by Rachel from Hongkong

From 23.4.2019 to 27.4.2019 I took part in the first Seminar of the South-North Volunteer Programme by the United Evangelical Mission (UEM). The seminar took place in Bremen which is the city of fairy tale and the destination of the four musicians. Bremen is really a wonderful city. I am totally fall for it when the river Weser reflects silver lights under the shiny Sun. After the seminar, not only does the sunshine make me feel warm, but also the people I met in these days. This is the first time for us to meet each other. We all come from different countries with different background. Together we form the world.

EL Pacific is my first friend from Democratic Republic of the Congo(DRC). He likes laughing so much and always positive. However, when he shares his own story, I hardly laugh. Actually, I don’t know much about Africa before I know him. My first impression towards Africa is wild-animals and poverty. My knowledge about Africans is limited to the advertisement by World Vision International and Oxfam and also the wild-animals’ TV programmes. Somehow I know that is not the full picture of the Africa but I have no ways (and time) to know about it. At the same time, they also misunderstand that every Chinese knows Kungfu. They love to call me the master of Kungfu. EL Pacific tells me that DRC is not a poor country but in contrast a rich one due to its rich resources. And that is also the reason why so many wars happen. People are completing for rich resources. And he is a child who grows up with wars. People are killed for no reason. Therefore, some of his friends have suddenly disappeared and get killed. EL Pacific’s father is a pastor and named him „EL Pacific“, which means “son of peace”. He is very talented in learning languages. He knows several African languages, French, English, and now he is learning German. He loves his country so much and he always wears the DRC jersey and carries the DRC flag. I ask him how he can stay optimistic and often laugh when he actually grows up in wars without peaceful. He replies that nothing is impossible in God’s control and he believes that situation will become better and better. He comes to Germany because he wants to learn how to be a peacemaker. I am very touched and I have made my first DRC friend!

Another girl Emafa, comes from Ghana who has studied French and English in university. After that she has worked in the bank for two years. What amazed me is she also creates her own business and chases her own dream! She loves juices so much that she sells homemade fruit juice like pineapple juice, mango juice and etc. (I forget the others). Although it is always tired when she receives many orders as she has to make the juice during her rest time, she enjoys it very much. She is very cute and loves laughing so much like me. I always stick with her throughout the seminar.

The story behind everyone is different. We lied on a trampoline and chatted until the sun goes down. They teach me to sing an African song which means I have a headache and stomachache because I am too full. On the other way round, I teach them Chinese songs. Smiling and smiling, laughing and laughing, the sky turns from white to orange and many stars up high twinkle. We are all like stars in the sky, shining brightly, beautifully and uniquely. Good companions enrich people minds. They add colours to my world. I am so excited and proud to meet them all in my life. Africa is no longer only negatively labeled as a place of wild animals, poverty and wars but with friends, love and dreams.

I am so lucky to receive love. I am so lucky to receive love after I have taken a step forward. They are all grace and gift.