When I think about the Congo, the first memory that comes to mind is learning to ride a bicycle. It was commonplace for the Missionaries to hire natives to stand watch and guard the mission homes. This gave the Congolese pay that they could count on, a sense of pride in their responsibility, and an opportunity to observe Christians up close.
The Congolese are very generous people: an example of that generosity was a young man named Yambu.
Yambu was hired to be a sentry by my parents. He owned a bicycle and he taught me how to ride it. We became such good friends that Yambu told me, “What’s mine is yours. You may ride my bicycle any time you wish.”
In Congo bicycles are considered valuable assets. they not only provide transportation, but they are a lifeline–a means of getting food to the market for sale or trade.
Yambu was sharing his most prized possession. This was a precious recognition of friendship. My name became Kanyinda. Loosely translated it means I am a friend.