Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dollies for Pasquale and Mapendo from Krissy

A lonely church building stands atop a hill overlooking the picturesque Chain of Mitumba mountains in eastern Congo. The mountains are part of the East African Rift and rise to 3,308 m (10,853 ft) – about halfway between the heights of the Great Smokey Mountains and the Rocky Mountains.

Under the shade of its barren mango tree, two children looked on as seven Congolese and two American faces spilled out of the hot box onto the dust-laden grass. These were not the first children I found in Congo, but they were the first on the journey to our end destination. That they happened to be a boy and a girl, as the first sponsor for Congolese dollies had intended, was no coincidence. This place was not packed with children clamoring for food or money, let alone ANY other people. Pasquale and Mapendo stood quietly alone…watching. That is how I knew.

Pulling the boy and girl dollies out of my overstuffed bag, they could finally take a deep breath. I approached the children cautiously as many children run away because stories of white people masquerading as officials led to abductions and hangings. Pasquale and Mapendo accepted their gift with some observable caution as Kizombo Jr. translated my short message about the love of Jesus. They allowed me a short squeeze before we released them to return to their duties.