Today we were supposed to start our long walk to Demba. We were rather disappointed that it got postponed, but grateful also to see God’s protection and guidance in the process. This week, we had been vascillating about whether we should still go, because Bob was feeling weak physically and we feared that it was too soon after he had been sick with malaria and typhoid a few weeks ago. We really wanted to go—we felt that it would be a great learning experience for us and the change of scenery might be an encouragement to our spirits. Each day we prayed that God would make it clear, and each day we were unsure what to do. On Wednesday, 2 days before we were to leave, we decided to go see the doctor – maybe if we could verify that the malaria and typhoid were gone, it would be a ‘green light’ to go. We were somewhat surprised to hear the doctor give his ‘go-ahead’ and wish us a good journey. “But if you had diarrhea…then I would say that you could not go.” he said. So, we return from the doctor somewhat hopeful; and then within an hour Bob got a serious case of diarrhea. After about 6 trips to the bathroom in 1 evening, it was clear that this was the confirmation we were waiting for. We wouldn’t be able to make the trip this weekend.
Thursday morning, our colleague Pastor Mboyamba said he needed to talk to us. He carefully explained that while they supported the idea and desire of this journey, due to some current security concerns on that particular road and concerns from several people about protecting our health, he was requesting that we postpone the trip. He said that he had really struggled with the decision, which is why he had waited until the last day to tell us. We were relieved…it was much easier for us to agree to his decision when we had already come to the same conclusion ourselves the night before. And, we are relieved by the double-confirmation that this really was the right decision. We are still disappointed, and really want to make this trip –perhaps later this year.
Last weekend we did a ‘trial’, walking to Tshikaji and back, which is approx. 15 km each way. We were tired and sore afterward, but it did give us confidence that we could do a longer distance. Here are a couple of pictures from that trip. We also encountered several people along the way who provided good conversation or helped guide us when we were a bit unsure.
You would not believe how much sand was in our shoes!
For those of you who read our newsletter and would like to support the distribution of Bibles in Kasai in connection with our walk—we hope that you will still consider supporting this effort. We will let you know when we are able to reschedule the walk!