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Congo Crisis Entry 14

Alessandra’s first supper in the interior of the Congo was both eye-opening and refreshing. Eye-opening for Alessandra who was getting lessons on the struggles of aligning local customs to Biblical principles, and refreshing to the Carmichael family who were getting to see their mission through fresh eyes.

There were many practices in the everyday lives of the Congolese that were contrary to the principles of God’s Word. The biggest area of difficulty was the situation inside the family dynamics.

Rob shared, “Many of the Christians that are now part of the church have more than one wife, and we have many women that attend that are second wives in a family situation. It is nearly impossible to practice Biblical principles in marriage with multiple partners. Often, wives get jealous of each other, and then the first wife mistreats the children of the second wife. It’s hard to know how to counsel them.”

Alessandra asked, “Do you encourage them to divorce their second wives when they join the church?”

“No, I don’t. They have made a commitment to care for both wives and all the children of the unions. It would be considered a neglect of their duties to turn out the second wife. As I see it, there is not much I can do to remedy past relationships. The best option is to teach the young generation God’s Word and show them the value of avoiding theses problems. The future can be altered by my teaching today.”

Alessandra knew at that first supper that she would have much to learn about the Congolese culture. And family relationships were at the center of those lessons. Often, the best way to change the future is to train the younger generation. This principle holds true in any culture and any society. Promises for the future kingdom offer hope for the future generations, “This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD.” (Psalm 102:18) As we learn lessons with Alessandra, let’s apply them to our own lives, homes, families, and ministries.

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