Three meetings

The first night in Congo I slept very well wearing nothing but underpants. The beds were veiled in mosquito nets which was a new experience. It was like having a canopy. We were staying at the Nzo Binati Guest House in Kinshasa. Hedvig and Anders Lundgren in Nitta had commissioned us to deliver $300 to Rebecka in Kinshasa. Kinshasa has a population of 10-15 millions, but we had a telephone number for Rebecka so we had hopes of finding her. We asked Mattheiu to call her and ask her to come and see us. At 8 o´clock she appeared and she was presented with the gift from Sweden. Rebecka has lived in Sweden for three years and speaks Swedish passably. She came to Sweden as a refugee, but was deported. What interesting people we get to meet through this trip.

The next meeting was at the Swedish Embassy. Even though they weren´t prepared for our visit at the Embassy, the ambassador Johan Borgström and his closest co-worker Andreas Magnusson gave us a warm welcome. We spent at least an hour with them. Andreas said that he had never received such a large group of Swedes before. Together with the group from Östergötland there were almost 20 of us. Such a concentration of white people is probably unusual in this city.

”If Congo doesn’t make you feel confused you haven´t understood anything about the country”, said the ambassador. He told us about the lack of order and of rebels who destroy the ordinary lives of people. Authorities that are supposed to protect the citizens sometimes do the contrary; sometimes the police do the same evil deeds as the rebels. According to the ambassador, this is due to civil servants not getting paid. Everyone has to fend for oneself. It is a privatized society in the worst sense of the word; if you´ve got a Kalashnikov and a helmet it is easy to get whatever you need. In 2009, Congo budgeted $100 million to medical service, but only $6 million reached the hospitals. You could say that the church sometimes take on the responsibility of the state in the sense that it protects the citizens, the ambassador continued. The local sister church of the Mission Covenant Church and the Pentecost Church make great contributions to society. At the Swedish Embassy, we benefit from the good reputation of Swedish churches in Congo. UN Peacekeeping Operations, where Swedish forces have participated, have also created a lot of goodwill, he concludes.

The afternoon was spent in the bus, travelling to Kimpese. We checked in at the IME Hospital Guest House. Emy Meantezila, among others, welcomed us. This Emy is a man of great ability in many areas. He was involved in the new translation of the Bible, which was finished in 2004. Now, he´s working with street children and children with special needs. He takes care of 500 children at the moment. He also runs a football school for 185 children between 8 and 15 years old. He says that football is an amazing instrument for getting children to work together and solve conflicts. He has a vocational school for young people where they learn a trade and how to start their own businesses. We presented Emy with our course material ”Start your own business”, and we gave him almost all the football equipment we had brought to Congo. From David, the pastor in Hökerum, Emy and the IME Hospital got a hefty sum of money; the profit of sold photographs from David´s trip to Congo last year. We put aside a few balls and medals for inauguration gifts to the Youth House. There´s a crying need for many Emys in Congo, and all over the world. They would make the world a different place. Today´s three meetings have made lasting impressions that will enrich our lives.

One thought on “Three meetings

  1. Såå roligt att läsa! Är alla friska??
    Igår hade ni invigningen i Matadi och idag stor
    gtj. i Baobab…läser vi i programmet. Undra om
    den är slut än…?
    Hälsa alla och särskilt till släkten!

    I-M o Bengt