Friday in Kinshasa

Trip Start Mar 14, 2013
Trip End Apr 05, 2013

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Flag of Congo - The Dem. Repub.  , Kinshasa,
Friday, March 22, 2013

Today was a quiet day; nothing has blown up so far, though the electricity has gone off several times. Some things even started working again. And, I got my flashlight back….

I had a cold shower this morning. As I suspected last night, the water heater wasn't operating. On the way out to breakfast, I mentioned to the front desk agent the things that weren’t working. She said she’d call the technician. When I arrived back from breakfast the room lights were all working and the television as well, but now the lights in the bathroom wouldn’t work. I went back to the front desk to inform them and she said she’d call the technician again. He arrived promptly with an rickety old ladder that had a rag tied to both legs to keep them from separating and bringing it down. He put the ladder up and climbed up next to the closet, removed a panel and checked the fuses. He took one out and wiped it and put it back in very gently. I checked the light and voilą, it was working. That’s rather a sensitive fuse and box; no wonder things blow up occasionally

Justin and Victor came by around 10 again and we continued our discussions from yesterday. Among other things I asked them if they felt the situation in their country was getting better or worse or staying the same. They said it was getting harder for people. Prices are high, salaries can’t keep up and not everyone even has a salary or regular work. They said that a big freighter will come into the port of Matadi every six months or so bringing food and supplies for the markets in Kinshasa. The shipments go by truck from the port to the capital. But there is so much time between shipments that shelves gradually empty and critical supplies simply can’t be found. This is especially true for medical supplies. People die, they told me, that don’t need to, because medical supplies or medicines have run out.

Local people can’t get into the UN clinic for soldiers, and can’t afford to go to a private clinic that might be well stocked. In the public hospitals now, one must arrive with some cash to even get in the door. You have to pay to register with the hospital, and if they issue a prescription, you must fill it at the hospital and pay cash for it right away. This is certainly a hardship.

One woman who has attended services with them here in Kinshasa needs to have her appendix taken out. It would have cost 500 or 600 dollars for the operation in Kinshasa which she and her family cannot afford. So with an inflamed appendix she traveled several hundred kilometers to a smaller town where she can have the operation done for about $100. I hesitate to think what the conditions would be like to have your appendix out for $100. She is already there and the operation should be tomorrow. They asked me to pray for her which I did.

Around 11:30 the two young men counseling for baptism arrived and we continued our discussions about the annual festivals as well as the life-long commitment of the baptismal covenant.

I asked them to explain their understanding of various things, which allowed me to clarify if there were things they didn’t quite have right. I was satisfied that they understand and have fulfilled the biblical conditions. We have planned the baptisms for early tomorrow morning.

We finished up after 1:00 pm, and the men went, some to work, some to university homework. I spent the afternoon preparing for the Sabbath and the long trip which will start in the afternoon. It’s good I had a little rest today; I won’t get so much for the 24-36 hours starting tomorrow morning.

I may not be able to post for several days, so don't send the Marines (right away).

Thanks for following along. I wish you all a meaningful observance of the upcoming festivals!
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You are very welcome Mr. Meeker! We love following along with you on your various trips to Europe and Africa! Through God's Church, He is bringing in His light into this part of the world, the once so-called "Dark Continent". God's work is being done inspite of all the hardships! I'm so touched by the upcoming baptism of the 2 new guys. We'll pray for them too and for the lady who needs her appendix taken out. Pretty soon, Congo will be well-lit by God's people! Thank you Mr. Meeker! May you have a wonderful observance of the Spring Holydays and Festivals too!

Karen Meeker on

What desperate lives the people there live with no prospect of help from the local governing system to relieve their plight. I'm thankful that God has extended hope to those few who He has called. My prayers are for their comfort, their sustenance, and His mercy to follow them each day, and that these coming Holy Days can give them renewed confidence that He will help shoulder their loads.

Mary Hendren on

Thank you, Joel, for keeping us informed. It's encouraging to hear that the young men you counseled will be baptized. With conditions worsening for people there, the presence of the saints, is a tiny, significant light. They understand the truth and have hope. What a blessing for the people God has called in French-speaking Africa that you can visit them during the spring Holy days. We look forward to your next post.


Sara Hawk on

Here's hoping you share a happy Sabbath, meaningful Passover and blessed Days of Unleavened Bread with our African brothers and sisters! Please give them our love, and let them know that we pray for them often. I can't wait for the day when we can all be together and get to know each other in the most ideal of environments - God's Kingdom!!

Beverly Lofty on

Thank you so much Mr. Meeker for your love and support of our brethren in what seems to be such a dark corner of the world. You and your wife make great sacrifices for you to share God's word with our brethren. Thank you both for all you do :-) May God bless and watch over you as you continue your travels. Our prayers are with you and for the brethren there :-)

Lenna Slaughter on

Thank you Mr. Meeker (and your family) for your sacrifices for the love of the brethren there. They are blessed to have your presence for the Spring holy days. May the rest of your trip be without mishap and I pray for God to smooth the way before every step you take.

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