My mom saved my letters written from Rwanguba, DRC (known to us as Zaire), starting in 1985, about a year after we moved to the mountain village. I typed most of my letters because it was faster, and as I retype them here, I’d really like to reword them, but I’ll try to resist. Here’s the second letter.
Rwanguba, October 11, 1985
Dear Mom and Dad,
Hi. How are you doing this week? We’re expecting mail tonight, but I have a chance to send this letter to Goma today, so I’m writing now. We’ve enclosed another change of address for our personal mailing list, for Jud and Betsy P. I don’t remember if you met them when you visited us in the Philippines. Jud looks a little like William Bendix to me. Now they’ve moved to Japan.
How is your autumn shaping up? Hope you’re getting to spend time with friends and family that you enjoy. That’s refreshes us, too, and helps give us perspective. Last night, we played UNO with a young couple who are short-term workers here for one year. They are both eager to help out where needed – nothing is “below” their talents! – so we find them an encouragement. They taught us some new rules to UNO that we’d never before played, which makes the game go a lot faster. Matt and Laurie and Daniel (our French boarder) played with us, too, which added to the fun, and confusion. Lots of laughter.
Well, we had our first ladies’ Bible study this week, in SWAHILI. I had prepared a short devotional on Romans 1:8-12, mainly to say that we hoped this study would help us to encourage one another. Believe me, I got tongue-tied a few times. But the ladies were gracious and helped me out. When I asked for a volunteer to lead the study next week, one lady raised her hand without even hesitating. Guess it was evident that I’d already stretched my Swahili to the limit with a short devotional! By the way, at the time the study was supposed to begin, we had a violent thunder and lightning storm, so Sue and I just about gave up on anyone coming, but then 3 ladies showed up after all. Just to encourage us. : ) Next week will be easier for all, I hope.
We’re having our share of hospitality. This week, we had Mrs. Tudy K and Leah B come to lunch and breakfast, then we’re having Ann J and her visiting sister Nancy at supper, and the tomorrow noon we’re having 5 missionaries who are coming from Goma for the noon meal. Never lets up. Sometimes I get tired of meal-planning, etc., because we don’t have convenience foods to shorten the preparation time. So I’ve taught our cook helper to make desserts, soups, meat, and of course he peels vegetables and does dishes. We often have 10-12 around the table. We have one table that seats 8 and can add a side table to stretch to 10. For more, we set up another table in the living room. Nice once in a while, but it’s hard to get anything else done if we’re having company. I never thought I’d be able to relax enough to sew or study Swahili knowing that 6 guests are coming in an hour, but that’s the way things are. I’d welcome any easy recipes you have for large groups, Mom. For the present, I can’t get spaghetti or macaroni noodles, so that’s out. Also, I’m low on cheese so no pizza or cheeseburger pie. Guess we can always eat meat and potatoes and vegetables. That’s way more than our African neighbors have…
We’re currently in the midst of another little problem. Because of the political takeover going on in Uganda, we’ve been unable to guy gas for several weeks. Rwanda doesn’t have any either because no one’s willing to drive across Uganda to Kenya to get it. Soooo, we’re rationing what we have left and praying the situation will get better soon. Thanks for praying, too. Lots of love, Norma for Lee + 3
~ ~ ~
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading!
Posted on May 10, 2016