Just a reflection with a torn heart!!
It is our final morning in Kisangani. While we are not scheduled to visit any churches here, I awoke at 6 am to the sounds of worship. In fact, from my hotel I can hear what seems to be three different churches worshiping Jesus.
We had a successful event here. Hearts were touched with hope for the political future. Minds were stimulated for what is possible for these young leaders to leave as an inheritance for their children. Plans were made, teams assigned, agreements drawn up, visions cast for the changes to be initiated. Now it is up to the will of the people.
I taught on attitude engineering yesterday in Kisangani and at the University of Kinshasa on Monday. Even those with PhDs and professors said “We have never heard such teaching.” As they understand the impact potential of shaping attitudes for this generation and the next, they are excited with the possibilities.
As I discussed with one local, the streets here have seen no repairs since the Belgian colonists left when Congo gained her independence more than 50 years ago. Buildings have not been painted, infrastructure is in disrepair where it exists at all and much of the city looks like a ghost town of 50 years ago. I see homes literally propped up with boards and sticks. We visited a home last night where a family of 12 (3 generations) lives in a 2 bedroom flat of less than 1,000 sq ft. They live on less than $300/ month – all of them combined.
MY HEART IS TORN
On the one hand I see and hear the cries of “I want more and I long for a better life.” A common phrase in Congo is “Let’s sell this country and go live somewhere else.” Many save for a lifetime just to get to America. (More than 10,000 Congolese are now living in DFW area of Texas alone.) Many of them fight for American Citizenship at the cost of losing their Congolese citizenship. Many of them will not again see their family here face to face in this lifetime.
On the other hand, I met a young man last night whose name means SUFFERING… he is 18 months old. Many parents and grand parents have “settled” into this lifestyle. They are complacent and expect nothing better. They blame everyone from their neighbors to the President for their problems. The idea of greater education, better roads, safer homes, brighter futures for the coming generations seems to them nothing more than fanciful fantasy.
I see some who are truly happy with life here just as it is and I wonder if the ideas being offered to them for a better quality of living are not much more than material pursuit…
- Is this the abundant life Jesus spoke of?
- Is the pursuit of happiness a Godly thing?
- Is it too demanding for those of us who see what life could be like to encourage that dissatisfaction in those who have never had the notion?
- Without question my ultimate ambition is for them all to be prepared for the coming King and His Kingdom, but what responsibility do we have to expose them a superior quality of life in the here and now?
J Loren Norris is a Conference Speaker and Certified John Maxwell Team Leadership Coach. Loren is the creator of the Insuperable Vision Workshop. This Two Hour Course is designed to help others create and craft their own personal Insuperable Vision. This workshop is hosted live in the Dallas Ft Worth area annually but is also available on audio CD for self paced home study.
Loren travels to Africa with USALGA to train Elected and Appointed Government Officials in the area of Leadership and Attitude.