Day I Africa

DAY 1

The first thing I notice on the Belgian Airlines flight from Brussels to Kigali Rwanda is the preponderance of US passports. Fully half of this half-full flight are Americans, seemingly part of a great pilgrimage of inspiration. Many wear crosses, most look as though they are either in retirement or able to afford same. And yet, they come.

For us, however, Rwanda is merely a transit point. Our destination is the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the wounds are still dripping with blood. We can but take hope and lessons from its neighbor to the west, that small country of a thousand hills where the only path out of hell – reconciliation – is taken seriously.

I’m privileged to be part of a delegation led by a co-worker who grew up in DRC, graduated high school and college, and then came to the US for graduate work. I’ll call him “B”. If the spirit of the people is anything like his, we are in for the kind of culture shock that shakes up complacent American lives. No bitterness, anxiety, or fear are present in his being. He is at peace, despite his family narrowly escaping disaster in his home village. I pray for even an ounce of that equanimty as we meet with people whose life stories seem improbable simply because they are still alive to share them.

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~ by John Walter on January 21, 2010.

4 Responses to “Day I Africa”

  1. John,

    I’ll be following your adventure closely. Bring back some “nuggets of gold” so to speak!

  2. Wonderful insights, John. Keep ’em coming! We’re hanging on your words to hear that all is well. – barb

  3. Hey Daddy. It’s really cool to follow your tweets on Facebook, like I’m doing now. I miss you. Be safe. I’ve got a ton of people praying for you, so if you feel especially blessed that’s why.
    Love you,
    Lily

  4. […] January, I wrote about the plane from Brussels to Rwanda filled with retired Americans eager to catch some of the glow of the seemingly successful […]

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