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Congo Crisis 13

The Carmichaels had three children, Jimmy, Jackie, and Jenny. Once the Land Cruiser reached the walled-in and gated home, the group broke up to do various tasks before supper. But one stayed close.

Alessandra and Jackie spent the next hour talking and unpacking in the room that had been set aside for the guest in an outer building. After making the room livable, Jackie took Alessandra on a tour of the property. Within the walls of the compound were two completed buildings; the main house and the outbuilding where Alessandra’s room was. The other two rooms in that building were used for storage. The incomplete building was missing a roof and housed a garden and chickens. A circular, thatch-roofed building resembled a gazebo and was used by the employee for chores like dishes and laundry.

To Alessandra’s unaccustomed senses, the inside of the home where her friends lived seemed extremely dull and shabby. The walls were filthy, and the floor paint was sadly in need of another coat. When Alessandra mentioned this to her escort, Jackie was surprised.

“Does it look that bad? After being here for a while, we have gotten used to it, and compared to the rest of the homes in town, it looks nice.”

Alessandra had not foreseen that her comments would seem offensive. She apologized and vowed to be more thoughtful in the future.

Proverbs speaks often of the value of practicing an understanding heart. “-lift up your voice for understanding,” in Proverbs 2:3 expresses the value of pursuing this quality. Understanding is that aspect of wisdom that grasps the nuances of the human heart. May we embrace the opportunity to grow in understanding.

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