God’s Great Love for the Children of Congo

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”

-1 John 3:1 (NIV)

 

Photos by Pete Ekstrand

Allow me to tell you about two beautiful young women. They are the two girls that my wife Sally and I sponsor through Covenant Kids Congo powered by World Vision.  I am extraordinarily blessed with a privilege that very few individuals and families who sponsor children through CKC will ever experience.  Because our partnership is located in what is truly one of the most remote and poorest places in the world, only a very small number of the wonderful sponsor families will ever have the blessing of visiting the precious children they sponsor. So, please live vicariously through my recent visits with the two girls who Sally and I sponsor.

Loucie will someday be the president of all of Congo. This 9-year-old wonder is beautiful, intelligent, outgoing, loving, warm, and voraciously engaged in the world. The first time I ever visited her she ran across the yard and jumped into my arms. Wow! Melt my heart!

Loucie explains her drawings.

Loucie loves to draw and she is so much better at this skill than I could or ever will be. On this visit she had drawn about 30 pictures of her home, village, and the people in her life. Not only that, but she had drawn pictures of me and my family. But she did not just give me the pictures; she carefully explained to me who these people were, what they do, and how she imagines their lives.

During the visit she asked me if I was yet a grandfather. In a flash I remembered that during my last visit I had somewhat jokingly asked her and her family to pray that I might become a grandfather sooner rather than later. So when she asked, I said, “Yes, just a month ago my daughter had a baby boy.” And she said, “You are a grandfather because I prayed for you.” Think of the blessings in your lives from the prayers of your sponsored children.

Judith is a quieter young woman, more thoughtful, reflective, and shy. But Judith is coming out of her shell. As she has gotten to know this strange-looking man from another country better, she has warmed up, and she too welcomed me with a wonderfully warm hug.

I talked with Judith about her school and her church, but Judith and I also taught each other games. She showed me a game that girls her age play that seemed to me like a kind of a rock, paper, scissors thing—but only with both girls leaping into the air and doing different things with their hands or feet as they landed each time. It was wonderful. Then she taught me how to do a kind of patty-cake routine with our hands. As you can see in the video I was a hopelessly slow learner. Whenever we do these visits, we are surrounded by large crowds of neighborhood children. Their giggles at my ineptitude were priceless.

One of the greatest gifts I can imagine is the blessing that I have to pray for these beautiful young women and their families in person before the visit comes to an end. I pray for their families, for God’s provision, for success in their studies, and for God’s best future as they follow Jesus. I weep. They are so precious before me and in God’s love, and the time with them is so very short.

All of the faithfulness of Covenant people to support, pray for, and bless these children with our love—and all of the wonderful support that Covenant Kids Congo brings to their lives and to their communities—is such a gift for us. Thank you! Again, thank you! I pray that by God’s grace you may someday get to visit the children you sponsor. But if that opportunity never comes, I pray that you are encouraged by my experience with beautiful Loucie and Judith.

And I pray that you, your family, and the children you sponsor may experience the wonderful truth: “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1).

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4 comments “God’s Great Love for the Children of Congo”

Don’t know if this is helpful, but…

Since French is the Congo’s official language, thought we’d let you know about our French section at http://www.hymntime.com/tch/non/fr/fr.htm. Lots of free music (lyrics, scores, etc.). Let us know if any questions

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Thank you, Gary and Don for sharing these stories and this. Idea. What a priceless experience to go to Gemena and encourage these children. 

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Wonderful story! Wonderful pictures! Thank you for sharing with all of us! Blessings beyond measure—-

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Thank you Donn and Gary for representing us so well. Many of us can only dream of visiting our kids in Congo. May this work and our relationships continue with these beautiful people for years to come.

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