In November we introduced Nathan Copeland as our new Director of Outreach, and in today's newsletter we wanted to share about his journey in the Congo that happened at the end of 2019.
Nathan and Andrea's goal was to arrive in the Congo with no expectations, and to just BE. They wanted to experience the culture and its people so they could learn what the Congo truly needs from us. Throughout all of this, their ultimate goal was to be representatives of Christ through their actions: speaking the Word and expressing God's love.
OUR TRIP TO THE CONGO
Nathan and Andrea landed in the Congo and with their luggage in hand, stepped off the plane to the smell of stale wood smoke burning throughout the city. As they drove into the city from the airport, they found the source of the smoke. Crowds of people surrounded the streets as they saw small cafes with meat cooking on an open fire. In this city of about 16 million people, an open fire is their main source of cooking due to the lack of electricity. As they continued to drive around the city they were barely moving due to the overflow of crowds and congestion. It felt as if the city is overflowing with people like water flooding from a bucket that's already filled.
Although this country is full of poverty, people, and a lack of electricity, everywhere they went they were greeted with smiles and with laughter. Here is a community of people that live in the normality of exhaustion and struggle, and yet they still seek joy and happiness in almost everything they do. Poverty did not stop them from wishing our strangers a happy hello. Lack of electricity didn't stop children from playing and laughing as Nathan & Andrea walked down the street. They even recognized the familiar game, "Patty-Cake" as the children played in their native tongue. It was a beautiful reminder that even when we cross seas and borders some things are still universal in our humanity.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Experiencing the Congo is a humbling and beautiful experience to behold, and although there is beauty and hope there is also so much that we can be praying for. Whether you're getting ready for work in the morning, taking a walk in the afternoon, or working in your backyard, we hope that as you go about your days that you pray alongside us for:
Resources for more fresh water throughout the communities.
Strength for the people and government to fix the poverty issues. The rise of poverty causes human trafficking to be one of the highest form of business in the Congo.
A NOTE FROM NATHAN
"I came away from visiting this neighborhood amazed at how the people who live there all shared a faith that God will always take care of them. They have nothing, yet they would share what they had with their community. They sang songs of joy for what they did have and they did not complain about what they didn't have. It was a combination of emotions......both heart wrenching as well as heart warming experiences that I will never forget!!! I praise God for allowing me the opportunity to have had this life changing experience last November."