Hope Continues to Grow

1 Comment » Written on May 22nd, 2013     
Filed under: Ground Update, Missionary Update, News & Updates
Written by Christine Buettgen, short-term missionary in the DR Congo

Existing water source which will be fixed up, so it is clean and can serve more people.

Existing water source which will be fixed up, so it is clean and can serve more people.

Mbote mingi from Gemena! There is lot happening these days, so I will give you a few highlights:

Our big focus is water. World Vision has hired two new folks from Kinshasa and Zambia to implement the WASH program, which will provide clean water and hygiene/sanitation education for the entire city of Gemena. This will include repairing and restoring existing capped springs, digging wells with solar powered pumps, and installing hand pumps for easier access, just to name a few. Wallace and Sandy, our WASH team, are working almost around the clock to get these projects started.  Providing water to 300,000+ people is no small task! But with your generous donations, we will see clean water more readily available in Gemena, and we will then testify to the miraculous power of partnership of God’s people.

A very practical way that people are seeing the benefit of our work is the nutrition program that has been launched. Gemenites learn how they can do simple things, like add ground peanuts into their manioc flour, to provide more protein for their children’s diets without paying more! These simple recipe ideas could be revolutionary in improving the overall health of our kids in Gemena.

Christine, right, with  co-leader Mambo and his family who have helped start savings groups trainings for the women of Gemena.

Christine, right, with co-leader Mambo and his family who have helped start savings groups training for the women of Gemena.

Another exciting program involves the Covenant Church of Congo (CEUM) partnering with World Vision to promote savings group training for the women of our region. Savings groups organize women to save their money in groups of 15- 25 women in order that they can take loans from the group, and pay back with interest to see the common pot grow. Only one month into the training, there is a lot of buzz about this program and people are already starting to form groups, even though they haven’t yet finished the training! These groups will also serve as a platform to teach women ways to improve their business, their health, and their communities. This is an important first step before introducing micro-finance programs in the years to come.

So, we are breaking ground and planting seeds. The World Vision office is a constant stream of activity and there is a feeling of energy and excitement about the coming year. This is our year of implementation thanks to the generous support of so many in the United States and Canada who have said “Yes, we hope with the people of Congo.” This would not be possible without your support, and I just wish you could be here to see the joy and clarity in people’s eyes when we teach a new concept. I am finding that people are hungry to learn more about the world they live in, and World Vision in partnership with the Covenant and other local churches are sharing information and knowledge everyday, meeting the deep desires of the people to be educated in all areas. Good education is highly valued, but is only available to few. We seek to change that, for both adults and children, to create a more informed and empowered community, driven to change their own lives.

As I reflect on the past year I am overwhelmed because I had struggled to find signs of hope here. Yet I find it growing in me the longer I stay. People want to see a brighter future, and they are taking steps towards that light everyday. Thank you, faithful churches and individuals at home, for saying “Yes.”

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One Response to “Hope Continues to Grow”

Thanks for a very encouraging report.  I am excited that so many good things are happening there!  Many in my church are supporting kids now.  It would also be helpful to hear a report of how the gospel is being spread, churches planted, disciples being made, etc…  Is there someone who could address these things next time?

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