I want to give you a brief update and announce the dates of the next trip.
First, the reality of the pain and agony of people in Bukavu hit home this weekend when I read that four men had attempted to murder a physician that I met on my second trip. Fortunately, their attempt failed. He is a great man who works diligently to lead the efforts to treat women and girls who have been savagely raped. His “crime:” drawing attention to the brutality of soldiers and militia members. That’s the reality of eastern Congo. Let’s pray that God would bring that evil to an end.
I have often reflected on why there is so much evil there. No doubt there are many reasons, but one reason is the lack of opportunity. That’s one of the reasons that I and others go to Congo: To assist faithful Christians in creating job producing businesses (i.e. opportunity).
Recently, we tripled the number of loans that we have extended to business creators in Bukavu! Before you get too excited about the tripling of loans, let me just say that outstanding loans have gone from one loan to three loans since the last trip. 🙂
While it’s not a big deal to us, it is a big deal to the three business creators. Two of the three were just funded and are in the formative stages of their businesses. Please pray that God would direct them and provide for all their needs. One is importing rice from Tanzania and selling it in Bukavu. The other is going to raise chickens on a commercial scale. I’m excited for them.
I am in the process of planning my next trip – from Jan 25, 2013 to Feb 8, 2013. We will visit Bukavu, DR Congo and then spend a couple of days debriefing and enjoying a drive through a game park in Rwanda.
I hope you will consider going or pass this email along to someone who should consider going.
Each trip is a little different, but some things are always the same. First, what is the same?
- You will see yourself as totally worthless in accomplishing the goals of the trip.
- You will think that it is stupid for you to go – that thought and feeling will intensify as the trip draws near.
- You will be overwhelmed emotionally, spiritually and physically when you are there.
- God will show up for you in powerful and personal ways – ways that you have never experienced. (Paul writing in 2 Cor 12:9: And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.)
- You will see our culture in a new and different way.
- You will see God in a new and different way.
- You will ask questions of God – some of which He will answer specifically and some of which He may not.
- You will be deeply grateful for the experience because you will never be the same.
For this trip, I am praying that people with a heart for children’s education will go and be led to continue relationships with educators that they meet. I am also praying that God will provide a couple of people in the business world to lead a three day seminar for people in their 20s to show them how to think about starting a business. (The curriculum is already developed and I will teach you what to do.) I am really excited about teaching this group of people. I will explain why in the upcoming meeting. Finally, I am praying that God will provide a good means for distributing Bibles – one of the primary ways that people can know and relate to God in a personal way. Bibles are scarce in Congo and interest in reading them even more scarce.
I will be holding an informational meeting and general Congo ministry update on November 6, 2012 at Grace Covenant Church at 7:30 pm. Please let me know if you are planning to come to the meeting by responding to this email.
You can see pictures and trip reports from previous trips at www.CongoBlessings.org.