We (and our luggage) arrived safely in Lubumbashi, DRC. We were met by pastors from both the ELCC and the CCLC. After we cleared customs, immigration, and a check of our vaccination records, we headed to our hotel to get checked and meet with the leaders of the two church bodies that we will be working with. The meeting went well as we planned a schedule that would allow for visiting congregation for four days and a one day joint pastoral conference. Following the meeting we grabbed a bite of supper at a restaurant down the street from our hotel and then we headed to our rooms for an early night. I tried my hardest to stay awake, but by 7:30 pm I just couldn't stay awake...so I gave in and slept until about 2:30 am and then I was up for the day. I think tonight my body clock will completely adjust and I should get a good night of sleep.
The past two days have been busy working with the leaders of the ELCC and getting a Zambia visa for Matt. We met with about 12 pastors and elders of the ELCC yesterday for a pastoral training seminar. In the evening we attended and I preached at a worship service in a near by congregation. I had forgotten how beautiful the voices of Africa are. They can harmonize so well with no accompaniment other than a drum or two. Following the service we were asked to visit with the seven widow women in the congregation about ways that they can support themselves. Hearing their stories and seeing the pain in their faces was another harsh reminder of how hard life is for so many on this continent.
Tomorrow we head south with the leaders of the CLCC to visit the newly established congregations just over the border into Zambia. We will stay the night in Zambia and visit more congregations on Monday before returning to Lubumbashi on Monday night so we can attend the joint pastoral conference here on Tuesday.
I've talked to Beth a couple of times and she and the kids are doing fine.
I'm looking forward to a good supper tonight and hopefully a good night of sleep.