In a country where infrastructure and unforeseeable circumstances pose huge challenges, Samaritan’s Purse Democratic Republic of Congo has to rely on God's help to accomplish His work.
By Eliakim Kalisa, who has been working with Samaritan’s Purse in the Democratic Republic of Congo for almost three years. As a member of the management team, he has worked in the finance and logistics departments. He has a wife and two beautiful children. He is passionate about teaching the Word of God, details in logistics, and ensuring that his work is done with excellence to the glory of God.
Last week, Samaritan’s Purse received some essential equipment for the proper functioning of our office. This equipment cannot be purchased in country, so we were obligated to go to the Ugandan border to bring in the goods. In addition to the complexity of customs formalities to bring in the equipment to the country, we knew we would have to face 500 kilometers of dilapidated roads to get the products back to our office. While 500 kilometers doesn’t seem too far in other countries, in our region, it is often possible to cross only 10, 20, or 50 kilometers in a period of one or two weeks due to rains and other logistical challenges.
We left our main office in the city of Bunia at 7:30 a.m. to go to the border to get the equipment. Just 15 kilometers into our trip, we came upon an overturned vehicle in the mud and were forced to spend several hours of time waiting for the road to be cleared. An overturned vehicle can often require a traveler to sleep on the road or to cancel the trip all together. After many hours of patience and many more hours on the road, we eventually arrived at our destination, with all the equipment safely in hand.
Whether it’s transporting staff, life-saving materials for beneficiaries, or Bibles throughout Congo, we face logistical challenges. And yet it is through these experiences that we grow. It is through the unforeseen emergencies, stress, and misunderstandings that, in the end, lead us to patience, humility, and flexibility. Despite the difficulties, we feel honored to serve the people of God and to contribute to the advancement of the Gospel in this part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. If He is for us, who can be against us?