50 Amazing Hours
Author: Trip team leader Rev. Anne Drost (Canadian Baptist Ministries/Canadian Baptist Women)
For over a year and a half, Canadian Baptist women have supported a CBM program through offerings taken for the Great Canadian Bible Study. These funds supported Congolese women who had been victims of the civil war there and had experienced the horrors of that war: rape, beatings, machete cuts and so much more. This short term mission was to meet some of these women, hear their stories and share God’s heart with them.
After planning from afar, the day in late fall 2014 came when I led a team of Canadian Baptist women team met with Congolese women in Gisenyi, Rwanda. We worshipped together in song and praised God in at least five languages. They taught us some of their songs and we taught them ours. They taught us to dance and praise God. God’s Word was shared through devotional times and then we played together.
One of our activities was to do nails and hand massage. These dear Congolese sisters told us that for the first time in years, they felt young and beautiful! When it came time to share stories, one by one our sisters poured out their hearts about what had happened to them.
Our hearts nearly broke as we cried with our sisters. As each Congolese sister shared, I took her in my arms and through tears, prayed for God to come close and hold this dear woman in his arms. Over and over Congolese and Canadian sisters shared their hearts, sometimes sharing deeply held secrets that no one knew about until now.
The gates of heaven opened and healing and wholeness was showered down upon this group of women. It didn’t matter where they were from; God was doing a healing ministry. After the first 24 hours were over, we no longer strangers; we were bound by the love of God to one another in sisterhood.
When it came time to part ways, no one wanted these days to end. We prayed with each other and gave small gifts to our new friends. Each person from Canada was given a woman’s name from the Congo to pray for and each woman from the Congo was given one of her Canadian sister’s names to remember in prayer.
We walked to the border together, arm in arm trying to prolong our days together. When we could go no further, we wrapped our arms around each other and in tears, we each sang, “God be with you till we meet again.” We waved until we could see each other no more and we left our sisters in the hands of Jesus for His care and keeping.
Read more about the Great Canadian Bible Study and plan to join in for 2015.