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DR Congo Day 6

Balloon Animal

July 30

I’m tired. I’m mentally burnt out. After 10 weeks of interning in Hawaii, all I want to do is rest. I am so ashamed to say that all I want to do is be at home. I so deeply wish that my entire heart and soul would be here in the Congo. Nonetheless I am having an incredible time- an incredible time of learning the ministry of presence.

Being with these kids brings so much joy into my life. Singing and dancing with them is always a great time. Embracing their love and loving back onto them gives me warm fuzzies. Whenever our van pulls up there are instantly hundreds of kids waiting to shake our hands. They knock nonstop at the window to get us to come play with them. Little ones love to be carried and will fight to stay on our laps. When we return home, they chase our car waving goodbye. Their love is so strong that it pulls us all in.

Today we visited a local church. The purpose of our trip was to encourage children to come to church regularly. We played with the kids, taught them songs, and gave away balloon animals in the hope that children of the community would feel welcomed in the church. All in all it was such a fun time laughing and playing with these kids.

As the day winded down, members of the church wanted to leave us with a parting gift. They gave us all the Democratic Republic of the Congo flag. This moment reminded me of the Catalunya flag I have back home. I bought this flag when I lived in Spain, and later that year hung it in my dorm room as a symbol of my old home. Receiving my Congo flag made it feel a little more like home.

We’ve been so welcomed in this place that I feel a little spoiled. The food Mama Esperanza cooks us is delicious! Whenever we walk into the room there is something to eat, and in the words of Pastor Celestin, “If there is food, you eat it!” Though we’re living in a place with poor electricity and no plumbing, coming home at night to my soft, warm bed is a pleasure. Life is still different here, and it could be worse, but for right now I’m ok with that. This trip hasn’t even been a week long yet, but I see the ways God is working in me. I’ve grown more appreciative. I want to love moments not things, and see blessings in actions not money. Like everything I’m apart of, I’m learning far more from what I receive than what I’m giving.

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