Wednesday was probably one of the most fun days I’ve had here in the Congo. From playing with kids to playing with friends, it was an all around great day.
In the afternoon we visited a village that was pretty far way. It was Pastor Marcel’s church, and they were full of energy. Before we stepped out of the van, a stampede of kids came running our way. As we were shaking hands with the many enthusiastic kids, mothers even started to come to us and greet us. The church was loud, and everyone was cheering upon our arrival. Pastor Marcel kept saying over and over again how excited everyone was to have us there. He reiterated our ministry of presence and told us just how much it means to them that we were there.
The excitement only grew as the day progressed. When we sang songs the kids sang with us. Never before have we had a group so loud and excited to sing and dance along with us. After our service we played futbol and passed out balloon animals. Children were smiling from ear to ear.
A little girl that caught my eye was Adella. Adella had been pretty emotionless all morning long. When I was going around taking pictures of the kids a mother told Adella to smile. Her grin was so large and bright that it lit my heart up with joy. All of the children of this far away village were so happy and excited. Their smiles each so large and bright. I will never be able to forget them, and the way Adella made me so infinitely happy.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, we ended our day with dinner and a move at Missionary Gavin’s house. His neighborhood was all gated , and the roads were paved. At his house we felt like we were back at home. Their home had nice leather couches, electricity stayed on for most of the night, they had a TV, and toilets that I didn’t have to squat over. Dinner was tacos, and it was delicious. It was all so American that it made us think of home.
The entire night felt right. We played games and even got to watch Lion King in Africa. Lion King in Africa! Feeling a taste of America made me all the more excited to return home.
In a few days we’ll be going back home. It’s both exciting and saddening. Exciting for me to finally be back home for more than three days, and sad because it means that my summer of adventure is over. This summer has been an exploration of my faith. Hawaii was my first experience understanding what a full time role in ministry means, and I loved it. I loved ministering seven days a week. I loved speaking in chapels and leading teen small groups. All of it helped me understand my calling to ministry. Now being here in Africa is allowing me to serve with all of my heart and energy. I’m doing it all for God and trusting Him with everything. Though it’s coming to an end, it’s the start of putting what I’ve learned to practice.
When I get home I want to continue serving. I want to continue following my call to ministry. I always, always want to continue spreading God’s love and light.