News for January 2014

This New Year started with a bang and we’ve been amazed by all the little pieces that have fallen into place and how the Lord has been setting things up. Hindrances and problems have also hit us from all sides, so your prayers are very welcome and very needed! Nevertheless, we know they are a part of life and that God will win in the end, so we can’t wait to share all the good news and testify of what the Lord has done in spite of the obstacles. 

Candle Light Service: The day before the attempted coup d’etat, we had a very inspiring Candle Light Service with some of our local friends, which we doubled up with our Christmas celebration. Rain was pouring that day, which hindered some of them from coming, but we had a great time of praise and fellowship with about 30 of them, who love our little ceremony, praising the Lord for the victories of the old year, and rededicating their lives to Him. Thierry did the MCing, and Olivier organized the inspiration and skit.

1_Candle Light Service in Kinshasa

Candle Light Service

3_Olivier's choir

Olivier's choir

2_Thierry and Olivier leading Candle Light

Thierry and Olivier leading Candle Light

4_Olivier, Ange and Gerse sing O Holy Night

Olivier, Ange and Gerse sing O Holy Night

New Year treat for our orphans in Kikimi: The Lord really loves children, and will do anything for them. But we have noticed He takes special care of those who are orphans, and it really touched our hearts when Mireille (a local friend) called us to say she had prepared treats for them. Initially she wanted to give it to them for Christmas, but the Lord knew best and New Year was just perfect. Since all the kids from the school had celebrated Christmas with us, it was a blessing to organize something special just for the orphans for New Year. Mireille donated enough food to cook a nice meal for them, and had prepared toys and clothes which her own kids had helped to wrap. It was very special.

5_New Year Feast for Kikimi orphans

Some of the orphans with Mireille's goodies

6_Meal Prep

Some of the orphaned girls helping to prepare the food

7_New Year's Feast

New Year Feast

8_Mealtime

Mealtime

9_Finger-licking good

Finger-licking good

10_Distribution of toys

A toy for everyone

11_A toy and clothes for each orphan

A toy and clothes for each orphan

 

 Change of plans, reorganization and progress: Theo informed us that representatives of the WHO (World Health Organization) visited our little medical set up in Kikimi. They were quite impressed by the equipment we have to run the mini-lab and perform medical check-ups, by the well-supplied pharmacy, as well as by the good service Florence is offering to the whole village, but they confirmed that the make-shift maternity where the babies have been delivered up till now needed to be upgraded, something we have been desperate about.

In counsel with Theo, Florence and Patricia Nzolantima (who has financed the new building), we decided to make the following changes in our set up, while we’re waiting for a possible future miracle that would enable us to build a larger clinic/maternity. The Lord showed us that we already had what we needed, if we were to use the ground floor of the new building for the maternity, lab, dispensary and medical check-ups. And we could use the second floor (which should be built this year) for tailoring and beautician training. This was a real answer to prayer! So with our present budget, we started building a separate larger storage room which will enable us to clear a room in the present school and turn it into a library with an IT corner. This will greatly relieve the pressure on the medical side, and enable the babies to be born in much better conditions, especially now that we have the solar maternity kit donated by "We Care Solar".

15_Installing solar panels on the roof for maternity kit

Installing solar panels on the roof for maternity kit

Florence quickly set up the maternity and dispensary in the new building. Some of the kids had been unwell at school, so she decided to give a medical check up to all the pupils. I was able to help her one day, I weighed the kids and took their temperature, while she examined them.

14_Clotilde weighing the kids in Kikimi

Clotilde weighing the kids in Kikimi

13_Florence giving the school kids a check up in the new building

Florence giving the school kids a check up in the new building

Wiring up the school buildings: You may remember Bonhey* who graduated from our Bible Course back in 2008. Being an electrical engineer, we brought him to Kikimi and asked him about setting up all the needed wiring in both buildings to hook up to a generator or solar panels in order to have electricity on demand. He was more than happy to help. It was a big job, but also a major step of progress.

