Forget all the bad news about DR Congo for a few minutes. This is a place of amazing beauty and greatness. Yes, I've only seen a tiny corner; but this corner is just one of countless others across this vast landscape of almost 1 million sq. miles (905,567 sq. mi.)
So, a few snapshots:
Last evening we had a magnificent thunderstorm. ...
It formed somewhere to the west. I imagined the rain forest exhaling great clouds of moisture that bumped and melted into each other. The thunder echoed from beyond the horizon. Pendulous clouds of greys and blacks lumbered like great herds of elephants across the sky. The air chilled as the wind picked up. After more than an hour of gathering, the great herd of clouds broke and rain fell from the sky. Fierce and refreshing.
This is a place of surprise and song. The other day, standing in chapel I looked up to see the sub-flooring of the room above (the UCBC chapel is currently still under construction). The planks are mahogany. Gorgeous rough planks of mahogany, maybe 8"-10" wide and 2" or 3" thick. And swallowing me in sound was the glorious music of our students--joyful, deep, and resonant. And dancing! Yes, we dance in chapel!
These are not indicators of economic growth, political change, or improvement in maternal health. These are just snapshots of the natural beauty of this wonderful, crazy, and blessed place. But if we ignore these small joys and blessings, we dismiss the greatness that is in the DNA of Congo.
And I haven't even told you about the people!