I believe an apology is necessary. Forgive me for not informing you sooner. Entering this season of transition, time evades me. Contrary to corporate america, Congo has taught this full-velocity, efficiency-focused, time-driven, multi-tasking mind to let go of the agenda and abandon the timetable. And as I stopped worrying about getting things done I began to focus on allowing relationships to happen. Being fully present is an art entirely foreign to America, but fully engrained in Africa. But somehow as I was embracing the moment, enjoying slower and simpler life, time must have slipped through my fingers. Better late than never, I’m just now informing you about major changes which are about to ensue.
Here’s the scoop…
With the end of the semester fast-approaching, I have been reassessing my position with Congo Initiative and evaluating the effectiveness of my role. The majority of expats have already returned to the States to spend time raising awareness, support, and renewing their energy. Many former Congo Initiative staff will return in October for the start of the new academic year at UCBC and the official launch of our Women’s Center.
For numerous reasons including physical safety, living conditions, and mental health, I will be leaving DR Congo on August 1st.
Rather than return to America, God has provided a unique opportunity for me to continue serving in East Africa for another two months. I have been invited to work with Amani ya Juu, a reconciliation program devoted to training marginalized women in sewing and marketing.
Amani ya Juu, whose name means “higher peace” in Swahili, is a thirteen-year-old micro-enterprise teaching that true peace and healing comes from Christ. Implementing holistic development, Amani is transforming women’s lives through economic, spiritual, emotional, and community support. Amani includes training facilities in Kenya, Rwanda, and Burundi as well as a retail boutique in Washington D.C.
My role will be working with Amani in Bujumbura, Burundi, the youngest of the three centers. Specifically, I will bring my artistic western eye to assist with product design, fabric selection, quality control, and product exportation. Congo Initiative believes this program is good fit and has approved the use of remaining funds for my volunteer work with Amani.
While I’m looking forward to this new season, truthfully I’m a bit apprehensive about all the unknowns. Please pray for increased trust and continued perseverance. I know that God’s not finished with me yet…