Saturday, June 28, 2014

Widows in Kanyuka

Last Sunday we went with Pastor Kabeya and Mamu Ngosa to visit a congregation in the village of Kanyuka, just outside of Kananga. Bob had been invited to preach, and Pastor Kabeya was formerly the pastor of this congregation, so for them it was like a reunion with old friends. One old man who struggles to walk and is nearly blind they have nicknamed “David” because of his gift for songs. He got up a few times in the service to spontaneously sing a solo. Everyone loved it when his feet started shuffling in dance as he got absorbed in the song.

Pastor Kabeya and Mamu Ngosa have been wonderful advisors for us and we admire their hearts of compassion and their strong faith in Christ. It was their initiative for a small house to be built at this church in Kanyuka that would house widows who do not have a place to live. That house is now a few years old, and just last year a second building was built that houses 3 more widows. We joined the congregation along with Pastor Kabeya and Mamu Ngosa for a picture.

Most of the women who live in these houses are too old or weak to farm or work for themselves, but most have some relatives nearby who bring them food regularly. The church also has a field on its property where they grow some beans and other crops that can help to provide for the widows. The pastor told us over lunch that other women have come and asked to be able to sleep on the church floor because they have nowhere to live…so the need continues. But right now 6 women have a clean and durable structure to live in, thanks to some help from Pastor Kabeya’s friends in the U.S.

Mamu Ngosa sits with Mamu Ndaya in front of her room

The current pastor at Kanyuka (left), stands with Mamu Ngosa and Pastor Kabeya
along with the six widows who live in the two houses.

Each of the women has their own room – which seems like a great combination of being able to have some private space but also be in community with others. There is also a rain-catchment system, so that during the rainy season water from the roof is collected in a barrel. And there is an outhouse – not to be taken for granted in Congo, where many homes do not have one! We are glad for this example of caring for those in need, and grateful to this small congregation who seeks to be faithful with the little they have.

“Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us.” (James 1:27, NLT)

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