Now that’s a headline, huh? We’re heading to the Congo!
(Well, The Democratic Republic of the Congo if you want to get specific.)
It’s still hard for me to even believe that Stephanie and I will be heading there in less than a month, but I can now officially say with full confidence that we will both, in fact, be heading over to the Congo for a mission trip on January 10th of 2011 (assuming, of course, that our temporary tourist visas will be approved). To all of you who were hoping we were having a baby, we’re sorry to disappoint.
I know that this news is probably a bit of a shock to a lot of you (well, some of more than others I’m sure), but to be completely honest we’re still a little shocked at this point, too. But, more than anything we’re over-the-top excited to have such an awesome opportunity to travel to the Congo to serve and love on some people who haven’t ever had much of either in their lives.
We haven’t really talked much about how we’ve both been on fire for missions lately, but it’s been something that we’ve prayed about, talked to our church leaders about and have kept an open heart for ever since we got the initial itch about two years ago. So, when God threw a new opportunity in our faces a couple of months ago and yanked us towards going we quickly made a decision and now it’s happening. Just like (*snap*) that (*snap*) Stephanie and I went from thinking about how awesome it would be to go on a mission trip to going all in for traveling to the Congo. A little crazy, but hey - I guess that’s how we roll.
I don’t want to make this first post too long and we’ll be sure to add more details about what all we’re doing to prepare for the trip, but I thought that I would first answer a few of the more common questions that some of our friends and family have asked us about our decision to travel to a place like the Congo. Also, from here on out you can check out all things Congo over on this page that we’ve set up: hupandsteph.com/congo.
1. Where is the Congo?
The Congo is the third largest country in Africa and used to be called Zaire. In terms of annual per capita GDP it’s the second poorest country in the world (behind another African country Zimbabwe).
2. Is it safe over there?
This is a tough question to answer. Compared to most countries the Congo is definitely considered dangerous. We’ll be in the northwest section of the country most of the time, which is much safer than the eastern border near Sudan, where there is constant war and violence.
3. Why are you guys specifically going to the Congo for a mission trip?
The main reason we’re going is to show God’s love to a group of people who need it and to receive a lot of love right back. If you Google the Congo you’re going to read a lot about a group of people who have been taken advantage of for decades and a country that has been through a lot of changes over the past couple of years. For some reason God has decided that we should be a part building them up, so who are we to say no?
Also, our church has a great relationship with some specific villages in the Congo. We’re very involved with helping them create some financial, medical and educational sustainability and trips like these help lay down the plans and groundwork for how we continue to help them in the future.
More specifically, I’ll be focusing on improving their technology and Stephanie will be teaching English and helping out with an orphanage.
4. Aren’t you going to need some vaccinations before you head over there?
For our safety’s sake we definitely needed to get shot up with our fair share of vaccinations before traveling to the Congo. Last week we went to the medical clinic in the San Francisco airport and were given four different vaccinations all at once. The four vaccinations were Yellow Fever, Cholera, Hepatitis A and Polio. They put two in each of our arms and even though they didn’t hurt right of the bat, our arms were super sore later that night. The one that hurt the most was Yellow Fever, which is a required vaccination if you’re traveling to the Congo.
5. Is there any way that we can we help you out with this?
Of course there is. There are two main things that we need from our family and friends and those are:
1. Lots of prayer for us before and during our trip. This is the most important thing by far and something that will ensure that our mission trip is an overwhelming success.
2. Some money to cover our costs of the trip (for both us and our church). It’s not cheap to fly into a jungle all the way on the other side of the world, but it’s a cost that’s well worth spending. If you feel like you want to get involved with our mission trip by giving, we would be very grateful for whatever you could give. I don’t want to pitch you now, but I’ll have a way for you to give to our mission in a later post so keep an eye out.
6. If something unfortunately happens to you both while you’re in the Congo, can I have Frank?
Come on now, this isn’t even funny. Ok, it actually is pretty funny, but only because it’s true.
We have yet to decide on a benefactor for Frank, but once we figure it out I’ll be sure to let you know. Until then, thanks for being so concerned.
That’s enough for now, but there’s a lot more where this came from.