In the work that we are doing here we have encountered many obstacles. I woke up the other morning and, while getting ready for the day and thinking of what lies before us, I thought of a name for our mission. It is short, concise, and descriptive. “Mission Impossible”. That’s how I felt at that moment. But we long ago developed a Moto for our mission. “Nothing Can Stop Us”. That seems to be the Moto here for so many people as they seek out an existence. I am sending pictures of one man and four kids that signify that Moto. The four kids are delivering water to our job site for our concrete mix. The man is an interesting story.
In the first of these pictures there is a man standing at the base of a large tree with an axe in his hands. This tree stood on our jobsite and the man had the responsibility of removing it so that we can build a church where it stood. He has four tools to remove the tree. They are his axe, his shovel, his pick, and a machete. We watched for many days as this man patiently dug around the base of the tree and chopped roots, some of which were as big around as the old telephone poles at home. As he dug it was apparent that, if he were able to topple it, the tree would fall on the forms we had erected for the work we were currently doing. He assured us that only the upper branches would cover our forms and that he would remove them quickly. Another picture shows the tree finally toppled to the ground. And, sure enough the upper branches covered some of our forms. With his axe he removed some of the larger branches. With the help of his machete the branches were cleared away from our forms a week or two later. Time doesn’t seem all that important to people in this society. They just get the job done with whatever means they have to do it. Nothing can stop them.
Speaking of names that are short, concise, and descriptive I have another interesting story. To clearly identify groups that we are training the construction office in Kinshasa has referred to them with the name of the missionary couple trainers followed by a number. For example, the groups we have taught are referred to as Billings 1, Billings 2, Billings 3, and Billings 4. We started with ten students in Billings 1. A few months ago the Billings 1 students approached me and talked about their desire to create a business of their own. They, all ten, had decided to stay together and form a business. They wanted some tips on how to make their business successful. I told them many things but I emphasized the importance of being honest, obeying the laws pertaining to a business, and having a catchy company name. I told them that the name had to be short, concise, and descriptive of the best that a construction company could offer. They asked what I had named my company in the United States. I had to swallow my words and tell them that my company was named after myself. It was simply George Billings Construction. Nothing more was said for several months. Then, just before I left them behind in Kinshasa, they informed me that their business had formally been approved by the Government. They had submitted all of the required documents, paid the fees, and registered their company name. That led me to ask the name of their company. Their reply: Billings 1.
These stories are pleasing to us. I hope that each of you can find them interesting and amusing. We are doing well in the City of Likasi. There is a new missionary couple here by the name of Atkinson who we will soon leave behind to train Atkinson 1, Atkinson 2, and Atkinson 3. We are scheduled to move to the City of Kananga on August 12th. There we will begin training for Billings 5. There is couple in Kinshasa by the name of Gates. They are finishing up with Billings 3 and Billings 4 and will soon begin the new group of Gates 1.
Although we are aware of trials that some of you have faced in recent days we continue to wish the best for each of you in the future. Your emails have been appreciated.
George and JoAnn