By Allison Schroeder In just a matter of days, World Relief in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will welcome a team of women led by Lynne Hybels. Lynne has been an advocate for the Congo since she traveled there with us in 2010. This time, there will be six women joining Lynne on the trip; three others are traveling in spirit, adding their voices to the journey. I am honored to be one of the three -- you can read more about the "Ten for Congo" team at Lynne's blog: www.lynnehybels.com. Here's an excerpt to give you a taste:
Together, we are calling ourselves Ten for Congo. Our goal is to raise awareness about the DRC. Most Americans are like I was just a few years ago, totally clueless about what’s happening day after day after day in Congo. We women of Ten for Congo want to change that. We want to provide a voice for the voiceless people of the Congo. Actually, we want to shout for Congo! We want to be loudspeakers for Congo! We want to bellow for Congo!
Will you join us?
With your help, our ten voices can become 10 x 10 voices, or 10 x 10 x 10 voices, or 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 voices.
Imagine 10,000 voices bellowing on behalf of Congo!
A pretty awesome vision! I’ve travelled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo several times in my work with World Relief. Each time I’ve been undone, outraged by the violence and poverty, the cruelty of the circumstances. But I’ve also been inspired by beauty and humbled and encouraged by the perseverance of local churches that are empowered to respond. I've been awed by the simple clarity of Christ’s presence around me as churches come together to build peace and care for those who have been ravaged by war. Each experience has changed me, and I have no doubt that the women who are traveling there next week will be changed as well.
Our prayer, though, is that this trip will do more than change a few women. Our prayer is that it will change thousands of women -- in the U.S. and in Congo. May all those who read about this team's experiences be outraged, inspired, humbled, and moved to speak up -- loudly! -- on behalf of the most vulnerable.
Follow Lynne's blog or go to www.worldrelief.org/lynnehybels to find out more about how you can add your voice to the Ten for Congo team.
Allison Schroeder is World Relief's Church Partnership Director based in Baltimore, Maryland.