The DRC is known for many things; both challenging and rewarding. One of the things that most visitors will be confronted with on a regular basis is the "roulage" or traffic stops. Although they don't have weapons, radios, handcuffs, or even vehicles, the police carry on their work of controlling traffic and enforcing the rules of the road. Armed with their bright yellow helmets, reflective safety vests, and whistles that are blown without end during rush hour, the police are out in force all across the city every day of the week.
Although it is not considered a "major offense," I have been "arrested" on several occasions already during our first two months here. It is actually quite comical at times. The DRC must be the only place where, when you get arrested, the Police officer kindly asks for a ride back to the police station where they "take you in" or perhaps, more accurately, they accompany you as you take yourself in. Besides those incidents, we are stopped multiple times daily by police officers who would like to just say hello.
It can be a long process and ruin your plans for the day, but we have had the opportunity to witness to dozens of officers during those times. Today, whilst arrested, I spoke with an officer who asked me what she must do to be presented clean before God on judgement day. A passage from Luke 18 came to mind, where the Rich Young Ruler asks Jesus a similar question in the form of; "What must I do to inherit eternal life." We paused for two hours during the process of my arrest to speak about the Gospel, eternal life, and even holiness.
While concluding our business after our long talk, and as I began to feel a bit annoyed with being arrested, the Lord gave me a new perspective on the whole ordeal. Perhaps being stopped, and even arrested, should be considered an opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Why not use these opportunities to advance the Kingdom one whistle blow at a time? In fact, why can't all inconveniences be used as an opportunity to bare witness? Please pray for our courage to proclaim the Gospel boldly and our patience to accurately portray the One who has called us.