I am accompanying Sr. Jacqueline Rebours, our French candidate director, who has been discerning with women here over the last several years. This is our third trip to Kinshasa.
Various images may come to mind when you think of the Congo. Images of dense jungle, wild life, boats slowly making their way up rivers flowing past small villages, hot and humid (the heat index is 110 today). This is true. What I didn’t picture was Kinshasa, a huge city of 8 million people with housing compacted onto tracts of land, such as ‘Chinatown’ so named because everywhere you look there are people.
We have met with four young women discerning a call to religious life and Bon Secours over the last two days, and have begun to meet their families as well. We will meet three or four others in the week to come. Like other young women discerning a call to religious life, Miriam, Elena, Elvie, and Mariel have a generous and compassionate heart for those who are poor, or are suffering, or in need someway. They dream of making a difference for people. They find a loving God who nourishes them and nudges them to follow him more closely and to be of service to their brothers and sisters.
Here is a picture of Elvie with us. She is in a master’s philosophy program and dreams of improving the Congolese education system for young people. I’ll have more from Congo coming up, along with photos journaling our trip.
Blessings from the Congo.