20May2019

vitamins-header
 

What are Vitamins for the Heart? Additionally to the physical help for us the spiritual support has likewise a big meaning. ‘Vitamins for the Heart’ is the title of series in which we publish new articles monthly. The Vitamins are compositions out of texts, which we are friendly allowed by the authors to present on our webpage. Because we had many positive reactions to the vitamins we also want to present them on our webpage and hope that they will also bring many others a big pleasure.

Vitamins for the Heart

Living and Working Together

by W. Schmidt:

On my way from Prague to Congo I left by snow and freezing weather. The plane had to wait for the runway to get cleared for takeoff. On the way out we had to stop as a special truck on each side sprayed the plane free from ice and snow. All this delayed our departure so that it was a question if I would get my ongoing flight in Frankfurt. Some people had to wait for the next day as they missed their plane. For those who travelled in the same direction as I did, a special bus was provided to bring us directly to our next plane. On top of it – I don’t know how they did it – by the time we got to the plane they even had our luggage on that plane – another miracle I was very thankful for, as you don’t want to have to search for your luggage in Kinshasa.

In Addis Ababa I had to wait for a few hours and couldn’t help but notice the mixture of travelers from different parts of the world in crowded waiting halls. One man from a Southern country threw away his trash on the floor. That’s probably the way he was raised where he came from. Two men from an Eastern continent cleared their throats really loud close to me and spit into a bin. That’s probably the custom where they come from.

I travel every year from the North to the South and back. Every time it’s quite a culture change, not a shock anymore as I get used to it, but it’s quite a change. The climate, people, customs, culture, surrounding, everything is different, but once you adjust to it, there is beauty in each of them. The most outstanding for me is always how beautiful the people are, in their own way. The little kids are cute everywhere, lively, noisy, rambunctious at times, full of life. The mothers are proud of them and watch them like a hen watches her chicks and takes good care of them. The husbands many times do other things, acting like roosters who are in charge.

When I arrived in Kinshasa, hot & humid as usual, I couldn’t find my friend who was supposed to pick me up. As it turned out later, he had sent someone else with another car and we couldn’t find each other. I waited around for more than an hour trying to explain to the overly helpful locals who were trying to get something for their “help”, that I was ok. I wasn’t, but didn’t want to take an expensive ride into town. I couldn’t even call my friend as I had left my local SIM cards with him. I was stuck. And it was hot!

I was praying for another miracle like the day before with the flight connection and the luggage. Sure enough it happened again! Sometimes you have to hold on a bit, but after about an hour of waiting and getting desperate as all cars were slowly leaving the parking lot, there was someone who I thought could help me. I approached him and explained to him my predicament. He agreed to take me into town, even all the way to the door of my destination.

His name was Michel and he was alone with his driver who picked him up, so he didn’t mind to take me with my 2 big suitcases (gifts for friends and the children of our school project), my hand luggage and 2 laptops (one was to give away). I had already introduced myself as a missionary and he explained that he is on a different kind of mission. So, on the long journey to town we exchanged what we each do. Michel had been a high UN official in Congo still under Mobutu and during the “African World War” in Congo from 1998 – 2003 which cost about 4 – 5 million lives. He tried to avoid as much blood shed as possible.

With all this experience working with different tribes, chiefs and factions which fought each other, he is now trying to help other opposing figures in the country to work things out peacefully with each other. He is holding workshops asking each party to put themselves in the other person’s shoes and play their role for some time, which is quite difficult for such opposing figures to do. But it helps them to see things from a different angle. Michel told me how in the past he presided meetings at the UN headquarters in Kinshasa with different international help organizations who were all doing their part to help the country. There were those who felt the need during the most desperate times in the country was to implement immediate humanitarian help as opposed to those who felt long term development projects were more useful. He told me how each organization was arguing for their cause, each of them having a good point, but at times clashing with each other as different approaches can do sometimes.

To my question: Why not work together? It’s all needed and we all need to work together, he heartily agreed. I told him how we have several Muslim friends in Kinshasa who are supporting our project knowing that we are Christian missionaries. They know we help where the need is big and they support that effort. He told me how beautiful that is in places like Congo where such things can happen compared to other parts of the world where people even of the same race and religion fight each other. So sad!

We exchanged email addresses and will stay in contact to see how we can help the country the most. While I was getting myself organized the next days for all I wanted to accomplish in my time in Congo I took some time to also reflect on the experiences of this first day of travelling.

I had told Michel that in Europe we work together with many people who think completely different than my wife and I do, living in a country which is about 90 % atheistic due to their former regime and upbringing. We have friends from all kinds of nations, beliefs, age, strata of society, but we all work together for a common good cause, to help alleviate the plight of the poor and see how we can get them on their way up to a more human existence.

As long as we help to make this world a better place, what difference does it make if the color of the skin is white, yellow, brown or black! And if one believes in God and goes to a mosque or a church or no building and someone else doesn’t believe in God, can’t we live and work together in peace to help the needy? The need is so big, let’s work together! It’s too big a job for any organization or group of people or country to manage alone. We need to help each other.

The question shouldn’t be what’s our nationality, skin color, faith or creed. What matters is the heart! Do we want to help others or just think about ourselves? The beauty in helping each other, making an effort to include others in our circle and helping those in need is that it comes back to us. It’s so uplifting, inspiring and fulfilling to help someone else and to live together in peace with people that have different views than our own. We can learn so much from each other.

To reach this goal we need patience, tolerance, understanding, good communication and most of all love. Love suffers a lot and is still kind. Love envies not, is not proud and puffed up; does not get angry, is not selfish and easily provoked; doesn’t think evil but rejoices in the true values; doesn’t give up hope and believes that things can work out well (see 1.Cor 13:4 – 7).

Copyright © 2016 Aktive Direkt Hilfe e.V.



 Along the dirt road are a few small stands that sell dried fish and sometimes some vegetables and fruit.

Mushapo - A village portrait

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