Saturday, April 19, 2014

Let the little children come to me…

There we sit under the shade lent by a tree.  Her name is Eme Kalenga Mpoyi.  She is fourteen years old.  Her grandfather brought her to the Foyer (Home) when she was eight.  He had taken her in but could no longer care for her.  Eme’s mother died when she was an infant.  Her father absconded, neglecting his parental duty.  Eme’s dream is to finish school.  She has just started secondary school (high school), and will decide next year what focus she wants to learn.   

Eme is one of sixteen girls cared for at the Foyer in Mbuji-Mayi.  A house mother lives full-time with the girls.  Several workers and volunteers rotate hours to care for them.  The hope is that the girls can return to their families.  The Foyer has a garden where the girls learn to grow and harvest corn, manioc, beans, and a few other plants and crops.  The Foyer hopes to buy a sewing machine so that the girls can learn to sew.  Two large rooms serve as a dormitory.  There is an outside area for sitting and learning.  Early each morning the guard teaches them from God’s Word.  The girls also sing in a choir at the adjacent CPC church.     

The girls learn to make shima (bidia), the local staple
in the Kasai Region of Congo

Pastor Benoit shows me around.  He is an energetic young pastor.  His father is the leader of one of the synods of East Kasai.  Pastor Benoit serves as coordinator of this center and two others in Muena Ditu and Kabeya Kamuanga.  In Muena Ditu, Mamu Meta Bukasa and others care for fifteen children, eight boys and seven girls.  She tells us that they house the children on a piece of church land, but that their housing is inadequate.  Pastor Benoit feels the pressing needs of caring for these kids and helping them reintegrate back into their families.  To feed the children at the Foyer in Mbuji-Mayi requires about $30 each day.  Church members in Mbuji-Mayi are aware of the needs and give what they can, but it is not enough.

Pastor Benoit shares the vision of the Foyer, Mbuji-Mayi

Poverty is bitter and oppressive.  Many families simply can’t care for their children.  Their resources are slim and the needs are great.  Children are neglected and in some cases blamed for the misfortunes of their parents.  These innocent ones deserve our attention and our love.  Christ says, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”  Will you consider partnering with Kristi and I, Pastor Benoit and Mamu Meta Bukasa to care for these children in East Kasai?  We need your prayers and whatever support you are able to give. 

Bob with children, Foyer 
Care givers, Bob, and girls at the Foyer, Mbuji-Mayi
(they liked feeling my curly hair!)


Nzambi anusankishe! (God bless you!).  

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