Congo Trip Summer 2015 – Update 1

Congo Here we are back in Congo.

We arrived here Wednesday night, July 1.

David met Nelson Kayamba, and I at the Brussels airport early on Wednesday to get checked in. It was again suspense at the last minute. Brussels Airlines Humanitarian Program gave permission to take a generator, which was overweight and wouldn’t fit into a suitcase. A Belgian friend, George, (father of Jeremie who went with me in 2012) bought two of them for Congo Open Heart last year, keeping them stored at his home until now… So when permission was granted June 30th, the problem still remained: How to go get it and bring it to our house? I phoned George and told him we had permission to take it on the plane the next morning. He said he would phone us back in 15 minutes. His daughter and son-in-law (our pastor) offered to drive with their two small children the hour-and-a-half down to where the parents now live, have dinner and a short visit, and drive back to our place. They arrived at 10:30 p.m., and the box was transferred to our van with all the other luggage.

The precious box was checked in at the airport and made it with no problem. The other suitcases were too heavy and a supplement had to be paid. Books, boxes of screws, and other heavy items all add up! But the flight was good and nothing was lost. We were taken to the same hostel where we slept last year in Kinshasa. Arrived there at 10 p.m.

The next day, Thursday, I talked with various people and in the afternoon met with Katherine Niles in Kinshasa to talk about the CHE program in Congo. David did errands and Nelson worked on the truck to get it running again. He worked on it all day Friday and found the batteries were dead, so they had to end up buying two others. They also were able to get all the insurance papers and taxes paid, which was an answer to prayer. I had phoned last week from Belgium to ask two Congolese friends to take the papers in first thing Monday morning to the office in Kinshasa, which closed at noon and would be closed all Tuesday for the National Holiday for Independence Day (June 30th)! Our daughter Roselie found out about the holiday when she drove into Brussels Tuesday to take her passport to the Congo Embassy for her visa … only to find a paper on the door saying “Closed today because of Independence Day.” She is planning to go with the group that will join Bud at Matende the end of August.

Saturday, July 4: After getting the computer hooked up, the phones working, and going to the Bible Society to stock up on French Bibles to take with us, we looked forward to leaving Kinshasa Saturday before 1 p.m. The traffic was terrible but we were finally out of the city at 4 p.m. The countryside was beautiful. Stopped to put air in one tire. Then at 7 p.m. we dropped off Erik Kumedisa at Mbankana where the training farm is located. It was dark by then but we kept going to try to get to Kenge to spend the night. At 10:20, after crossing the river at Kwango, we found that the truck was losing too much oil. We stopped and tried to fix it, sending someone to go find the Baptist pastor in the village to ask where we could spend the night.

Sunday, July 5th: This morning at 7:30, we were back on the road. The pastor took us in. He had mats to sleep on the floor. During this time a local mechanic fixed the truck. I don’t think David slept much during the night (bugs crawling around on the ground or floor?).

We should have been at Matende by 7:00 p.m., but instead had to work on the truck all day. Finally we were back on the road near Kenge (where we had planned to spend the night before). The phone battery is dead.

We ask you to pray. We left Bibles with the Pastor who gave us lodging. Maybe we are supposed to stop somewhere else tonight? All our steps are in God’s hands and we trust that He might use every moment of this trip to carry out His purpose.

Thank you for your prayers thus far, and for your gifts sent in. We appreciate all that you have given. May God bless you as you stand behind us so faithfully.

Bud (Clement)

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