Monday, December 30, 2013

The Sixteen Days of Christmas (Vacation)--Day 10--A Heavy Heart for Congo

There have been news reports and a US Embassy statement released today about violence breaking out in DRCongo's capital city, Kinshasa. Here is a portion of that US Embassy statement:

"Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens 
Armed Engagements Around Kinshasa
December 30, 2013 

The Embassy has received multiple reports of armed engagements and fighting around Kinshasa, including shots being fired at the national television station, N’djili International Airport, and other locations in the city. These reports also state that Ndjili International Airport is currently closed. The Embassy has also received reports that there are police and military checkpoints and barricades in many places as well. The Embassy urges all U.S. citizens in Kinshasa to stay in place and not travel around the city until further notice. The Embassy will distribute additional information as it becomes available. The U.S. Embassy advises U.S. citizens to avoid all public demonstrations and areas where crowds have gathered because even peaceful events can become violent or even deadly.

The U.S. Embassy reminds U.S. citizens in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that events can occur rapidly and without prior warning. All U.S. citizens should ensure that their travel documents, including their U.S. passport and Congolese visas/residency permits, are valid. In addition, U.S. citizens should have their travel documents in their possession at all times in case of an immediate need to travel.

You can stay in touch and get Embassy updates by checking the U.S. Embassy Kinshasa web site. You can also get global updates at the U.S. Department of State's, Bureau of Consular Affairs website where you can find the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warning, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well; or you can download our free Smart Traveler App from iTunes or the Android market to have travel information at your fingertips. If you don't have internet access, you may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays)...."
The children of Congo are weighing heavy on my heart today. When events like this crop up, and they happen all too often in Congo, I think about what life would be like for my babies if they weren't safely in my home.  Grace and Haven are both snuggled up on the couch napping.  All the Littles are safe in their beds. 


But for thousands of orphans in Kinshasa, today and most days, are far from safe.  Even without of threat of violence and major civil unrest, the threat of disease and hunger is ALWAYS THERE. I have to stop typing because the tears just start to pour from my eyes when I think about it too much.  I guess God has given me a raw spot in my heart so that I won't forget how blessed I am.  And so that I won't stop talking to all of you about it.

Please consider making a final year end donation to Our Family in Africa. Tomorrow is the last day for the 2013 tax year and for the OFA iPad giveaway. The need is greater than ever. Adoptions have come to a halt. In times of unrest, children are the first to suffer.Just $5 can feed a child for 20 days. No donation is too small.  No act of kindness is unimportant.  I can only assume that some of those children left behind are the brothers, sisters, and cousins of my own babies. Please don't forget them.

And please send them your prayers.

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