On February 8 - 14, we took our semi-annual trip to a city called Luputa, about 600 miles southeast of Kinshasa. The trip itself is quite a journey -- a flight to a city of 4 million called Mbuji-Mayi, where we rent four wheeled vehicles from Catholic Charities (which whom we partner very frequently on humanitarian projects) and then drive 120 - 130 kilometers over about 9 hours to Luputa.
In Luputa, we have 6 congregations and about 1,200 members. It's a city of 125,000 with no power, no real dependable water, and very rural. But it is a city with the sweetest spirit to it. No one who goes to Luputa ever comes away the same.
It's an adventure. The road for the last 45 miles is dirt, with ruts, bumps, etc. When we get there we stay in an old Catholic monastery. The rooms are $ 10 a night (about fully priced) and we take freeze-dried foods, peanut butter and jam, and camp out.
And we love it -- because the people there are so pure, so good, so simple. When they are converted to Jesus, they love Him with all their heart. Of the 1,200 members in the district, over 900 attended the conference, even though 650 - 700 of them had to sit outside the small building we presently use. The church rented a portable generator, a small video camera, and a 17 inch TV to show conference to those outside the building.
There are four posts about our trip.
1. Scenes from the Countryside on the Luputa Trip
2. and 3. The People and Sights of Luputa
4. The Trip Itself with the Roads and Challenges of the Travel
We love these people. Although it took two weeks for the bruises on my legs and ankles to heal from bouncing around the back of the truck while on the roads, we can't wait to go back next August.
Hope you enjoy seeing these people and what their world is like.
Love to all -- Don and Marsha