17_Bonhey setting up electrical wires in our Kikimi school

Bonhey setting up electrical cables in our Kikimi school

16_Theo and Gino meeting with electrician Bonhey

Theo and Gino meeting with engineer Bonhey

18_Bonhey setting up electrical wires

Bonhey setting up electrical wires

19_Bonhey with his Bible Course certificate back in 2008

Bonhey with his Bible Course certificate back in 2008

 *Bonhey was still a student when we first met him. When he graduated from university, he had difficulty making ends meet as he couldn’t find a job. We helped him by purchasing all the basic tools he needed to work free lance, but he was still struggling. He went back to university to get a second degree in software engineering. He now has a good job and even owns a car and is planning to get married! We are so happy for him, and his sample is an encouragement to other struggling students that the Lord does bless hard work and never forsakes His children. He may be moving to Lubumbashi for his work, and wants to take our Christian literature with him to preach the Gospel there.

Medical Emergency Jeep: As you know, we’ve been praying desperately for an ambulance in case of emergency. If you remember, the last time a poor mother needed medical intervention, she had to be carried on foot to the nearest hospital. We’ve been making appeals here and there in order to purchase a 4x4 jeep that could be turned into an ambulance, but the Lord wanted to give us something right away (just like with the maternity) until we’re able to get something better. Theo and Florence met a man who imports vehicles for resale. Touched by their need, he agreed to sell them a Toyota RAV4 for a very good discount! A real miracle, which Espoir Congo was able to finance. So it may not be an ambulance, but it is definitely a medical emergency jeep, which will help save many lives and is also giving Theo and Florence much more autonomy.

20_Florence and Theo with their RAV

Florence and Theo with their RAV

Of course, battles never cease, and the very same day Theo got the jeep, ours had to go for repair. Oh well, when things like this happen, it gives us an opportunity to slow down, pray, stand back and let the Lord fight for us.

 

Youth Ministry: Part of our vision for 2014 is to further encourage Thierry and Olivier, who already have an ongoing Bible teaching ministry, to document their work for the Lord with pictures and testimonies. One of Olivier’s Bible students has the vision and has created a Facebook group called “La Famille a l’UNIKIN” (The Family in UNIKIN). UNIKIN is the name of their university, the largest in Kinshasa, hosting approx. 26,000 students. He established a schedule (which he posted on FB) with Bible classes twice a week, once a week study from the Activated magazines, evangelizing once a week, and twice a week prayer and worship. Thierry teaches the 12 Foundation Stones Bible Course once a week and has a hospital ministry once a week with his Bible students praying for the sick, distributing Gospel literature, and leading people to the Lord.

22_Personal witnessing on campus

Personal witnessing on campus

21_Maxi witnessing on campus

Maxi witnessing on campus

We had brought back a couple of English Bibles from the States to give to two of our English Club members. They were so happy!

24_Gerse and Patrick thrilled with new English Bibles copy

Gerse and Patrick thrilled with new English Bibles copy

We’ll end here with a sweet testimony of the Lord’s love and care for Bibiche, also one of our earlier Bible Course graduates, who our departed daughter Natalie helped teach. Bibiche has gone through a lot, losing her older sister one year, her father a few years later, then her younger sister at the age of 20. Then last year, she lost her own baby, when we were ourselves grieving for Natalie. We prayed for each other and did what we could to help her start a small business as her husband was unemployed. But the Lord in His mercy took pity on her and gave her another child, another little boy, and she is so happy and thankful. 

25_Clotilde with Bibiche

Clotilde with Bibiche

 

We are so thankful for you and pray our dear Jesus blesses you with good health and continued inspiration as you keep being a blessing to those He places on your path. We greatly appreciate your prayers, encouragement and support, which the Lord weaves all together as a big team effort to accomplish His purpose.

"My burden is too heavy, Lord," I tremblingly said.

"I can no longer carry it!" And tears I shed.

Then came a sudden cry for help from one sore pressed

I ran to seek him, gladly gave him of my best.

Then thought I of my heavy burden—but, lo, 'twas gone

The gloom and doubt had vanished quite and Love's light shone.

J. F. Gibb.

 

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