Dear beloved: Have some time today so will write a bit more of the events of the last few days, then bring you up to date from Goma. Talking with Pastor Lucas about the Malaba Crusade, he believes that all those who came forward to accept Jesus were out of the muslim faith, so that was extra special for the labor put into the harvest. Also many of the children who were at the crusade were orphan children, they come there just wanting to attach themselves to someone who cares and they know the Christians do care. Two of the orphan children followed us back to the hotel and cafe next to the hotel where we were getting something to eat after the crusade. When asked if they had eaten, the young boy said he had eaten nothing all day, so we bought him a big plate of food for him and his sister. Pastor Lucas says that many of those children have no place to stay so end up on the street or even worse. Pray for the children of Africa, that we can do more to help them.
Today we flew to Kigale, Rwanda, where a team from Goma met us and took us by bus to Goma, on the east edge of the Congo. Going through western Rwanda, I was very impressed with how beautiful and clean the country of Rwanda looked, and the road was very good and smooth. We traveled for four hours through spotlessly clean Kigale, the capital city, then on west through mountainous terrain dottled with small towns and villages. It is very green and absolutely no trash or plastic bags anywhere, such a contrast to Kenya. The mountains and valleys of Rwanda look very much like Costa Rica to me, there are lots of small farms and vegetable plots that dot the hillsides and valleys. Crops seen included tea, cabbages, collards, tomatoes, potatoes and sweet potatoes, and lots of different types of beans, as well as corn. It was truly a beautiful journey.
We arrived safely in Goma after lunch and were met by a group of pastors from the Goma area, they are the hosts for the upcoming meetings. We are staying at a nice hotel on the shore of Lake Kivu, a lake 125 miles long that looks a bit like one of the American Great Lakes. Many hotels dot the shoreline in Gisenyi, Rwanda, and on over the border into Goma. A volcanic mountain sits 20 km from Goma, it is the source of two eruptions in the last 40 years that have covered the city of Goma, population one million, in volcanic ash and lava rock. Many of the streets of Goma are dusty and black with volcanic ash, and most of the walls between the houses are made of lava rock cemented together. Our team all enjoyed a wonderful lunch of fresh garden salad along with chicken or fish and chips, with fried bananas for dessert, and now we are all relaxing in rooms and hotel balconies overlooking the lake. Working for Jesus has its fringe benefits!
Friday the meetings start with pastor training and encouragement in the morning, then the crusade Friday through Sunday afternoons, from 3 until 7 pm each day. There will be some fabulous praise teams and choirs here, the Congolese are famous musicians and singers. The Makarubi Choir that I enjoyed so much in 2012 will be here so I am looking forward to meeting and worshiping with them again. Thank you so much for the prayers, your covering is so important to the success of the meetings, and for our safety and good health. Will send some more pictures when I get time later. God bless you all, Jim