Sunday, August 22, 2010

Time in Congo Winding Down

It's Sunday evening here in Lubumbashi, DR Congo and our work (in country) work is nearly finished. We attended and preached at Trinite Lutheran Church this morning where Pastor Muzakuza, the president of the ELCC is the pastor. Church lasted 2 hours and included much singing, prayers, Scripture readings, a sermon, and the installation of two new elders in the congregation. The singing is what amazes me. The only instruments they use are drums, made of a hollow, carved out log with a hide strapped over the top and various pieces of metal that are beat against each other to make a high pitched clanging noise. There is also much clapping and the shrill shrieks of from the ladies in the congregation. The voices harmonize together with seemingly no effort what so ever. It is a joy to hear them sing.Following the worship service we met with the two man translating committee of the ELCC and tried to work out the details of how they can work together with the CCLC so as not to duplicate efforts and to assist in proof reading each others work before they move on to publishing and printing. There is still some uncertainty and skepticism about working together with the CCLC but I am confident that they are taking positive steps in the right direction.

After our translation committee meeting we were invited to the home of the congregation president/chief who seems to be a man of some financial means by African standards.
We were treated to a typical Congolese meal of rice, bugari (a dough ball made by grinding corn, cob and all, used for scooping the various soups/sauces and dishes) chicken, fish, cole slaw, and even some spaghetti pasta. Our host were very gracious and the fellowship and conversation was a lot of fun. I always enjoy these times of fellowship because they really give you a chance to get to know each other as friends and build that relationship that is such a precious gift from the Lord.

On our way back to town we were taken to local arts and crafts flea market of sorts. The sellers saw the color of our skin and got very excited. I am sure the prices escalated at a higher rate than did their excitement level. I inquired about a small set of wooden salad tongs with handles carved like a giraffe and was told that they were $30. Nathanael asked about a chess set and a price of $200 was given. I ended up buying two bracelets and four necklaces for $7 after much negotiating. The first price I received was $10 for one bracelet.

We have one more meeting in about an hour this evening with a couple of pastors and then it
will be a bit reading and off to bed. Our Ethiopian Airlines flight leaves tomorrow at 1:10 pm. We were told by the airlines, when we confirmed our seats yesterday, that we should be there by 10:00 am. We will say our goodbyes to the pastors, their families, our translators, and Mr. Martin Essien (from Nigeria) tomorrow around 9:30 am.

I was able to talk to (and see) Beth and the kids yesterday via video Skype. It was great to see and hear them. They seem to be doing well. They should be finishing church right about now. Josh heads back to ILC after church. Beth will miss his help around the house and with the little ones. In some ways it doesn't seem like I have been gone for nearly two weeks already, but when I think of my family and the congregation it feels like I have been gone for months.

I forgot about this picture until I looked again tonight. Look carefully and you will see that the boy on the right is wearing a St. Louis Cardinals shirt. I took this with my cell phone at the airport when we were waiting to pick up Mr. Martin Essien from Nigeria. This young lad is one of the many young men running around the airport trying very hard to out maneuver the other boys for the privilege of helping you with luggage, whether you ask for it or not. Sometimes they will just walk next to you with their hand on the suitcase while you carry it or roll it yourself and when you get to the car...they have their hand out waiting to be paid. This young man agreed to let me take his picture and I gave him a 1000 Congolese Francs ($1.13). He ran over to his friends and our translator John (in the picture) told me that the other boys were asking why I took his picture and he told them that I liked his shirt. They told him he should come back and ask for 5,000 francs (about $6). He came over and asked for the 5,000 francs but didn't get any more money. You can't blame the kid for trying. I don't think they get too many Muzungu's (white guys) through the Lubumbashi airport. Gotta love the entrepreneurial spirit!

Be sure to check out Pastor Mayhew's blog at:

I'll check back in from Kenya in a couple of days.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the update. Say hello to Jeremiah from the Benters.
    God's Blessings.
    Len and Carol