It’s been my turn to write the blog for a long time. This should’ve been a second or third… but I find it hard to write when I haven’t had time to process. This trip has been FULL. Full of travel, full of engagement, full of work, full of mental and emotional space… just full. That also means it wasn’t full of time to write and process.
To be with the ALARM Congo team is for me to be with true heroes of our faith. It was too short. Our team had the beautiful privilege of leading a marriage conference for pastors and their wives. For many of them (including 3 couples who are deaf) it was the first conference they had been invited to participate in – as couples, and for some even as individuals. If you ever find yourself wondering if you are qualified to be used by the Lord, let the testimony of these dear ones exhort you to say yes to your calling.
Considering the longevity and depth of conflict in this area of the world, we did our best to be faithful to meet the opportunity with the reverence it deserved. We all felt woefully inept to step into this space. But God. His character and faithfulness, and the power of His Holy Spirit never lets us down. He moved and we were recipients of the gift as were all of the conference participants. It was a beautiful exchange.
Probably for me, one of the most memorable experiences was to sit with graduates from ALARM’s WLTI (Women’s Leadership Training Institute – funded and partly lead by IBC and in partnership with Bent Tree Bible) and a member of the micro finance group. The morning before we left, 4 women joined us to share how their participation in the groups has transformed their lives personally, those of their families, and those of their ministries. These women shared stories of them moving from the darkest depths to hope and restoration.
To sit in the depths of pain with those who suffer, is holy ground. I admit that I struggle to reconcile the fullness of these experiences with my day to day life. For it is in these places, that I come the closest to seeing the face of Jesus. For He is there.