Congo's commemoration of 50 years of independence

Today, June 30th, marks 50 years since the DRC became an independent nation.  Ever since we arrived one month ago in the country, there has been much talk and preparation for this commemoration.  As of noon yesterday, workers were off work until Friday.  Many of the traffic jams we've experienced have been, in part, because of roads being resurfaced as a lead up to the anniversary.  The main boulevard downtown Kinshasa has been completely redone.  Parades, speeches, visiting dignitaries are all part of the ceremonies planned. The military has been very present over the last days to ensure that all happens in the calm.  Military helicopters have flown over over home on numerous occasions.
We found very interesting the televised speech given by the First Lady of the Republic several weeks ago where she spoke of many "sins", faults and atrocities committed by and to her country's people over the years.  She then shared the verses in 2 Chronicles which say that "if my people will humble themselves and pray, God will hear their prayers and heal their land".  Though these verses were originally said to the Israelites, they resonate with the Congolese.   The First Lady also called on all the Christians in the country to pray and fast  for three days in preparation for the celebrations, to repent of past abuses and ask God to forgive and to allow the country to regain peace and tranquility.
As outsiders, we know that we live such an event with different eyes than the congolese. We wonder if the present situation is what was envisioned 50 years ago when their independence was declared.  I can' t help but think that God wants not just independence from oppressive rule but a complete dependence on Him and His ways - total submission to His kingdom rule.  So I join my congolese brothers and sisters in praying for a genuinely free Congo, one that is free for all to live in love and righteousness of God.


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