My country (DRC) is full of nonsense, and sometimes this is very discouraging even when we are passionate about working for justice. Situations of injustices such as corruption and violations of human rights have become what we call “normal.” Some people do not even know their values anymore. However I am always surprised that in the middle of such chaos there are still citizens of this country who still have their dignity, integrity, and have a sense of justice.
I was on a public bus in Kinshasa, going at my sister’s place when the driver violated the road’s code by not stopping on the red light signal (for those who have been there, this is not a surprise at all). I looked at people’s reaction, but they seemed not to care for everyone was in a rush and any means to reach their destination seemed okay with them. After this scenario another one happened where the driver could not drive faster because there was another driver in front who stopped to let pedestrians cross the street. Our driver was very mad and started insulting the other driver. Again, I looked at people’s reaction and most of them were laughing. Where were their values?! Surprisingly, someone stood against a group of people who thought they were right when they were not! That man decided to speak out despite the risk he could have encountered, that is being misunderstood or insulted. He stood for his values and tried to remind people that what the driver did was wrong. This reminded me of rotten potatoes in a container, there are always some which are still okay, but they are at risk because they might be infected by the rotten ones. This constitutes a big challenge because when it comes to potatoes, we can just select the good ones and throw away the rotten ones which is different for human beings as Christ himself said that He came for the lost sheep. So how do we make sure that as followers of Christ, together with those who believe in justice we reach out to those who have lost their values? How do we make sure that we do not exclude them because we find them unworthy? This simple situation that happened in a public bus provoked my thoughts and challenged me. The Good News is that rotten potatoes can bear new fruits if we give them a chance, by planting them again and caring for them by watering them. This is what our mission as a Church is, looking for those who have lost the right way, sharing God’s word of hope with them and engaging with them through various actions that we can undertake together.
Yes the work is abundant, workers are still needed, but our God is already at work. I saw God at work through a man who stood up for what he believed was right despite the risk ahead of him and this meant a lot to my justice and peace ministry. I should not get tired of doing the work of justice, for I am not alone, God is already at work. My hope for a just world is being renewed each and everyday.
World Council of Churches, Switzerland
GMF International, Class 2014