A Lesson In Contrasts

Living in Kinshasa, DRC (a city of about 10,000,000 people) we can sometimes forget that MAF’s vision is for isolated people. There are always people crowding the streets, jamming the market places, and flooding entire areas that were once wide open. It was one of the biggest shocks when we arrived, to be overwhelmed by just how many people could live in one city.

This gets contrasted greatly when we fly. Arriving in small villages that even Congolese people haven’t heard of, shows just how isolated some of the country’s citizens are. Much of the funding and support the country receives doesn’t seem to trickle into the interior where it’s needed most. And so we daily go through these extremes, from city life to village life, as we try to show God’s care for the least of these.

MAF Missionary Pilot Nick Frey at Monkoto

MAF Pilot Nick Frey with a passengers at Monkoto in western Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Well, recently I made even bigger jumps in this contrast. I had an overnight trip to Monkoto, which is 362 nautical miles from Kinshasa’s urban core. The flight was for NGO’s working in the national park there as they seek to stop poaching, educate locals on agriculture and conservation, and build roads and bridges to help local commerce survive. It is so far that it requires a fuel stop half way and makes for two 1.5-hour flights in the 206. Then, within 48 hours of me sleeping in the bush with no power and no running water, I was in Belgium sipping a freshly brewed Starbucks coffee with all the modern luxuries surrounding me as I returned home for a friend’s wedding. Stunned by the speed at which I could be transported across the globe to two seemingly different worlds, I just sat in bewilderment.

Instantly I thought about how quickly and easily those isolated people could be forgotten. All the comfort and opportunities and quick-paced living and before you know it you don’t even think anyone on earth lives any differently. Then you get bogged down with life and its busyness, and sooner or later your world gets smaller; and the TV commercials about poor kids in a remote place needing sponsors doesn’t even seem real.

This is why MAF exists. Because there are forgotten people who need fellowship, isolated people whose dwelling places can’t be found on Google Earth. While Jesus was in heaven with all its splendor and majesty it must have been an enormous contrast for Him to come to earth with all its dirt and grime and darkness. He didn’t forget us when we were isolated from Him. We then, can’t forget those who are isolated today.

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