After ten long years I recently visited my native country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was fun to meet my younger brother’s friends. He would introduce me as “Pastor Joseph Kazadi from the United States,” then he would tell them that I was his big brother. The look of surprise and delight was instant, “Your brother! He comes from the United States to visit you?” They would shake my hand repeatedly saying in French, “Bienvenue chez vous (welcome home).”
I am from the Kasai tribe in Congo. We have a taboo regarding a big brother staying in the same house where the young brother and his wife live. To respect our culture, I arranged to stay at the Methodist Presbyterian Hostel (MPH) which is a mission guest house. This is a well-known hub to many travelers throughout Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and francophone (French-speaking) Africa. It encompasses over 4 acres of quiet and peace. Here you can find missionaries in-transit seeking respite, short-term visitors from afar, African church leaders gathering and American families adopting children.
God answered my prayers on this trip. I am so grateful that I made the long trip to home to visit my family and friends. It was a great blessing for me and for them to have this time to reconnect.