We had a great day on Monday.  One of our friends here, Moses, took us out of town to a couple of rural villages.  It is always so much fun to get away from the crowds of the city.  One of my favorite things to do is to take pictures of people and show them their picture on the camera’s LCD screen.  They just laugh and laugh and laugh.  It’s great fun.

As we traveled on Monday, I was quite pleased to see that livestock have made quite a comeback from the war.  Two years ago, I saw virtually no farm animals.  Monday, I saw dozens of goats, pigs and cows.

Also on Monday, we went to dinner at a pastor/businessman’s house – we will call him “Sam.”  Sam imports very large used products from Japan and sells them here.  He formed the business relationship with someone from Japan using the internet.  Amazing! – for several reasons.

First, Congolese people don’t trust easily – for good reason.  Because of the lack of trust, everyone settles transactions in cash at the time the goods are delivered.  Wiring money to someone that you don’t know personally is just not done.  Sam did an impressive amount of due diligence and then prayed.  He and his wife had peace so they wired the money.  And it worked!

I was also amazed at Sam’s resourcefulness.  His idea was quite creative as was his use of the internet to develop the necessary relationship.   The world is indeed getting smaller.

Finally, Sam impressed me by his faith.  I have not found anyone here with such faith.

That dinner was one of the highlights of the trip.

Greg with a new friend from Bujumbura, Burundi

He traveled from Bujumbura — about a 6 hour bus ride.  He heard from a friend about the business seminar.  He felt led to come even though he had a 6 week old baby.  He serves as a youth pastor at his church.

Mark Speaking / Newton Translating

Woman in the Business Seminar

Day 2 on Tuesday – Mark led them in a group exercise.  This woman was speaking for her group.

All Locked Up

This is house we lock our house each night.  I am standing on the inside.  Would the fire marshall approve?  Note also the bars on the door — this is the “inside” door.  There is another locked door outside of this one.

Young Girl Carrying Water

A Friendly Woman

Kids – My Favorite Subject

Typical Congolese Landscape

A typical Congolese landscape

A Friendly Woman

This woman was quite friendly.  Note the house in the background.  This house had a fence around it — a sign of growing prosperity since the war came through this village.

People in a Village

I really enjoy being out of the city.  This trip was really good.

A kid with a kid

Outside a Church

Note the construction and the houses on the hillside.  Pretty typical of Bukavu for higher end construction.  Rocks and mud are used for lower end construction.

Mark preaching at a second church

Mark preached a great message — perfect for the people here.

One of my favorite pics – young girl on Sunday

Mark preaching at a church

Note the dirt floor.  Interestingly, the have a sound system run by a generator.

Meeting with the Mayor in his office

Had an interesting meeting with the mayor.  He was appointed to the office a few weeks ago. He said Bukavu needs economic development.  We told him that we would pray for him — that he would be a strong and courageous leader who would serve his people well and that God would give him direction.