The Heart(beat) of Africa
A heart beats bringing life to your body, lub-dub-lub-dub…. Every cell renewed, revived, and energized with each heart beat.
DR Congo is located in the heart of Africa, smack dab in the middle. For so long long it has been called the “heart of darkness.” However, it’s a country full of hidden treasures not only in the landscape or the wildlife, but the people.
In the midst of war, where fear, sickness and death lingers, life is springing forth and Africa New Day has taken it as its mission to restore life one person at a time.
What an honor and a privilege to serve alongside those who are giving their lives to see their country, to see DR Congo, God’s country, come to life and become the well of life it was meant to be.
As the week came to a close, I had begun to see so many people come alive in English class. Many who may have been timid to share or even speak, began to speak up. We went from learning how to introduce one self to the mission and vision of Africa New Day, then we talked about their dreams.
There are so many big dreams in that room, most only God could accomplish. I sat back after and was like wow….How many times do we limit ourselves to dream small? Each of them are truly coming to an understanding of the change they can bring to a lost and dying world. Their circumstances are not defining their dreams, but God and the passion he has placed in them is fueling their vision and their dreams.
The last few days of English class were full of competition, laughter, charades, and lots of tongue twisters. Oh, what fun I (we) had. It was great serving alongside Jenn (one of my fellow Pastors from DC, now serving with Africa New Day). If you could put a picture of joy and “full of life” in the dictionary-Jenn’s picture would be there.
Even in the hard times, with fatigue or sickness, we laughed a lot.
I made sure to get some time in with the kids for recess before I left, and Jenn and I even joined kids on the trampoline (some of the teachers even joined in.)
During my two weeks in Congo, I got to do so many things that bring life to my soul—(but also allowed life to flow to others.)
*Play basketball (even though I had a fever and couldn’t breath very easily, I loved it; and even had a cheering squad as Esther and Camille (co-founders of Africa New Day), their 9 month old Anael, and Jenn were in the crowd cheering us on. Saying “that’s my sister”, haha.
*Teach- oh how do I love teaching, subject really doesn’t matter 🙂 from English, to functions of the brain, to believing in God vs. believing God. Thanks Jenn for allowing me to take over most of your classes for the two weeks
*Preaching- I was able to share a message at church on Sunday on Psalm 62, and it was electric, especially when you have a translator (Esther, who is bold and electric in her translation of the message, such power). God moved even days after His word was shared.
*Loving on kids- many of the children don’t get loved on at home, so I enjoyed the slew of hugs every day, especially the running ones
*Language learning- my Swahili came a lot faster than my French, but it is always fun 🙂
*Eat- though my appetite wasn’t what I had hoped after getting sick, I still got to eat lots of Congolese food (so good)
*Build relationships- I love spending time with people, living life with them!
If people look at the news, many might question where’s the life? I can attest that the heart of Africa is coming alive and is beating strong. Life is springing up in unexpected places. I am so thankful to have been able to be apart of it. (Just a short prequel to the future that’s in store)
Restoration, resuscitation, reconstruction, rehabilitation, etc. is not an easy job. It’s hard, it’s messy, and you’ve got to be willing to get dirty in the process. The pain and suffering is real, but the beauty and life that is springing forth makes it something worth fighting for.
Gods heart beats for each of us: “love-you, love-you, love-you,” and out of this flows life. When we take ahold of this, we can then bring life to the world around us. When our heart beats in sync with the creator of the universe, it spreads like wild fire. It’s a catchy rhythm 🙂
I want my heart to beat in sync with God’s.
Not changed or slowed by the broken world around me, but that it would beat even harder and stronger, when difficulties come along.
There’s a stronger heart beat arising from the “heart of Africa,” where life is beginning to flow!
So glad that I get to be apart of it!