Our 36 Day God Adventure in the Bandundu
Day 15 : Monday, September 19, 2011
Really good night sleep! We thought the service this morning started at 7AM but actually it was 6:30 so we ended up not going. Once breakfast was over, we went over to the church to set up for our full and final day of training. Today, I really enjoyed my time, particularly as we talked about culture. I felt as though they were paying attention, understanding and enjoying the exchange. In order to compare some of the differing values of Canadian and Congolese culture, I shared with them how it was that Richard and I were engaged and married. You have to understand that here, there is a dowry system in place and a very carefully planned procedure involving both extended families. So when I explained that Richard simply asked permission from my dad, then proposed to me and put a ring on my finger, I thought there would be a mutiny. Everyone started yelling and demanding that Richard pay his dowry. It was pretty hilarious. But it also showed how ethnocentric they were and unwilling to accept another culture's way of doing things. That really was the point of my story. For them to do missions, they will need to understand and learn to put aside their own cultural practices when they enter the other culture with the gospel. Marriage is biblical but not how people are married specifically. It seems to me this is because God leaves it open to be practised differently in different cultures.
By 6PM we had finished our training (#4), given out the syllabus and certificates and taken the photos. I definitely felt more affinity here than in our last training. The last song that we sang together was a very rousing mission song. Lord, these folks who profited from the presence of missionaries in the past, may we see Tono now become a missionary sending village.
Tonight the church presented our team with a large container of honey, a huge bucket of peanuts and another one chuck full of caterpillars! Oh, did I mention to you before that caterpillars is a real speciality here; we had them served at every meal, I think. They taste more or less how you would expect caterpillars to taste. If one more person says how much protein they contain ... anyway I know that Pastor Muzau was thrilled by their gift.
I have packed up all our stuff as much as I can for our early start tomorrow. The goal is to try to be on the road (rut) between 6 and 6:30AM. I've been told that though we have a fairly long distance (maybe 6 hours), the roads are good (!) We'll see.
Trust God gives us a good night sleep. I can hear the film has finished. The crowd is sad we are leaving but I'm sure it won't be our last trip here to Tono. Some, in talking with us, asked if it wouldn't be possible for us to come and stay a while, like at least 5 years! Not going to happen!! We know what we are here for and what we aren't here for. Our role is to coach so they do the work both here and elsewhere that God has called and equipped them to do. Can't wait to move on to Kikwit and have connection with the world again!