Awhile back I had the opportunity to accompany my program manager and a ministry consultant to Beni, a city in eastern DR Congo. They were going to meet with the director of the Université Chrétienne Bilingue du Congo (Bilingual Christian University of Congo), and hear his vision for ministry in DRC. I was going along to meet the university’s IT administrator and to see one of the VSAT satellite Internet systems MAF had previously installed.
When I met Victor he was tearing into an Outback power inverter—a piece of equipment which converts battery power into AC power. Evidently the box had sustained some damage from a lightning strike, which is not surprising since Congo is the lightning capital of the world. He seemed a bit dismayed by the whole ordeal.
“We just had the same thing happen to two Outbacks in Bunia,” I explained. Just the day before I’d helped remove a damaged unit from the wall in MAF’s office. There had been a big storm, and one of the pilots who lives near the office lost his inverter too.
“You are like an angel to me!” said Victor, his face lighting up a little. “I’m so glad to know I am not the only one dealing with this problem.”
We spoke a bit about his plans and challenges doing IT for the university. One of the problems he faced was a difficulty configuring a certain piece of equipment. We were out of time for the day, so we agreed to meet the following week at my office in Bunia.
Victor came up the following Thursday. For the next several days I had an opportunity to work with him and answer some of his questions. He earned the distinction of becoming our first over-night house guest here in Congo, and stayed a total of four nights with our family. Aside from the technical discussions, we talked about culture, family, food, and many other things. Victor has a real understanding of his country, his call to serve, and the ministry of UCBC, which is working to bring Christian values back into education in Congo. He will have more influence on Congo than I ever will, but it is great to partner with him, and make him more effective in the work he is doing! Partnership is what MAF is about: nationals ministering in their communities, MAF partnering with nationals, donors partnering with MAF—each of us working together to transform the world for Christ.