Day 9: Beni

The day finally came for us to present our culmination of work from the past week.  We began the afternoon with some prayer and praise and worship, and then enjoyed a big formal lunch with all of the attendees.  There were about forty invited leaders and representatives from the Congo Initiative, UCBC, and the church and community.  First Robert and I presented the architectural program and master plan, and then the engineers followed with the civil and electrical requirements.

After the presentation we began our farewells.  It was sad to leave after such a short time, especially since we had worked so well and really melded with the ministry in such a short time.  It is sad to leave a ministry and only have such a short period of involvement in their work.  For the next few months we will continue working on the project, but from our office in Kampala.  I would encourage anyone who feels led to support the ministry of the Congo Initiative.  They are a driving force in the DRC as a University and are drawing a lot of interest.  They subsidize the education of many students who otherwise would not be able to study, and are already accomplishing their mission of educating Christian leaders.  I have no doubt that the students coming out of UCBC will go on to do great things and that the university will continue to have a positive impact on the surrounding community in Beni.  Check out their website at

Some things in particular that I will miss from the DRC is the ministry and its leaders, the students at the university and the energy they bring, the friendliness of the native people, the beautiful jungle and the mountains in the distance, the spoken Swahili and French, and of course the monkey that was always tied up outside of our guesthouse.  I call him Cornelius.

Photo by Tim Ellis

Left photo by Brittany Coulbert

The name Beni in French actually means ‘blessed’.  I think that this amazing little city will be on my thoughts for years to come as I pray for God’s blessings to come upon it and the rest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Once again I am sad to say the following words,

DRC, until we meet again.

Photo by Paul Berg

“See, I am doing a new thing!…

I am making a way in the desert

and streams in the wasteland.”

-Isaiah 43:19

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