Food is another thing that we enjoy while visiting the land of plenty. The convenience of running to the grocery several times a week, or day as it may turn out, is very nice. And the low prices are not too shabby either. We can purchase a lot of the foods we enjoy in Kinshasa, or I should say that the foods are available for purchase for a price. Food is probably the most expensive part of living in Kinshasa, once you get past the airfare and visa costs. Even dining out in Virginia is about a third of the price of what we spend in Kin. Although we are enjoying the freedom of food, we are trying not to create "excess baggage" in or bodies. We truly find ourselves heading to the all you can eat salad bars, as salads are some of our most missed foods.
Little conveniences like instant hot water with lots of water pressure, tap water that is potable, and lighting on demand are things that we don't take for granted while we are in the States. We are very thankful for these things.
Something that I didn't realize I was missing was music. Now don't get me wrong, we have music. But the music I miss is not the music from any of the churches that surround MPH, or the bar across the street which plays their music into the late hours. I am talking about music in the car whether it is Christian, easy listening, or good old Rock n Roll. Listening to music while driving in Kin is almost impossible and, honestly, distracting. Some of you know that what passes for driving is just a game of chicken where the goal is to advance your vehicle with minimal amount of scratches and zero human casualties. So "boppin' to Bieber" just ain't happening. What made me realize my longing of music was the trip to Montreat NC that Cindy and I took this past weekend. We spent about seven hours traveling each way and were able to find several KLove stations and The Light in Asheville, as well as Rock n Roll in between. Pop on the cruise control, sit back and sing along to the tunes. It was a nice ride.
So I am finally getting to what I really wanted to share with you. I mentioned that we went to Montreat. The reason we went was to attend a luncheon devoted to the missions of Congo (Zaire). It was an amazing weekend. As we all get older, minds and bodies begin to betray us, but the passion and spirit for missions and projects in D.R. Congo seem to never fail. I looked around the room on Saturday and saw several of the "older" missionaries, who were struggling to maneuver with canes, four legged walkers or simply the hand and shoulders of loving family members. As they listened to, and watched the slide shows of, the current projects in Congo, their faces transformed from their 80+ years to that of children of 6yo on Christmas morning. As they spoke to each other, the native tongues flowed, almost better than their first language of English. Almost effortlessly Tshiluba and Lingala were the chosen languages. The Lord had called them to Congo 30, 40, 50, or 60 years ago and when they left, they didn't take all of their hearts with them. Many will, and many have, graduate to their final and eternal reward and their family will take their "bones" back to the land that holds their hearts. For Cindy and I these predecessors are our inspiration. To be included as equals with them is both humbling and encouraging. It helps us to confirm that the Lord has us exactly where He can use us best to His Glory. It is good to see that, though full time missionaries to Congo are few, there are others who work on this side of the ocean to accomplish projects using short term teams. We thank God that He continues to love the people of Congo enough to continue drawing and re-drawing (if that is a proper term) His servants to work with them for a better life on this earth in preparation for their eternal life in the Kingdom.