In rhythm with Bill and Sonia Shaw, partnering with Africa since 1985
Current assignment: DR Congo, city: Lubumbashi
A Complicated Mess...
I have two sources of information to share with you. First, I just finished reading Jason Stearns' book Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of The Congo and The Great War of Africa (Click here to purchase this book on Amazon.)
Stearns tries to describe the political morass that creates the mind-numbing and soul-grinding Vitamix® blender that is the eastern Congo today. (You need a dictionary at your side just to keep the many militia and rebel group acronyms straight- LRA, RPF, AFDL, FARDC, PNC, FDLR, CNDP, and the ADF to name a few.)
This read will leave you shaking your head at the insanity of it all.
Secondly, for those who do not have the inkling to purchase the book, I have a video from The Economist website. It gives a short introduction to the current socioeconomic and political conditions in eastern Congo. The Economist is a British news service that centers on issues pertaining to the world economy. It offers a non-American perspective on what is going on in the world. Since introspection is healthy, I gain from understanding how others view the tenuous Pax Americana. Consider this video "Intro to Eastern Congo Lite."
If there is ever a place where forgiveness that is not contingent on justice is needed, eastern Congo is it. This is not to say justice cannot be served here. However, the not so merry-go-round of serial revenge seeking that roams about eastern Congo needs to find its end. They say that evil prevails when good men do nothing. In this case evil simply prevails and something needs to be done, but what? Where do we seek redress?
Sonia and I leave in a few weeks to put our boots on the ground as we partner with the Congo church to make our own investment in the process of reconciliation through empowering local pastors to be better community leaders. We will concentrate on their training so they will be equipped and empowered to find local solutions to local problems. You can join with us and move from being a casual observer to a solution provider.
Our departure is only made possible by our really cool team of partners. We want to thank our friends, family, and churches who support us monthly as this allows us to do what we do. In this past year we were able to add new partners to our list who stepped up and helped to fill in the Great Recession hole in our budget. Believe me when I say you make an impact on someone in Africa every month.
As we head back, there are many more unknowns than knowns for us at this point. As we all launch into 2013 it would be well if we remembered the last words of Jesus in the Great Commission:
"Behold, I am with you, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:20
Take care and Godspeed,
Assemblies of God missionaries to the people of the DR Congo