I had a great trip up to CAR this week. In Bunia we loaded up 1000 Zandi language Bibles and flew to Isiro where I picked up Wendy Atkins, a missionary with Africa Inland Mission, and then flew up to Zemio on the CAR/Congo border. It is quite a beautiful place on a hill overlooking country that looks like elephant and buffalo should be roaming in the grassland and along the winding river that is the border between the two countries. It was a surprise to see Ugandan troops guarding the town airstrip against LRA activity, but there were hundreds of kids there as well and all wanted to see the plane.
After a short 3 minute flight to the mission airstrip we parked in front of the old hangar surrounded by large, aging mango trees and the people came to greet Wendy. They were so excited to see that we had brought boxes of Bibles along and, after we unloaded them all, we had a prayer of dedication.
I had a chance to talk to a couple of the Congolese pastors who lead a community of refugees who have fled the violent LRA in their area. A group of them had tried to return to their homes in Assa, DRC last month, but after crossing the river and getting down the road about 8 kilometers they were surrounded by LRA, abducted and forced to carry loot for almost a week before they were released one by one, all their things having been stolen. They came back to Zemio were there is relative peace. It is hard to imagine the hardships endured as a normal part of life for so many here. It is great to be of help and encourage in some small way. Sometimes one is just a minor player in the group of people who make things happen. But I feel blessed to be here working at the end of a long process in which many people did many and varied jobs to bring the word of God to the Zandi in their heart language.
In the remains of the day I walked though the long grass down the hill toward the river. There were beautiful birds like the colorful Ross’s Turaco and big Black and White hornbills. It was so wet that I could not get all the way there but it was great to watch the sun set in the Borassus palms and thick riverine growth of trees that line the Bomu river. Another lovely day at the office.