Saturday, March 8, 2014

Project Ditekemena, off we go!

Sometimes in Congo it takes a while to be encouraged by anything!  However right now I am extremely encouraged by Project Ditekemena (Hope), an outreach to help place children-on-the-streets back into families.  The last week of February we held a five day training.  Six Christian Monitors were trained who will be the focal point of this outreach.  Starting next week, they will go out and identify children whom we will place in a center (safe house) for 3-5 months as the Monitors connect with their families and seek to help them be welcomed into homes.  Pastor Manyayi is the leader of this program.  He has a real passion for reaching these kids!  My role has been to advocate for him, encourage him, and serve as a consultant with some engagement.  Receiving a $20,000 grant from Presbyterian Women (PW) last year, this project is finally getting a lift!  Pray with us that the program would truly change the lives of the 20 kids we seek to reach.  Below are pictures from our week of training, and our time together last Thursday preparing the BICE Center where these children will live while we find them homes.


Pastor Charlotte Keba was the primary trainer, teaching everyday


Training Participants


Pastor Manyayi teaches on spiritual formation of these children;
he emphasizes that they have faith but need someone to lead them


Training Participants

Dr. Mulumba, General Secretary of the Congolese Presbyterian Church,
comes to give a word of encouragement (his message taped for a local radio station)

Three women from the Oasis Parish cooked bidia everyday for us!

6 Monitors, Pastor Manyayi, Pastor Mukendi (consultant, presbytery leader),
Dr. Mulumba, Bob

Preparing the BICE Centre for the children

Removing weeds and brush (keep snakes away!)

Repairing and refurbishing the beds

Cleaning the walls and painting them with “lupemba” (clay)


Marie said...

How exciting to be moving forward with this ministry!

I know French is the official language, but do they use other languages as well?

Lastly, what exactly is bidia?

Kristi said...

Marie - good questions! French is one of 5 official languages in Congo. There are MANY other African languages used. One of the 5 major languages is Tshiluba, which is used in the region of Kasai, where we live.
Bidia is the local staple. it is made of cassava flour and corn flour, which is boiled with water to form a thick pasty substance. Served always with something on the side to help it go down, like greens, beans, sauce, or meat.