FCC Mission Board Chair
HOPE FOR CHILDREN’S FUTURE – Shared from World Vision’s “In the Margins” Devotional
The northwestern corner of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a forgotten land on the road to nowhere In a desperate attempt to survive, isolated families flock to Gemena, the area’s largest city, only to realize there are no jobs, economic opportunities, or agricultural land. They build temporary mud huts on parcels they hope no one else will claim and scavenge for temporary labor that pays 50 cents a day. Parents wake up early to beat thieves to the family’s precious crops, grown on rented land. They pick whatever meager fruits and vegetables have ripened – often the only morsels separating them from starvation. Too often, grieving families can be seen carrying tiny caskets to an overcrowded graveyard. Tragically, most of these deaths could have been prevented.
Yet, through the prayers and sacrificial giving of a growing group of U.S. child sponsors, these families are daring to believe that a miracle is possible. Ledia, the new sponsorship in Gemena, means “A new thing is coming to the village.” And it is.
Parents share their excitement as they see improvement in their children’s health through water and sanitation programs. Now three schools and two maternity clinics have been erected and equipped with plenty of help from community members. Trained community volunteers ensure families of sponsored children and other in the community have the basic resources they need and remind parents about upcoming trainings. Grandmother Elise Zembe is among those learning how to ensure her grandchildren have good food to eat. “There have been many days when we didn’t have enough food for our grandchildren,” Elise says. “But I learned how to feed them the right types of food, and they don’t get sick as often. Now, with even a few peanuts or beans, look at how much energy they have.” “My dream for my children is that they follow God and that they have a better life than we have been able to give them,” says Zelekumbi Zimbi, another grandmother. “With the World Vision program, the will not suffer in poverty.”
The Covenant denomination has been in the Congo since 1937, we have a strong history there. On October 1, 2012 the Covenant Church entered into a partnership with World Vision to provide hope to the Congolese people and communities through the sponsorship of 10,000 children. To date upward towards 80% of that goal has been reached. We here at FCC Oakland will have the opportunity to keep building on that number through our Hope Sundays, April 26th, May 3rd and May 10th .
In 1 Corinthians 4:2 it says “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful”. So won’t you please join your Missions Board, Leadership Team, Women’s Missionary Circle and many of your fellow congregants in supporting our Congolese family in one and/or all of these ways:
Pray: for the people of the Congo
Hope: gather information at our Hope Sunday information table
Act: sponsor a child (help a community)
We as a domination have a strong foundational history in the Congo, we are now presently continuing that legacy in a holistic and comprehensive way that will have a direct and long lasting impact for the future of the communities the DR Congo. May you seek God’s will for you in this endeavor.