More on my visit to Kiliba/Uvira.
In the same village as the children of my previous post,
the Wezesha Project, a micro-finance program for women
has been going underway for a few years.
In 2009 a need assessment was done for the village
and extreme rate of poverty and hunger were found there.
Since then the situation has improved
and people are slowly building up the resources to survive.
I attended part of the meeting with the women where they were interviewed
about themselves, their family
about how their loan payments are coming along.
Not the most glorious of tasks or meetings,
but an important part of what will hopefully be a long-term
and sustainable change for these people.
May the people of the village and of the Congo continue to be empowered.
May they find ways amidst the struggles of war
and difficult politics
to find joy and meaning in life.
Keep them in your thoughts and prayers and work for a better life
for themselves, their family's and for their country.
Interviewing the women
When you visit people here
there is no soft music playing in the background
nor soothing voice speaking over the face to face video feed of people in poverty.
When you travel through the fields,
around the mountains
over the rivers
and into the villages and lives of people here
there is nothing but the moment and your own investment into it
to guide your feelings.
I think that, if I were to want it,
I could live here without compassion for the people,
I could be unaffected by what I see and hear
by refusing to open myself to it
and to purchase that compassion with my own time, sincere care and by truly listening.
I hope that I would never become so calloused to do that.
Here or wherever I am, perhaps especially at home where it is easiest to do so.
I hope I am sensitive enough in spirit and heart
and sharp enough in mind,
to reach out more compassionately, deeply and with the most wisdom.
And yet, at the same time,
in honesty I am not sorry that I have felt little guilt during my time here.
Even though I live such a blessed life in Canada
and so many people struggle here.
I'm still figuring this out,
but I think it is better that I do not feel guilty.
That it should not be guilt which drives me to give or to go.
But that in the midst of it all,
I am finding something other than emotions stirred up by moving images,
and a very intentional musical composition,
and being told how rich I am in comparison to others,
to create in me a desire to love.
Because, though perhaps I'm wrong,
I don't think that God feels guilt for the situation here on earth;
and yet something moves Him to deeply care for and love
and be involved in the lives of His children.
Something much deeper than guilt.
That, now, whatever it is,
is what I am realizing, I think,
that I am on a search for here.
To find that within me.
To ask for that to be within me.
To pour that out of me.