Letter #2 from Joe Horness, Programming Director and Worship Leader at Bay Pointe Community Church.
In preparation for the Global Leadership Summit internationally every year, we host various trainings all over the world to pour into our volunteer teams. Joe is one of the trainers who sacrificially gives of his time to travel to Congo, Uganda, and Nigeria. Here is an excerpt from his travel updates sent during his recent trip through Africa:
To my friends and family at home!
First of all, I can finally let you know that I made it to Kinshasa in one piece! Other than standing in the midst of a madhouse of people for an hour as we waited for our luggage, everything really went smoothly. The ride to the hotel, though you’d think I would expect it by now, was overwhelming. In the other countries I’ve been to in Africa, there are shanty towns stuck here and there. Here, the ‘shanty town’ is endless.
That’s all there is. The miles from the airport were filled with thousands of people mindlessly roaming the streets, ancient cars that were 3 and 4 lanes across on decrepit, barely-useable roads, ‘buses’ consisting of run-down blue and yellow vans with no doors and people hanging off of every bumper and out every window, and extreme poverty in every direction as far as you could see. Not surprisingly, for the most part, people here seem very guarded, distant and distrustful. There is no laughter, there are few smiles, and little warmth. Outside of the wonderful people we worked with from the area churches today, there is no joy here.
But then we arrived at the church this morning. It was a refuge! It was a place of hope, filled with wonderful servants. Many of the men and women we met with carried the same sense of caution and reserve, but there was hope. There was a belief that God might use them. There was enthusiasm over the possibility of change. As I taught on God’s dream that we would ‘present everyone complete in Christ’ and how God could use the Global Leadership Summit to impact leaders who could in turn bring about change, the air in the room was infectious.
My heart ached with awe as I listened to the team worship as we began the day. The hair on my arms stood on end as I listened to these people pray as our day came to an end. No one can ever tell me Christ’s Church isn’t real, that He doesn’t bring hope to the hopeless and rest to the restless and life to death. Just spend a day here. You’ll believe it like never before.
Keep following this blog throughout the fall to hear stories from all over the world. You can also follow our EVP, Gary Schwammlein, on Twitter to get updates on his activities as he travels to many GLS sites all over the world.