Our 36 Day God Adventure in the Bandundu

Day 36 : Monday, October 10, 2011

It is here.  The last day of this marathon trip.  I had really wondered before starting if this would really be possible.  But our God has made all things possible and today we set out on our 10th and final travel day.  We've been told it is around 430 KM - I think the longest distance we have had to go in one day.  But we know that the last part of our trip will be back on paved roads and travelling through the streets of Kinshasa.
Once the car is packed we have some breakfast.  The local pastor joins us and tells us that he has already had good feedback concerning last night's film.  One lady wanted to know how they managed to film the evil spirits at night - he told her that with the great new technology, that doesn't pose  a problem!  She believed every word.
I honestlly don't know what took so long getting ready for everyone this morning.  I for one, want to get on the road towards home.  Finally someone said that if we missed the first ferry at 8 AM the next one was at noon.  That certianly got everyone moving.  We all just really want to get home.  We get in the car which is packed even more than normal with a bin of frozen fish and a rooster. After a final prayer  we are off at maybe 10 to 8.  Tight... I figure our only hope is that nothing every works on time here.  On route to the dock, we stop for gas which takes forever as they syphon it into the gas tank.  Then we stop to get air in the tires.  No hope whatsoever of making it in time.  But when we arrrive at the ferry, we drive right on and it left immediately.  I guess it simply goes when there are people needing to cross regardless of the schedule.  Thank you, Lord.
When we get to the other side we walk to where the car was parked.  Somewhere between geting off the ferry and arriving at the car, Esther has purchased a live fish which she has in water in a plastic bag.  How she thinks it's going to make it alive to Kinshasa is anyone's guess.  But it is added to our already overloaded, crowded car.  This is definitely travelling Congolese syle!  Just what I love, lots of sticky bodies touching me as we travel for hours.  BTW a few hours down the road, the fish died.  Had I mentioned that for the first five hours we had an extra pastor with us - his bike, of course, was tied on the roof on top of all the baggage.  We took him with us for 125 KM and where we dropped him off he had another 125 KM to go on bike.  It was at this stop that the dead fish just disappeared.  Where?  I do not know.   Nor did I care!
What a great moment when we left behind us for the last time, the sandy road and started towards Kinshasa on paved roads.  It really felt like we were homewardbound.
When we arrived on the outskirts of Kin, we pulled over to the side of the road and took time to thank God for His protection and safety in all our travels.  I don't think words can express adequately just how grateful we are to God and the many people who prayed us through the Bandundu province.
Around 4 in the afternoon we arrived at our point of departure, in front of Pastor Pierre's house.  Oh what a welcome!  While the guys unloaded the car, Pastor Pierre's wife, Mama Vicki, Fifi and myself went inside and talked about many of the experiences.  Once the car contained just our things, we left for our home.
5 weeks of non-stop travelling - more than 2500 km in mostly very difficult driving conditions - over 90 hours travelling in the car - our Banadundu "God experience" came to an end.  Or at least this first stage.  Hard to realize that we actually did it!  To me in many ways, the hard work starts now.  Where do we go from here?  What's the next step in building mission momentum among these pastors within this context of extreme poverty?
We are thankful for this great team of Congolese whom God has given us the privilege to work and serve with.  May God cause a mighty mission movement to birth in our midst, a blessing to the Congo and to the entire world.


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