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Congo Crisis Entry 50

Outside of the N’Jili airport and on the way across town to the MPH hostel, Alessandra commented on how few people were out and about on the streets of the capital.

               “The quiet is very deceptive,” Steve explained. “This is now a country at war. Kinshasa is like the eye of a hurricane. Any slight change could bring the fighting right here.”

               “Well,” Alessandra said, “if I wasn’t scared before, I am now. Tell me about my boat ride tomorrow. How well do you know the boat pilot?”

               Steve said, “I actually don’t know him. My protocol, Nkongolo, knows him. He plans to take you to the port tomorrow.”

               After sleeping lightly all night, Alessandra rose to start her task of leaving a country that had a closed international airport. Leaving for home meant leaving through the Republic of Congo, across the Congo River from Kinshasa. Nkongolo met her at the compound gate in a Jeep and escorted her to the dock where she was to meet the boat. Alessandra was shocked to see a public ferry, loaded with Congolese. She assumed she was being tendered across the river on a private speed boat. Her companion affirmed that this was her ride.

               On the boat and settled, Alessandra’s hoped for an uneventful ride drifted away with the breeze off the water. A stowaway was found attempting to flee to the neighboring capital city of Brazzaville. She and her fellow passengers were shocked to watch a police boat from Kinshasa threaten to ram their ferry.

               She watched in disbelief as the police boat got closer and closer. “They’re going to hit us!” she cried. Two Middle Eastern businessmen, with an expression of terror on their faces warned Alessandra.

               “They are clearly serious about obtaining the illegal man. You better find a more secure place.”

               Alessandra agreed, stepped off the box she had climbed on to see the commotion and braced herself for a ram. It never came. The ferry captain and the Congo police boat exchanged a loud, megaphone conversation, with a promise to return the stowaway to face justice.

               Safe! Uneventful. The rest of the ride across the broad river went off without a hitch. Being cautious, being wise, is always a good idea. Alessandra did well to listen to the advice of the businessmen. Proverbs 22:3 offers, “A prudent man foresees the evil and hides himself.” Sure, catching the excitement of a hubbub may temporarily be fun, but it can lead to being exposed to danger. Being prudent, protecting ourselves both physically and spiritually, makes sound, logical sense. Let’s be wise!

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