Rigo Zevada joined us on the trip to the Congo this spring, and shares his experience below.
By: Rigo Zevada
This marked my inaugural visit to Africa, as well as my fifirst-everarticipation in a mission trip. Throughout my upbringing, I heard stories of individuals venturing to remote countries that were faced with severe resource shortages, and I always admired those efforts. However, it’s one thing to hear about such stories and quite another to experience them firsthand. I’ve known Greg for roughly 3+ years. Every week, we would meet for breakfast to engage in Bible study and catch up on life. It was during one of these meetings that Greg planted the seed of visiting Congo, and in 2023, I felt a divine calling to embark on that journey.
As I made my way to Congo, I had no clear expectations. My sole preparedness lay in my commitment to helping Congolese individuals in acquiring income through the Upwork platform. Additionally, I was tasked with delivering a speech on the book of Nehemiah at a leadership retreat. Greg’s message to our group was to allow the spirit of God to guide us throughout our time there. As someone inclined towards planning and having well-defined strategies in place, you can well imagine the thoughts swirling through my mind.
Upon our arrival, we met with a group of over 20 individuals who expressed their interest in learning more about Upwork and harnessing its potential to generate income. Our primary focus became assessing their skills, delving into their strengths and weaknesses, and understanding their long-term aspirations and ambitions. Armed with this invaluable information, we were able to guide them in potential employment opportunities that would allow them to earn an income on Upwork.
Throughout my professional career, I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with individuals of diverse personalities, backgrounds, and skill sets. It was truly enlightening to hear these individuals share their experiences and aspirations, and to witness the commonalities they shared with Americans back home. Regardless of our geographical location, we are all created in the image of God and exhibit similar characteristics. One striking observation from my interactions with them was that the majority not only desired to provide for themselves and their families, but also had a deep-rooted desire to contribute to their communities and invest in the next generation. Their recognition of the value in nurturing the future filled me with joy.
Greg imparted a profound principle to our group—that we should convey the message of God’s immense power and His personal provision (3 P’s). By establishing a genuine, personal relationship with Him, we witness His work come to life. Over the years, Greg has worked with three to five Congolese men who achieved success in earning income through Upwork by adhering to and embodying the “3 Ps.” Hearing their testimonies and witnessing the ripple effect it had on others was rewarding to see. The people of Congo are yearning for change, and God is the answer.
This journey left me with a few key takeaways. Firstly, we are children of God, meticulously crafted for a specific purpose. It is only through walking with God and fostering a personal relationship with Him that we come to understand that purpose. Secondly, I learned that if we are willing and obedient, God will provide. I may not have possessed all the necessary skills or qualifications for the tasks I undertook in Congo, but I fervently prayed that by simply showing up, God would take care of the rest. And indeed, He did. The experience was beyond words. Lastly, it was intriguing to observe how much more focused I became in listening to God while in Congo compared to back home in the United States. Perhaps it was due to the fewer distractions present in Congo. I noticed how God would take the reins, guiding my words and actions when I remained in constant fellowship with Him. It led me to ponder whether we often fixate on the wrong things, inadvertently limiting our capacity for God’s utilization? Food for thought.