by Nancy Myers
Before you tie up your summer plans for 2020, think about signing up for the trip of a lifetime to the Democratic Republic of Congo, as part of KRMC’s “Bondeko Bonding” delegation.
Francis Kabanza, secretary of Bondeko’s youth group, would like to meet you. He is a recent university graduate in geology and speaks English.
When: July or August 2020
What: 10 days of work, worship, and cultural immersion with members of our sister congregation, Bondeko Mennonite Church, Kinshasa
Who: 4–8 hardy souls from KRMC, including (we hope) one pastor, one videographer, and one tour leader
This will be no ordinary tourism, though you will see some exotic sights. There are hints of a boat trip up the Congo River. And people-watching in Kinshasa is as good as anywhere on the planet.
This will be no ordinary service trip, though you may be called upon to do some good, hard physical labor. Bondeko’s school-building project is on hold right now as they finish construction on their church building. By next summer they hope to be putting up the walls of “Menno Simons Academy.” While some of us may help with construction, it will be in the spirit of partnership more than benevolence.
This will be no ordinary adventure, though it will require an adventuresome spirit. Ready for a yellow fever vaccination? A 24-hour journey by air in economy class? Being ferried by skilled and daring drivers through traffic jams in one of the world’s largest and poorest capitals? All this is in order to experience full force the dynamism, warmth, energy and joy that is Africa, and to strengthen the special relations we have with members of one small church in the heart of one of Kinshasa’s poorest sections. Music will likely be an important part of this visit. It may include:
• Two Sundays, one at Bondeko and one with a joint service of Mennonite churches in Kinshasa that would include numerous choirs. You may participate in both rehearsed and impromptu African-style worship music.
• Several days construction work on the school, with members of Bondeko.
• One day trip outside the city.
• Visits in the city to adult-literacy classes, homes, fabric shops, craft markets, etc.
• Simple but comfortable accommodations in a Protestant hostel.
Costs are likely to be $3500–$4000 per person, to be provided by church support, special fundraising, and individual contributions. The principal qualifications for participation in this trip are goodwill and strong desire. We do not want to exclude anyone because of finances.
Are you intrigued? Come to an informational brown bag lunch after church November 17, no commitment required. If you can’t make it to this meeting but would like more information, please contact one of us.
Global Partnership Committee
Nancy Myers, Cal King, Gail Weaver, John Martens, Andrew Tucker, Paul Herr