the side of a car.
** I do not want to forget the kindness of the Congolese people, they were so accomodating and helpful, we seriously could not have made it through our week without their help. Really and truly we were dumb white people in an African culture knowing nothing of their customs or how they care for their children. It was so humbling to be in a foreign land and to not speak the language and to feel helpless.
** I do not want to forget the canal where the garbage was being burned and then less than a foot away stood the people just hanging out.
** I do not want to forget the man who told us he makes $5 a day working a 12 hour shift at the hotel we paid $400 a night. $5 a day when here in the USA we legally have to pay $7 an HOUR!
** I do not want to forget the police presence that is so huge in the DRC. I do not want to forget saluting the guards and how my boys are so influenced by anything related to police.
** I do not want to forget how well the Congolese people did community. They were always all together, helping each other, hanging out. We don't hang out together enough here in the USA, I feel like we are always so segregated to our own families. Which isn't bad but the sense of community and constant help to each other in the DRC was so great to see. The people there will just come up to you and take care of your kids for you; which shows how much they help each other out and work together. If we did that in the USA we would probably get sued. Seriously people!!! Craziness. We need to be open to allowing others into our lives, whomever they may be.
** I do not want to forget the raw talent of the Congolese people. The fabric and the dresses the women wore were amazingly beautiful. The jewelry they create, the nativities they make, the paintings, everything is beautiful and so carefully made.
** I do not want to forget the doorman who came to the door of the car as we left the hotel and gave a big thumbs up and did airplane motions to the boys because he was so excited the boys were going to the USA. I do not want to forget the guard at the hotel who waved and smiled and was so excited the boys were going to the USA.
** And I write all these memories down because I especially do not want to forget my selfishness and abundance. My life is forever changed by those who have so little when we have so much. God has been pressing on my heart these past couple weeks to keep fighting, to keep serving HIM however he asks, and to do more for these people. To not get sucked into the American culture of abundance, but to lean into HIM and give it away to those who have need.
** And I NEVER want to forget that this is all about Jesus. He died on the cross for me when I was yet a sinner. Did I deserve this? Absolutely not. Do I deserve his amazing forgiveness every day when I have messed up? NO!! So whether or not someone deserves what I give them, no matter what they do with it, I truly feel like we are to give freely of our abundance. Because that is what Jesus did for us!!