As I write this, I was supposed to be on a United Airline flight from Los Angeles to Montreal, with connections to Brussels, and finally to Entebbe, Uganda. There I was to join the rest of my team on medical aviation flights to two cities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Instead, I am here in Los Angeles, along with most of our team, all deeply disappointed that our mission trip was postponed at the last moment because of terrorist threats aimed at the Entebbe International Airport and nearby areas bordering the Congo.
Sixteen of us from our church were scheduled to join Congolese church leaders at a major two-week conference in two cities to speak to groups of women, youth and religious leaders, business owners, entrepreneurs, civil servants, army and police officers, and educators. The goal was to help them to rebuild their communities and bring about reconciliation among Congolese whose lives, families, and communities were shattered by war and the loss of over six million of their men, women, and children.
The decision by our California church leaders to postpone the trip was made out of concern and responsibility for the safety of our members, but it meant that our Congolese co-leaders—who had spent months mobilizing churches, business owners, military and police officers, teachers, taxi drivers, and other groups, along with arranging air and ground transportation in two cities within their state—faced disastrous consequences if they were to cancel the conference.
So they decided to proceed with the conference with the hope of bringing in additional Congolese speakers, along with four of our team members who were already in transit from European layovers to Entebbe.
In the midst of our deep disappointment at the postponement, a few of us in Los Angeles briefly considered getting on our scheduled flights and continuing on the trip. But we nixed that thought, deciding that it was more important to abide by and respect the combined wisdom and decision of our church’s leadership.
So we consoled ourselves with Paul’s words in Romans 8:28,
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (NLT)
God willing, we will be in the Congo at a later date to continue our mission with our Congolese Christian brothers and sisters with whom we have been working over the past five years.
To understand the ongoing crisis in the Congo, please watch the following video:
And now for an update on Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, the 27-year-old Sudanese Christian woman who was sentenced to die after refusing to renounce Christianity:
In late June, an appeals court in Sudan ruled that a lower court’s judgment against her was “faulty” and released her after much international pressure. Thank you to those of you who were among the more than one million people who signed the petition to release her. I am convinced that your prayers and social media petitions played a part in her release.