Ten Days Until the Congo!

“Pause. Deep Breath. Slow Exhale. Another Deep Breath. Slow Exhale. One more Breath. Slow Exhale. Just remember this is really a pilgrimage. Be present in the moment, knowing that these little detours in your preparation time are also part of the whole experience. The bigger question is “What is God’s invitation at this stage in your pilgrimage?” Blessings to the three of you on the rest of your pilgrimage! : )”

My wise friend Deanna posted these words on FB in response to both Nancy Meyers and me as we shared our frantic feelings in these few days left to prepare for our trip. Nancy has edited a book about the history and contemporary history of the Congo Mennonite Church—she just finished it. I have the fall issue of Leader magazine to get to the designer before I leave plus a three-day Leader editorial committee meeting in Leamington, Ontario next week. I feel frantic and overwhelmed by all that I need to do in the next ten days. So, Deanna’s good words to BREATHE very wise. And I am trying to breathe.

(Our other traveling companion, Nina Lanctot, has already packed two suitcases and is being present to the moment. Power to you Nina!)

I am taking a banner that Pastor Francois asked to be created and delivered on this trip to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Congo Mennonite Church. A group of woman at Silverwood Mennonite Church in Goshen, Indiana wanted to make the banner but didn’t have a design in mind. I had a flash of an idea which I quickly sketched out for them. I’ve never come up with a sketch or design for a quilt that someone else made so this was a new experience for me. I wasn’t quite sure how this would turn out.

Here’s the sketch I did—scanned and sent via email to Jeanne Heyerly, who shepherded the entire project.Here’s the sketch I did—scanned and sent via email to Jeanne Heyerly, who shepherded the entire project.

And here’s the final product! I love the smaller triangles that they added!

I will add a description of the symbols in the left-hand corner which will say: “Les trois cotés des triangles représentent à la fois la Trinité et les trois communautés mennonites de la RD Congo. Les triangles “volant” vers le cercle symbolisent les Mennonites Congolais et Nord Américains qui se déplacent pour se réunir et sont intégrés dans le cercle, symbole d’unité. La croix est notre centre, au coeur de notre unité.

Fait par les mamans de la paroisse Silverwood Mennonite à Goshen, Indiana sous les auspices de Congo Cloth Connection.”  (translated by Nancy Meyers)

And in English: “For the triangles: the three sides of the triangles represent both the Trinity and the three Mennonite “conferences/groups” in the DR Congo. The triangles “flying” toward the circle symbolize the Congolese and North American Mennonites traveling to meet and are integrated into the circle, the symbol of unity. And the cross, of course, is at the heart of our unity, our center.

The women of Silverwood Mennonite in Goshen, Indiana on behalf of Congo Cloth Connection”

And here are the “Mamans de la paroisse Silverwood Mennonite Church”:

My request of you: please pray for me or sending positive energy my way to remember to breathe in the next ten days, to do what needs to be done and to let go of what doesn’t get done, and for inner soul preparation, not just external preparation.

Thanks much!