How can we help Congo? Part two

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Adolphine Tshiama. Photo by Charles Buller

A few days ago I started writing about what, if anything, we can do for that troubled country I love so much, the Democratic Republic of Congo. I put off writing Part 2 for a few days to sit with my intentions and motivations. I am very particular about asking for money, especially for things related to my own work and my church community. But I have decided to go ahead because I can’t get Adolphine out of my mind. Continue reading

How can we help Congo? Part one

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Ndjoko Punda in 2013. It is now overrun by violent militias.

I hear this question and ask it myself every time I hear or report news, often very personal, from this country that I love so much. The news is horrible. Chaos has descended on sections of the country. People are suffering dreadful loss and persecution. Thousands have fled their homes and are hiding out in the bush, homeless and starving. Unknown numbers have been slaughtered in the most gruesome way, uncanny echoes of all the worst outbreaks of violence that have plagued this part of the world in recent history. Continue reading

Broad is the way to the Kentucky Derby

 

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My husband and I went to the Kentucky Derby last Saturday. This was surprising to some people who know us. It was also surprising to us. It is not something people who grew up rural Mennonite generally put on their bucket lists.

As if to confirm how out-of-place we should feel at such an event, the last quarter-mile of the long walk from our parked car to Churchill Downs was lined with preachers shouting repentance. Continue reading

Training literacy teachers in DR Congo

I feel like I’ve been on vacation for the past week–a spa experience complete with steambaths and plenty of rest. My bum knee is recovering from the strains of the past weeks, moving house and traveling long distances. I have few responsibilities except doling out money as needed. There is plenty of time for hanging out with friends new and old.

I’m doing all this ease-taking in one of the roughest cities in the world, Kinshasa, DR Congo. Continue reading

Up in smoke

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Today I burned the contents of four file drawers. I already have bags and bags of recycle and trash so I thought why not have the fun of burning some paper? I was sorting and packing stuff in the basement in preparation for our move and I came across these files that I didn’t even remember belonged to me. They’d been there since our last move in 2008.

I guess I didn’t need anything in those files if I so totally forgot about them. Actually I did. Continue reading

Going deep

isuoiri5ypt8x70000000000So. Our bid was accepted on the house we are calling the Pink Lady. This was a very fast real estate rollercoaster. Ten days after putting our country home on the market, and not knowing exactly what we were looking for in the city, though we had some stringent requirements, we have sold our house and bought another one. Continue reading

Donald Trump, kickstarter

img_3032We are selling our beautiful house in the Michigan woods and plotting a move to the nearby city of South Bend, Indiana. We have many reasons for doing this and we have been thinking about it for some time but what prompted us to take action, to actually put our beloved home on the market and begin the rollercoaster of real estate searches, showings, and offers, has a lot to do with the election of Donald Trump and the stunning, fast-moving stream of events since then. Continue reading

A statement of faith

Why am I skeptical of all petitions and schemes to wrest the presidency away from Donald Trump? Because I believe that at best they would only delay the inevitable, since nearly half the country voted for him. What we would get in a Clinton presidency would only feed the anger and dismay of this half of the country. What we would get in a Pence presidency would do exactly what a Trump presidency will do but in a calmer fashion. Continue reading