An Adventure of Faith

Kindu_2015b Posted by Kindu 2015 on Tue, 04 Aug 2015 | 2 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

Genesaret, the Catholic retreat centre, proved a wonderful place to spend our final two nights in DR Congo. We swam in Lake Kivu, with wonderful views of the volcanoes all around. Rev Desire was having vehicle problems but managed to find a friend to take us on a tour of two volcanic lakes, Lac Vert and Lac Noir, and we ended the day with a soda at a sort of beach resort!

Goma town is full of contrasts, bustling black lava streets crammed with wooden bicycles used to transport all the goods being bought across the border, ladies with huge bowls of cabbages, carrots and even strawberries on their heads, masses of Chinese motorbike taxies dodging the lumps of lava rock and then the grand aspiring lakeside residences and hotels of the investors.

On Saturday, Rev Desire collected us for the border. It seemed his vehicle problems were not over as we drove to town with clouds of diesel exhaust coming up through the floor. He kindly took us to his wife’s tailoring shop where we bought some colourful clothes, then looked around a few of the local artisan stalls. We were hot and in need of refreshment after the buzz of the streets, so were taken to Hotel Glitz. Glass chandeliers, moulded ceilings, mirrored pillars, upholstered chairs, gold paint in abundance…but no coffee forthcoming, so we eventually settled for some passionfruit juice.

After saying out heartfelt goodbyes, we tackled the border crossing, seeming chaos on the DR Congo side, barely controlled by the use of wooden sticks, but orderly queues on the Rwanda side. A greater contrast is hardly imaginable. The first queue was for a luggage inspection, the target…plastic bags, which were duly extracted and thrown on the ground…result, our swimming togs soaking the contents of our cases! However the results of the plastic bag ban are impressive…no litter to be found anywhere along the road sides in Rwanda. A clean, tidy, orderly atmosphere.

We walked to the bus station, purchased tickets for the next express to Kigali and had time for a quick lunch in the small café. Pile on as much as you want for a set price. We obviously had not acquired the local skill, but had a good solid lunch nevertheless.

Three hours later, just as darkness fell, we arrived in Kigali and found our way to the guest house. We all slept like logs.

Sunday morning and we attended the English service in Kigali cathedral. Just as we were walking up the steps, Patrick bumped into an old school friend and his family. Their first time at the cathedral!! We all lunched together, before the team left for the airport. Jenny waved them off at departures before heading round to the arrivals to meet the two Rwanda METAs, who are spending two weeks here.

Both Bishop Emmanuel from Kibungo and Bishop Jared from Shogwe had cut their morning services short in order to rush to Kigali to meet the teams and try to resolve some visa issues. This sign of commitment to the visit and ensuring their trouble free arrival is an indication of the importance of the partnership links. All was well and everyone arrived on good form.

The Kindu team have much to share with their parishes and much to mull over in the coming months. The visit has certainly strengthened the partnership links and challenged us all. We are thankful to God for His safekeeping and to everyone who generously prayed and contributed enabling the visit to happen. A real adventure of faith!

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Jenny Christie said Tue, 04 Aug 2015 07:24AM
This is just brilliant - really feel like I've had a taste of DRC just by reading it! I also love the use of the word 'togs' - my children still look at me blankly when I tell them to get their swimming togs ready! Brilliant - so glad it was a blessing to you all :o)
shireen west said Thu, 27 Aug 2015 10:52AM
Dear CMS I saw on an internet search that some of your missionaries have recently been in Kindu. Next year our mission is planning to go there. I am trying to find out if there is a suitable road for a truck to make it there from either Bukavu or Goma . Kind regards Shireen West

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