Our 36 Day God Adventure in the Bandundu

DAY  1 :  Monday, September 5th, 2011

      I might be out of reach by phone and internet for much of my time but I've decided nonetheless to record my thoughts each day for the next 36 days we will be travelling in Bandundu province in the DRC.  Our purpose and goal is to deliver in 9 different locations, our introduction to mission training to the pastors of the C.B.CO church association with whom we work here in the Congo.  We have already done so in Kinshasa and the province of Bas Congo, but that has left us with the biggest and most complicated part to do - the Bandundu province.
     We left, not as early as we had hoped, around 8:30 AM from Pastor Pierre Ndonganani's home (he is the director of the mission department) once we had all our gear packed on the roof racks and stowed inside.  Understand that even with 2 large gas reservoirs, each containing 90 liters , we are also carrying 100 extra liters in large plastic containers because gas will not always be available along the route we will be taking.  We also have a gym bag chuck full of Congolese money - no bank machines whatsoever.  Then there's a portable screen, video projector, 2 computers, a generator to run them because most locations will have no electricity, food, drinking water, mosquito nets, syllabus notes for the almost 500 we'll be training, spare tires and parts for eventual car breakdowns, suitcases, and the list goes on and on.  At any rate, finally packed, the six of us hopped in, prayed for God's blessing and protection, and started out on our first leg of the trip.
     One thing I learned straight off was that the number of kilometres you have to travel really means nothing.  We had 360 kms to travel today in order to arrive at our first destination of Kikongo. A piece of cake, right?  I mean, by my calculations, we should be there by noon or early afternoon.  Not so.  You see distance is calculated differently here.  What type of surface are you driving on?  How many flats or breakdowns?  Is it mountainous terrain?  And how heavy is the load?  Difficult to know how long it will take.
      We hadn't even left Kin and we already had our first flat.  I say "first" not because I am a pessimist but a realist.  The first 3 hours we travelled through the province of Kinshasa and then wound around the mountainous roads of Bandundu province for a total of 240 Kms.  Not so bad.  And then we left the pavement behind and hit our sand rut path.
     Well, my friend.  I added a new word to my vocabulary today - "jostle".  I know you THINK you know what jostle means, but I'm not talking about your Canadian, garden variety type.  This was serious, deepest outback Africa, bone-jarring, incessant, exhausting jostling.  After several hours of this I began to pray, no, to beg God to just make it stop!  He didn't answer my entreaties; it just kept going on and on and on.
     When we thought we must be almost there, we stopped and asked some villagers how much farther.  45 kms.  Not the answer we wanted to hear.  45 more kms of jostling.  How was that possible?
     By now it was evening.  Great.  Now we're jostling in the dark where the only light was our high beams and the occasional villlage cooking fire.  Finally, after 5 1/2 hours to make it through the 120 km of sand, we made it safe and sound to our first destination - the mission station of Kikongo.  Guess Jesus must have been jostling along the route with us!
     Tonight I don't want to think that in 3 days, we have to re-do the 120 kms before moving on to our next site.  After washing off the grime of the sandy trail, eating a bite, all I wanted was to fall into bed and sleep.
     So here we are, Lord, at the beginning of this great God adventure you have sent us on.  Teach us, use us, and most of all, glorify yourself.


  1. Brenda, I'm looking forward to reading all of your adventures. You describe everything so well. Blessings on you.


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