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Congo Crisis Entry 21

Cathy and Alessandra continued to speak about the resilience and patience of the Congolese people and their strength to endure hardship and loss. One by one, the children trickled out to say good morning to their guest. Jimmy continued to sit with his mom and Alessandra, until a call from the kitchen got their attention.

Jenny, whose turn it was to cook breakfast on this Saturday, asked, “Mom, I think that the kerosene is low in this stove. Can Jimmy fill it for me?”

Cathy raised her eyebrows and turned toward her son. She didn’t need words. Her expression simply asked, “Well?”

“All right, I’m doing this for you, Mom, and because I’m starving. When will Jenny be old enough to do it herself?” he whined.

“It’s bad enough she’s working with matches and cooking from scratch, don’t begrudge lending her a helping hand. Besides, you weren’t filling kerosene tanks at eight either.”

Jenny’s breakfast of pancakes and pineapple syrup was happily consumed and lavishly praised. By the end of the meal, she was beaming from ear to ear.

Patience, whether in the big events of life or the everyday tasks, is a vital quality to endurance in the long haul. From the Congolese being resilient in loss to Jimmy practicing patience with his younger sister, this character trait makes us buoyant and eager to take life on life’s terms. Ephesians 4:1,2 offers this advice, “-walk-With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.” Longsuffering, or suffering long, is the old term for patience. Whether we are called to forbear the foibles of our family or endure hardship as a good soldier, let’s embrace this quality of patience to teach us strategic life skills.

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