Sunday, October 16, 2011
Today is our last full day in the DRC. I woke up feeling quite refreshed, thanks to Ambien. I hadn’t slept well yet on the trip so I took one. Found out that if you stay up reading after taking an Ambien, you can have some interesting hallucinations. When the bed started moving, I decided it was time to go to sleep! Woke up several hours later and realized it would be good to turn of the light.
After breakfast, we traveled to a church Bagudekia had helped plant some years ago. We arrived ten minutes late. The church was filled with children and young adults. Very few older folks. We were ushered to the seats on the platform next to a window. The hymns were all sung in Swahili and were recognizable (e.g., Onward Christian Soldiers). There were at least 5 or 6 different choirs who sang beautiful scripture songs. 2 hours later, Bagu was able to get up to preach. Most memorable to me were the children looking in the church from the side door just a few feet from us. After the service we were invited to the pastor’s home “to rest.” We made our way over the broken lava to his home. It was approximately 20x 8 with a partition between the living room and kitchen and sleeping rooms. Doubt there was any bathroom or electricity. Several women then produced “something little.” We ate rice, a local donut, greens, beef, and peeled lemons. During this time I was praying fervently as I had been struggling with gastric problems. I was praying NOT to need a bathroom.
Finally returned to our hotel where I was immediately sick. Answer to prayer for sure that I was sick where I could be sick. While resting we had our usual downpour.
For dinner we returned to the Catholic retreat house where the trauma healing group was completing their training. There I had the most amazing experience. I got to interview two pastors from the Kobo tribe. These pastors are displaced from their village (now living in Goma) due to the ongoing violence. Until recently, they were an unofficial tribe–meaning no government had recognized their unique language. They told of terrible traumas and the opportunity to teach the Healing Wounds of Trauma using story based learning so that their people could hear about what God says about trauma, forgiveness, and healing in their own mother tongue. They were able to help there people learn to treat others well (e.g., a child born of rape who looked like an enemy ethnic group was no longer being abused for their looks), to learn to forgive, to learn that it is okay to cry, and to learn that it is okay to plan for future militia attacks (some thought that preparing for an attack was not trusting in God’s care). At the end of the interview, the pastors sang a couple of scripture songs in their own language. What a treat to hear. Turns out the story-based material does two things at once: introduces scripture/trauma material AND helps the support of the mother tongue (as displaced families are seeing their language die out due to use of French and Swahili).
As dusk gathered this is the view we had of the local volcano. After dark, we could see the reddish glow against the clouds over the center of the volcano. Pretty cool!