I write today from our host home, Uncle Jimmy’s house in Lubumbashi. We (Rachel Hannah and I) were supposed to leave with the rest of the South Africa group yesterday, but we realized that we had not yet seen much of the Congo outside of the conference walls and our drive between the center and Uncle Jimmy’s home, so we changed our tickets and have decided to stay an extra few days: through Wednesday. We will then fly home with Joyce, Mama Tembo and Papa David.
(Our "family portrait" from the Cultural evening with Mama Tembo, Papa David, their daughter Joyce, her friend Abigail, and of course Lucy, our friend/sister/roommate for the week, and co-worker at SHADE)
Aside from that, this week really had been phenomenal. The official ending of the conference was marked with the Cultural evening/event on Friday. We had a lovely dinner and everyone dressed up in cultural attire, including us Americans. It was a great opportunity to feast, fellowship and laugh together one last time before we had to part ways with our new friends. I know I was certainly thankful for those final non-work related conversations we had the opportunity to share with new friends! Not to mention the music, the presentations and the fashion shows that ensued. There were no dull moments to be had, that much is certain!
I am struggling to come up with words to describe the evening or the close of this week. I am still processing the many events of the week, and am nothing if not grateful for being a part of it. There were lots of struggles this week, lots of joys and sorrows shared, lots of memories created and friendships began. God was present and faithful and full of surprises, but most of all, Good. We know that All the time, God is Good, and this week was no exception. Right now, I can do little but celebrate in that fact, in how well the conference went despite all the challenges faced. In such a mode of celebration and gratitude, I want to share a few pictures from our closing ceremony - the cultural evening of celebration.
Chancey from the American team (Church of the Resurrection) shows off during the Fashion Show.
Zambia during their cultural presentation
Me, Rachel, and Hannah with our new friend from Malawi, Sam