During the first stop on what has effectively become my “Southern Tour” for the Raise Hope for Congo campaign, I recently found myself catching the contagious enthusiasm of Congo advocates in Birmingham before I had even had a morning cup of coffee. These two incredible women were taking their Congo story to the office of U.S. Congressman Spencer Bachus (R-AL), and I met them at a coffee shop to prep for the meeting and learn about their efforts:
Debbie, the lady on the right, a pastor of a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) presbytery here in Alabama, wrote her message on the back of two pictures from her trip to Congo. When taking her message to the representative and his staff, Debbie also presented them with several gifts, including three books. The first book is about William Sheppard, a missionary to Congo in the 1800s, who founded the partnership between the PCUSA churches in Alabama with churches in Congo. The second book is King Leopold's Ghost, Adam Hochschild’s highly acclaimed historical account of Belgian colonial rule in Congo. The third book is a bible study, Congo Partnership Devotional, featuring testimonies and reflections from Alabama to Congo. Additionally, she presented information to Bachus’ office about her church's partnership with schools in Congo.
Allison, the lady on the left, works for Invisible Children and the Episcopal Church here in Alabama. She told her story about Invisible Children’s work in Uganda and explained how high schools and colleges in Alabama are sponsoring schools in parts of Congo impacted by violence perpetrated by the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels.
To say the least, I don't think Congressman Bachus knew what was headed his way this fall morning in Birmingham. These women are doing impressive and admirable work, and I can't wait to see how they grow the movement here in Alabama.
Thought you would find encouragement in the efforts of activists here in Alabama. They are fantastic.