This morning my alarm clock sounds different from normal. Instead of the beeping, I awake to a choir of tropical birds backed by clanging pots and a crowing rooster. The cries of a baby are the descant; the bass is sustained by a man’s deep voice singing along the path outside my window.
Sitting up in bed enveloped by a mosquito net, my soul smiles as it finally registers: I’m back in Congo.
Arriving late in the night and weary from the 42 hours en route, I must have been delusional, stumbling to bed in the darkness of a home without electricity.
Now in broad daylight using solar powered internet, I open my journal and share my heart.
Contemplating my return, I remember all the illness I suffered last time.
Is it worth it?
With increased danger due to Congo’s elections, I examine the risk.
Is it worth it?
Spending nearly equal time traveling as I will visiting, I wonder,
Is it even worth it?
But something in my gut told me to go.
So, 5 days in transit and a mere 7 days in Beni.
- When the Mamas welcome me with smiles and songs, praising God for bringing me back, I know its worth it.
- When I arrive at UCBC and see the look on students’ faces when they realize I have not forgotten about them, I know its worth it.
- When Bethany and Chelsie (volunteer staff) need assistance with English courses and I can help instruct, I know its worth it.
- When the chapel band drummer is playing with literal sticks (as in, twigs from the forest) and I surprise him with several pairs of drum sticks, I know its worth it.
- When Anselme shows me the worship band’s guitar with only 5 fraying strings and I’m able to exchange him for a brand new set, I know its worth it.
And even if I accomplish very little by American standards, my presence is accomplishing more than I ever imagined it could.