Christ is Risen. Truly He is Risen.
Kristu Mubika. Bulelela Kristu Mubika. (Congo tribal language)
During the Holy Fifty Days of the Resurrection, I recently visited a very remote village in Congo called Masuika. His Grace Bishop Paul told me to prepare talks about the Resurrection. And the joy and power of the Resurrection.
As the trip started, I went from Lusaka, Zambia to Lubumbashi, Congo, which took half a day journey. From there, the following day, early in the morning, we flew half a day journey to Kananga, Congo. We still were not in our final destination. Again, early the following morning, we drove 20 hours on an undrivable and unbearable road. A video of the terrible road conditions can be found here.
Honestly, I felt broken and down and I kept thinking to myself how am I going to preach about the joy of the Resurrection.
However, once we arrived to Masuika, it was one of the most amazing sights ever to see. The people were so joyous for our arrival and so excited for the five days to come. They were jumping, singing, waving palm branches, giving all of us flowers, and hugging us. I was overwhelmed! Here is a video of our welcome in one of the churches!
I was looking at their poverty and sicknesses but after seeing real joy, I realized I was the one learning from them about the joy of the Resurrection. That no matter what my situation, I still can have joy.
We continued to visit the 15 churches and put movies up at night. We were gathering leaders and doing training every day. It was hot and I was sleeping on a hard, wooden bed with no mattress every night. No rest. I continued to complain. No real toilets or place to bath or shower and more complaints under my breath. With no electricity and no refrigerator, most of the food we brought went bad. We ran out of water then we all started to panic.
Then, we would visit churches, do liturgies, and H.G. Bishop Paul would ordain deacons. What I saw after liturgy again touched me. The deacons showed so much joy and would hug one another after being ordained. It really touched me so much to see how joyous they were for this occasion. You can see the joy in this video clip.
I remember when I was ordained deacon I didn’t even crack a smile. And they are happy with little. They were extremely happy if they get a small gift from us and overjoyed when they were ordained.
God sent me to Masuika to learn the joy and power of the Resurrection. This is the mission life – that we learn and gain more than we can ever give.
I feel we all need to stop looking at all the bad and the sad things around us. Instead, we should be grateful and thankful for what we have and who we have. To really enjoy the small moments before they are gone.
We saw simple people living a simple life and really enjoying it. And we who have so much, continue to complain, remain sad and complicate life.
I really saw in reality 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
People in the deep bush of Congo understand and live the Resurrection. I pray through this trip, I can look at life differently.
I pray that through this blog, you can consider that your life is actually better than you think. That you have more than you really need. That troubles will come but look at the good in everything and everyone. And to know God is taking care of all of it.
I pray also that this blog inspires you to consider doing some type of mission work. Mission trips are life changing for us more than what we can give to others! Sometimes we need to leave the comforts of our home and go on a mission trip or have a mission experience to open our eyes. After all these years in the mission, God continues to open mine.
God Bless you and I pray we live and experience the Joy of the Resurrection daily.
Mission Assignment: Take a mission trip this summer or take part in a mission experience locally.Tags: congo, copticmission, holy50days, joy, mission life, mission trip, Missionary, resurrection