Today we continue Part 2 of Matthew Harder’s guest post. Click this link to read Part 1.
From the Bush to the Bush, Part 2
by Matthew Harder
The environment of the private Christian college I attended fueled my restlessness. I was surrounded by its monoculture, its materialistic, small sliver of humanity and way of thinking. While this did lead to the redefinition of my personal faith, it also made me realize again, despite my appearance, I did not relate to those around me.
During my sophomore year of college we were forced to choose a major to study. As I tried to decide there was a moment when I was struck with the sense that I wanted to return to Africa. I wanted to build roads, bridges and infrastructure there to help those less fortunate.
This verse ran through my mind:
“…From everyone who has been given much, much will be required…” Luke 12:48 (NASB)
The eye opening exposure of my youth impacted my desire to return to assist those in need, to try and make the world a better place. I wanted a combined profession—one that suited my personal altruistic drive and quest for adventure.
I had been given a great growing up experience, an exposure to adventure and a world beyond the American shores that didn’t allow me to settle down. Meanwhile I gained a marketable education in civil engineering. Fortunately, my strong points were in the sciences and math.
For several years I worked in the corporate world going through what I considered the pre-requisite process with my sights set on returning to Africa. The restlessness kept me going—an unquenchable thirst for new countries and adventure.
The years dragged on. Finally I caught a break and was hired by an engineering company. They were building critical infrastructure in the war torn country of South Sudan.
I stepped off the airplane in Africa’s suffocating hot humid air. Sweat poured down my back as I stood there. Unique bird calls, sounds of everyday life and vehicles, the friendliness of people all combined to create something familiar and alluring. I felt welcomed by it all.
Even the headaches were somewhat endearing since this was my chosen adventure. It was all part of the package and I just rolled with it.
To further satisfy my restlessness, I returned to Nyanga when I was twenty-five years old. It had been over fifteen years since I was last in that village, ten years since I left Congo (then called Zaire).
The journey from Kinshasa to Nyanga is a story in itself with all the typical Congolese headaches and problems.
End of Part 2
This is a good place to stop since it gives us something to look forward to next week. Join us then for Part 3. In the meantime, here are some news items and prayer requests.
News from Congo:
- According to Reuters, there have been anti-Kabila riots in Kinshasa this week. Estimates vary, but between 30-40 people have been killed or injured. The Congolese government officials now state they will hunt down and punish those responsible for the riots. Link to the full article here: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-congo-politics-idUSKCN11R1TG
- Charles Buller and his team from the Congo Leadership Coaching Network arrived in Congo this week. He reported: “…given that streets were still largely vacant due to events of the last two days, we made it into town in 40 minutes (that’s fast!). Very thankful for traveling mercies so far. Thanks for keeping us and our Congolese sisters and brothers in your hearts over these next three weeks. By God’s grace we’ll keep walking forward under the Cloud and Fire (Ex. 13:21).”
- Pray for Peace and Stability in Congo. May cooler heads prevail.
- Pray for Safety and Blessing on the Ministry of the Congo Leadership Coaching Network’s team
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© 2016 Hope4Congo
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