Thursday, September 29, 2016

Here is a Blog Nick wrote for MAF last week, I add in the bottom my own observations of what the Job of the Program Manager looks like at a time of unrest.
The security situation where we live degraded last week, here in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. It’s all “part of doing business” for overseas missionaries, but still there is something inside our human hearts which reminds us that this unrest isn’t normal. It’s also a good reaffirmation of one of the reasons why we are here.
It’s because it is in stark contrast to the message we’ve come here to share. The message which transformed our very own hearts and overflows, beckoning us to proclaim it as the best news for all who will hear and listen. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28-30). This is rest from sin, from striving, from guilt and broken relationship with God and others. It is shalom, whole and all-encompassing rest because Christ offers it; and He is the only one who can offer, having given up His life to pay for our debts and restore the broken relationships.
I never thought about why we call it unrest until reading those scriptures and Hebrews 4, which speaks of the promised rest and the lack of rest for those who are disobedient to God’s instructions. Don’t we really mean “trouble” or “danger” or “fighting” or “disorder”? And yet in all the security briefings I’m part of and all the updates I receive, the word I hear most is “unrest.” I think it’s because this links us to that longing in all human hearts to be at rest. A real rest that can be experienced here and now and yet also has an eternal aspect that we feel as well.
May God bring rest not only to this city and country, but to the hearts of its people.
Nick responsibility as Program Manager at a time like this is a busy one. He attends several different security groups such as the World Food Program Logistics Cluster, Overseas Security Advisory Commission, Humanitarian Advocacy Group meetings etc. He's always receiving emails and cultivating relationships with many different embassies and organizations to make sure that he is getting the most accurate information for our MAF team but also so that he knows what the need for MAF may be if an emergency situation comes up. He has already been contacted by several organizations asking if MAF could help with evacuations if needed. 

These are not calls that are overly encouraging to receive when looking at the state of the country that we live and serve in but it is a role that MAF has played in the past and will continue to play as needed. We do this to make sure that if people need to get out somewhere quickly and as safe as possible we are here. 

At the World Food Program Logistics Cluster 
In the midst of all this information sorting, sifting and sharing; he is also in the middle of helping with our financial year end, working on next years budget and our ministry plan. This is also the time that Nick has started training on a new airplane, the PC-12, these flights have been moved to the back burner amidst everything else going on. 
Our evenings lately are full of looking for news updates on twitter, sending security updates and going through our Program Security Plan to make sure everything that should be done is getting done. Right now life in Kinshasa is operating as normal, kids are in school, normal traffic jams are in full force ;-) and people are going to work. Everything Nick is doing is being done, not because emergency is upon us but so that if the situation degrades, everything is already in place for a calm evaluation of what the safest course of action is and we have everything already in place to carry it out. 
Nick being silly as he does quite a few emails and phone calls during the evening.
 As I watch him do what he does best, it reminds me why the bible asks us to pray for our leaders. We pray for people like the current president of this country, that he would make good choices so all of these preparations are unneeded, and for people like Nick all over the world who are making plans and decisions on behalf of their staff to keep them as safe as possible. The bible says we pray for this so 
"...that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness" 1 Tim 2:2       
it is that rest and that peace that is indeed our hearts desire and its our leaders that can help make that happen.
So please pray for your own leaders and ours, for wisdom, perseverance, patience; for them to make decisions that are for the good of those they are leading. For God to guide them so that we can bring a little bit more Peace on earth as it is in Heaven.