- Listen first and talk only when asked.
- There is wisdom in the silence.
- There is wisdom in the apparent confusion.
- There is something to learn when I'm least willing to learn.
- Suit up and show up, even if I don't feel like it.
- God does provide.
- And, as my daughters remind me whenever they have the patience to run with me, and I'm exhausted and am ready to quit, 'This is where the work gets done.'"
"Go to your Congolese sisters and brothers." When I came to Beni in 2010, Paul Robinson said that there would be a time (or times) when I'd feel like I was "hitting the wall"--when things would feel stuck, difficult, maybe even unbearable. "When that happens, go to your Congolese sisters and brothers." It was valuable counsel on several occasions over those months. It's advice that helped this week.
It was all I could do to keep from crying Thursday morning. Frustration with learning French and Swahili, being overwhelmed with the work that needs to be done, still trying to "put on my sea legs" (it's taken me the last two weeks to even find them!), acclimating to the "reality that is life in Congo" (David Kasali's words)... So, when Decky sat down to begin French lesson and asked, "Comment ça vas?" the tears began.
"How do you do it? How do Honoré and Manassé and Daniel and David do it? The work is so big."
Before answering, Decky offered the gift of quiet comfort. After several minutes of silence she explained how she has discovered solace in the act of giving thanks for the difficulties. We prayed. It was time for French. I was ready.
A Garden of Delights
|A glimpse of "home"|
Nyumba Tunmaini (sp? Still learning!), the house that CI currently rents for international staff, is a newly built structure with interesting, locally-appreciated design features. The exterior is graced with large swirls of turquoise plaster. There is a street light of 5 tulip-shaped bulbs in 4 colors. Instead of a yard or garden, there is substantial “hardscape.” But in a narrow strip of hard dirt, against a cement wall, a banana tree flourishes. Its cluster of fruit steady and ripening in its course.
|Bathroom shelving (do you see the soap, too?)|