Welcome to the Jungle

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Every year the youth from the International church here in Kinshasa do a retreat. Last year we help plan and put together the retreat, we had a speaker from Kenya come and speak to the youth and we headed out of town for the weekend.

This year the youth have mostly been in charge of the youth group; planning the events, making everything happen and they decided that instead of a regular retreat they wanted to do a bit of a mission trip! So they made plans to fly out to a village called Kikongo with MAF to help out in the village.

There is a missionary couple Glen and Rita Chapman that have been there for a long time and they were excited to be able to have a group of young people come and visit the village.

Though Nick was planning on going on the youth retreat I was not, until one of the other leaders couldnt make it so Anna asked me if I would be willing to go along. I didnt know how much use I would be as I would be needing to take care of Ruth but though I could at least help with cooking. We flew out Saturday morning, it always takes a while to get all the bags weighed, go-pass bought, and pass through security but we got through mostly without any trouble. Ruth and I flew in the Caravan for the first time!! So much fun! And so much room! The 182 is quite squishy... and the seats rather hard on the bum.

We got out, set up the tents got settled and headed down to the river for a boat ride down to a sand bar where we played in the water and floated down the river. It was a great time Rue LOVED playing in the sand and hanging out. One of the youth was very scared of water and was even floating down the river with the help of Evan by the end! So awesome.

We went back after Rue started to get quite tired and got cleaned up and the youth headed out for their service portion of the weekend as Rod and I stayed behind and prepared dinner. The girl went off and helped different ladies around the village shell peanuts, just hung out and played with the kids. The boys went off and did different projects, some went to go find snails to feed the famous claw-less otter, others went to go and build up the bank by the river to help protect it from erosion.

We had dinner then went for a walk under the star and Glen gave a mini sermon about the importance about being the light in the darkness.

The second day we got up early had a good breakfast then hurried off to the local church service where the youth had prepared a song to sing for the congregation. Ruth got squirmy about half way through so we went outside and had a group of kids following us around wanting to play with the `Mundele` (white) baby. Shes quite the hit.

Then we came back, had some good down time and ate MRE`s for lunch (THANKS MICHAEL!) Then everyone went for a hike to a waterfall across the river where the villagers from a local village met them there with a feast of fresh fruits, vegetables and sugar cane! It was quite the spread.

They all came back in good spirits and we had dinner and Glen shared with us all again and had a good evening of singing song and eating s'mores.

Monday was our last day there and we had a great breakfast and our last message from Glen. We were going to go down for another swim in the river until we noticed some pretty ugly looking clouds on the horizon and instead of hanging about that we needed to head back quickly if we wanted to make it through the storm. We got everything packed up as quickly as possible and loaded up into the planes and headed back to Kinshasa.

Ruth and I were pretty tired when we go back but it was a great weekend to hang out with some really awesome youth, love on people by serving them, talk about Jesus and just be able to enjoy the beauty of Congo!

Thanks so much guys for being such a awesome group of Kids! You could  not ask for a better group!