Friday, February 20, 2015

And there was light!

Mamu Nzeba and Mamu Tshidibi faithfully run the Protestant Center here in Kananga.  It is an aging building built by the Belgians back in the 1920s as a hotel/restaurant.  Today it belongs to the Congolese Presbyterian Church (CPC) and serves as a guesthouse.  On a shoestring budget, Mamu Nzeba and Mamu Tshidibi do an amazing job to maintain this archaic structure and provide for the needs of their guests.  They make out with a positive balance each year and make a contribution to the larger work of the church and also make small repairs and improvements to the Center. 

Protestant Center, Kananga (DRC)

Mamu Nzeba and Mamu Tshidibi

Two major needs for guests at the Protestant Center are water and electricity. Because they can easily get water from a nearby water tower, the Protestant Center has an advantage over other guesthouses.  However, electricity has been a problem.  SNEL, the power company of Congo, supplies power to its clients almost every day, but at odd and untimely hours.  Power may come for a couple of hours during the day, and then the following day be on for maybe 30 minutes in the evening and then come back on at 2am when everyone is asleep. SNEL is expensive too – one pays about $40 per month. When potential guests come to look at rooms at the Protestant Center they are impressed.  However when they ask if there is “current” (electricity) they  lose interest and go elsewhere.  

Thanks to the ingenuity of friends who love Congo, the situation at the Protestant Center has recently taken a sharp upturn.  Tatu Omba who works with Rivers of the World (ROW) Congo recently came to install three solar panels.  With these panels, each of the guest rooms has lighting during the evening and nighttime hours.  Moreover, there is a centralized outlet center whereby guests can charge their telephones and computers during the day.  Mamu Nzeba and Mamu Tshidibi are quite proud of the new panels and have instructed one of the night guards to remain directly underneath them and maintain careful watch.  They express profound thanks to Jimmy Shaafe (Director of ROW, Congo Chapter), Tatu Omba, and friends of ROW who have generously given to help strengthen the Protestant Center in Kananga.

Installation of the solar panels, Protestant Center (Kananga)

Outlets for charging during
daylight hours

So, the next time you visit will you consider staying at the Protestant Center?  Your patronage will provide a ‘shot in the arm’ to the church and encourage these two saintly women who toil day and night to keep this grand structure functional and appealing.  Maybe God will inspire you to help in some way too.  Thank you ROW for coming alongside us here in Kananga – we are very grateful! 

No comments: