Last Sunday we worshipped with a congregation on the outskirts of Kananga, in the village of Kambote. The green rolling hills and the trees provide refreshing scenery, which I got to enjoy on the one hour walk from the main road in town. The Ditekemena (hope) kids were visiting the church that Sunday also, in the effort of raising awareness and local support for this program to rescue children from the streets. The Ditekemena kids have a choir that is a big hit wherever they go, and Pastor Mukendi, a member of the leadership team, made uniforms for all of them that they wear on church visits.
Near the end of the service, several women brought in food items – a large basin of corn flour, a jug of palm oil, several bunches of greens, a basket of cassava roots, several pineapples, a pot of beans and a large sack of charcoal. All of this was their contribution to the food needs of the Ditekemena kids. This is not a wealthy congregation – most of their members earn their living by farming small plots. Only three members of the congregation have salaried jobs, and those are low-paying positions as cleaning staff at a university. But they are compassionate and generous with the resources they have – the produce from their fields.
The leadership team for Ditekemena, which Bob is part of, has determined that it would be best for the kids to stay together at the center through the school year. They all started school this week – two in a normal secondary school, and the rest so far in an accelerated program to help them recuperate the years they have missed in school. This prolongation of their time at the center incurs significant extra expenses for feeding and caring for them that were not anticipated. A few churches and individuals have already responded to help cover expenses for the accelerated education program and the rent of the center. One of the biggest needs now is for food for the next few months. If you would like to make a contribution (think of it as joining with the congregations in Kananga in their support!), please let us know!
We have also recently updated our page of current priorities. The list has grown some, so we are calling it our “Top Ten Project Priorities” (linked on the sidebar of this blog). If you would like to participate in any of the projects we’ve talked about, including Ditekemena, you can find descriptions and instructions there.
And, just to round out the list of updates, our August newsletter gives a general update on several of our activities. If you haven’t received it, you can find it on our Missions Connections Page.