Our DRC team arrived safely at the Suzanne Wright Carepoint in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. They have set up a blog if you wish to follow them. Click here for the link.
Below is the latest blog written by Nate Bailey. Please keep our team in your prayers as they serve others in Africa.
We aren't coming home...
Sell all our possessions...
Send the kids...
Just kidding! Hee hee hee. Here is a short summary of our day of home visits at some of the Christ Hope sponsored children's homes.
A couple of days ago we were given the opportunity to walk the streets of Kinshasa for the first time, guided by one of the local care-point staff members that grew up here. Kinshasa is home to 10 million people, densely packed and is a maze to us. We were divided up into three groups to reduce our numbers. It was determined that a large group of people might draw too much interest since some of the neighborhoods we were going to are not often visited by white people. It is so rare in fact that some of the children may have never seen a white person yet. We set out walking on the streets we had driven a handful of times for a few blocks which gave us a chance to get used to being stared at. Many people were happy to say hello in one language or another, a few even attempted their American accent once they found out we were from America. It generally sounded like John Wayne from an old western movie. I appreciated the effort. The jury is still out if we were being made to feel welcome or being made fun of, but it was all done with a smile. We learned very quickly to hug the side of the road, cars are king here. After a few blocks we turned off the main street and headed into new territory. The labyrinth of turns, passage ways, alleys and makeshift bridges we had to traverse was quite an adventure. We stopped at three homes. Each home we stopped at caused a crowd to gather around us. The children we came to see became shy because of the attention we brought. I felt bad for them because of the onlookers which truly could not be helped but to see their homes and the impact it will leave with us was worth the few awkward moments I hope.
As all people are, they are doing the best they can in tough surroundings but make no mistake they do not have the amenities we are used to. I would be unable to capture in word what all five of my senses were being bombarded with so I will not try. I will only say that you have to see it for yourself. It's cliche but TV and pictures cannot capture the experience. I know that is kind of a cop-out but I'm doing it so hah! Natalie and I were very excited that we were able to see the child we have been exchanging letters with for the last two years. With the help of an interpreter I found out what her favorite game is and I challenged her to a match. They made a brief attempt to explain the rules to me. The best I could tell it was rock-paper-scissors, African style which involved jumping, clapping and kicking. We played twice. I am not sure how but I won both times. I was told that I cheated, but I am also known to cheat at rock-paper-scissors so I took my wins and retired from the game as an undefeated champion. As we left her house kids continued to follow us down the street. To give you an idea of how much of a novelty we were the kids thought we were Chinese and starting doing their best to make noises that mimicked the Chinese language. It was incredibly funny. Tomorrow we have our first day-camp with 50 of the kids that Christs Hope ministers to. We are very excited and a little nervous. A good prayer target if you are so inclined to pray with us is that God would be able to use us and that we would point them to Jesus. That they would see we haven't come all the way around the world to give them things but to help them understand that God wants to give them life. Thank you for reading, I will see you all very soon.