Leah and Nathan fly from Leopoldville to Kilanga. When they’re back at home, Leah is very hungry, and begins thinking about how they’re going to survive from now on. Because the Price family won’t be receiving money from the Mission Foundation anymore, they’ll have to find other sources of income. Furthermore, Nathan has had to bribe Axelroot to fly them back from Leopoldville, using the last of the family savings.
Nathan’s stubbornness is now endangering his family’s life in concrete ways. His drive to pass on his brand of Christianity to the people of the Congo is foolish, perhaps, but now that we know more about his backstory he becomes slightly more sympathetic (or at least tragic) of a character.
Leah notices that Rachel seems particularly pale. “Mvula”—the Congolese word for pale—has become Rachel’s nickname in the community. Leah also notices Nelson, who seems sympathetic to Leah, as if he senses the hardship she and her family will be going through now that the Congo is independent. Nelson suggests that “someone” is testing the Price family, though Leah isn’t sure what he means by this.
It’s ironic that Leah gets more emotional support and encouragement from Nelson than from Nathan. It’s also interesting that Nelson brings up the idea of being “tested,” even if he doesn’t do so in explicitly Christian terms. This points to the universality of certain religious ideas, like finding purpose in hardship.