Friday, December 15, 2017

Heading Home from Zambia

It's early Friday (12/15) morning as I wait through the night in the Amsterdam airport for my flight home. It's been a busy three weeks that concluded earlier this week a visit to the city of Kitwe near the north-central border with D.R. Congo, a bus ride back to Lusaka, a seminar for the Women and Sunday School Teachers in the Lusaka area, meetings, and an unfruitful attempt at securing a Missionary Visa for D.R. Congo. 

Kitwe Visit...

Congregation in the Kitwe area meets in a rented school classroom 
Pastor Yumba, who is the president of the CCLC in D.R. Congo works along the Zambia/D.R. Congo border. He is also working to train a few pastors in the city of Kitwe. Since I was denied a visa to visit D.R. Congo arrangements were made to meet with Pastor Yumba and the pastors in Kitwe. There just happened to be a large regional soccer tournament being held in Kitwe the same time were there so the buses, streets, and hotels were packed. We attended a worship service on Sunday morning at the congregation of one of the pastors who Pastor Yumba is working with. We also had meetings to get updated information on the work of the CCLC D.R. Congo. Pastor Yumba has drafted a new letter asking the D.R. Congo consulate in the U.S. to grant me a visa so that I can visit in late spring of 2018. We'll see what happens! 

There has been a lot warfare  and fighting among rebels in the eastern part of DRC in recent months and there is currently a massive refugee crisis along their north-east and south-east borders with hundreds of children dying daily of starvation and disease. I talked to other travelers in Zambia who have also been denied visas to visit DRC. They speculate that DRC President/Dictator Kabila is trying to keep international observations at a minimum and this has led to a denial of visa applications from western countries. Here's a couple of news articles about the on-going crisis in DRC:

Seminar for Women and Sunday School Teachers in Lusaka area...

There were more than forty in attendance as we encouraged these women to raise up the children of their community in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. This is a challenge as many of the men in this particular are absent from their families. This particular congregation that Pastor Ibrahim has been working with is located in a very impoverished area of Lusaka that is built near a local dump and polluted lagoon. I was told that many of the men have turned to drugs and alcohol and so the women in this community are left to raise their children with very little support or encouragement from the fathers of the children. Education levels are very low and job opportunities are limited.

The two hour seminar focused on the encouragement that God's word provides when we remind one another of God's love for sinners like us and His faithfulness to His promises of grace and mercy. 

Please remember these women, families, husbands, and those who are called to serve them with God's saving word in your prayers.

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