Here’s an update from Kevin:
I just got home yesterday evening and was immediately drowning in love from Talia and Kaisa. It’s great to be home.
It was a great trip as well, despite the difficulties. We had rice and beans only every second day. Unfortunately, the other days were beans and rice. Oh yeah, we also had boiled cassava leaves (consistency of mushy spinach). I was looking forward to airplane food but of course Kenya Airways twice fed us beans and rice again. Michele was gracious enough to cook me a meal with real meat in it last night – what a treat. But it really is hard to complain about anything when you are surrounded by people many times worse off.
There were no lights in the evenings, and often no running water either. But we had great worship sessions in the dark. And we all went to bed early every night because there is so little to do when it is dark.
The eMi team for this trip to DR Congo consisted of engineers and architects from 5 countries – Korea, Nigeria, UK, US, and Canada. It was quite a mix, but a lot of fun. We were working with a missionary in Kinshasa, DR Congo who is building a new orphanage to meet some of the housing needs of the thousands of orphans in the country. This missionary has spent the last several years developing the vision, while making contacts, and working with some of the orphans. She has recently purchased 20 acres approximately 20 km south of Kinshasa that is rural and vacant. The steep slopes (20% to 40%) are a challenge to build on. The other challenges include working with the locals to ensure that the community supports the project.
eMi spent a week hearing the vision, surveying the site, developing concepts for a master plan, and working on plans for a school and housing for the children. At the end of the week, the team was able to present the concepts back to the ministry.
The orphanage is looking to start construction next summer after they spend the winter raising funds. The project is expected to cost in the order of $800,000. It will include a school for 400 children, housing for 160 children, a clinic, a vocational school to team orphanage workers, and staff housing.
God is really working in Congo and it was great to be a part of it.
I’ll send more details in our next newsletter. There are a few pictures up here.