After passing Customs and handing over the highly priced entrance visa fee, I was home. In the backseat of our Jeep, Mama Aroyo and I visited all about the exciting things we planned for my month in Aru.


When we arrived to Mama Aroyo’s house, I was greeted by all the girls—Esther, Opisia, Buve, Patience, Edrako, Kandaru, and Jeannine; hard to imagine that almost an entire year has passed since we were last together. When the girls suddenly left the room, I knew the party was about to begin! 

To the beat of Congolese drums, the girls danced and sang their way back into the room carrying items of all the cooperative’s accomplishments over the past year. Using their profits, the women saved enough to purchase notebooks, pens, and a beautiful yellow-laced tablecloth. They had several sewing chairs, a desk and cutting table fashioned by the local carpenter.  

We shared an amazing meal of rice and chicken, followed by more singing and dancing. Mama Aroyo read a three-page statement of the incredible success they had experienced that year.

It was not merely filled with high sales and life-changing profit margins, but rather the deep understanding and gratitude of what the cooperative has come to signify in their lives. Mama Aroyo read:


"All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved."
Acts 2: 44 - 47