Mission Co-Worker Update: Who says quarantine can’t be fun?
Grace and Peace to you my CHCC sisters and brothers! I write an update on how life goes in
the Dominican Republic as Evelin and I await being able to travel to Congo in the new year. Well, the storm that approached as I departed Dayton (Isaiah) set the tone for how things would be during my first month here. To date, we’ve had THREE severe weather events! I don’t remember it being so bad.
After the mandatory 14 day quarantine, Evelin and I have been busy re-arranging the house so I have an office space for work and also sorting through thinks that need to be thrown away for the time when we head off to Congo. The other Saturday, we took advantage of the opportunity presented when we took pictures modeling the necklace sent to Evelin, made by the ladies at Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church to raise money to build schools in Congo (contact me if you’d like one)…when the photos were taken, we put some music on and had a quarantined “night out” of dancing. Who says quarantine can’t be fun?
While not able to visit churches and share about our work in Congo, I have been very busy
meeting with the other Africa Area Mission Co-workers, meeting with people and churches (by Zoom and phone) engaged with the Congolese refugees in the US, learning French with my tutor in Kinshasa (through WhatsApp). In fact, technology has been a saving grace to my ability to reach out to others and build relationships. Each Tuesday at 3:00 pm (Eastern Time) we meet for prayer on a prayerline set up by Congo Mission supporters.
I’d like to spend the rest of this message, promoting what has occupied the bulk of my time
these past months: The Congo Mission Network Annual Conference. This year’s topic will look at how partners in the US and Congo have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. We will also have a theological reflection on systemic racism using the Belhar Confession.
Anyone familiar with the history of Congo knows that its past 300 years have been marred by atrocities and violence, often at the hands of others. Even today, outside influences have contributed to more than 5 million internally displaced refugees and unfair trade practices which leads to an average daily income of less than $2 USD!! If in the US, with African Americans representing the seventh most wealthy “nation”, we are having trouble reconciling with our racist past, how can our Congolese brothers and sisters? I invite you all to join in on our discussions and presentations.
College Hill knows that injustice anywhere is an affront to justice everywhere! How can we,
with a clear conscience, use our cell phones knowing that important raw materials come from children working in unsafe conditions for pennies a day? Why is it that a country with the second largest rain forest and abounding farmlands be home to the most hunger and poverty? Something is wrong and only through a concerted, committed effort can we begin to make it right!
Our fist session will be September 16 th at 11:00 am and available on YouTube afterwards. This will be a worship service, setting the tone of the conference, with key leaders of the church and the Congo Mission Network. Rev. Denise Anderson, former co-moderator of the denomination will be delivering the message. The same themes of fair trade, racial harmony, etc. by which we live out the Gospel at College Hill in Dayton are easy for me to apply in my current position. You have taught me well! Please join us to learn how College Hill has gone international.
My webpage: https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/missionconnections/jose-lamont-jones/
Congo Mission Network webpage: www.congopartners.org
Our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CongoMissionNetwork
Conference Registration: https://forms.gle/X487RRRhcxV4ReKh8
My e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org