Let your light so shine–April 2016

1         An american family visits Kikimi

Kristen, who lives in Kinshasa, came for a visit with her mother, 4 children and a friend. Since it was during the Easter holidays, we organized a special day of sports and video watching for the kids who wanted to come. Well, it seems all 220 of them showed up! Kristen’s children played a game of soccer with the kids and distributed cookies and juice to all of them afterwards. They are planning to donate toys and clothing to Kikimi when they leave the country. God bless them!

Kristen (left) with her mother (right) and a friend in the newly built classroom

Kristen (left) with her mother (right) and a friend in the newly built classroom

Theo introducing twins Evelyne and Gideon

Theo introducing twins Evelyne and Gideon

Joshua, the  goal keeper

Joshua, the goal keeper

Caleb playing soccer with Kikimi children

Caleb playing soccer with Kikimi children

Kristen and Evelyne with Kikimi children

Kristen and Evelyne with Kikimi children

Caleb distributing a snack to the kids

Caleb helping his brothers and sister to distribute a snack to the kids

Kids enjoying snack while watching a video

Kids enjoying snack while watching a video


2         Building Progress

The first classroom is now completed, and the other two are well on their way. Thanks to your prayers, all the building materials made it safely to Kikimi, in spite of a number of obstacles, adventures and difficulties, the Lord did it! Thank You, Jesus!

Making the roof of the first classroom

Making the roof of the first classroom

Building the other two classrooms

Building the other two classrooms

Progress on the classrooms

Progress on the classrooms

We also installed some sinks in the medical center.

Setting up sinks in the medical center

Setting up sinks in the medical center

3         Easter Celebration

We had a meaningful Easter celebration with all our Bible students, shared Word about the true meaning of the resurrection as well as Tommy’s Window slideshows, and shared the Lord’s supper together. It was very inspiring and unifying.

Easter celebration with Bible students

Easter celebration with Bible students

4         New Bible Students

Gerse has started teaching the 12 Foundation Stones Bible Course to a new group of students in his neighborhood. Being the good shepherd that he is, he is involving all those who graduated from the last class to assist him and thereby give them hands-on training in teaching the Word. They meet twice a week for classes, and once a week for singing practice. God bless him!

Gerse teaching a new group of students

Gerse teaching a new group of students

5         News from Patrick

Since our ministry is based in the capital city of Kinshasa, the Lord has led us to reach potential young people who, in turn, are able to reach their countrymen in remote areas of the interior and provinces in personal ways that we could never do ourselves. Patrick’s touching testimony below is an example of this.

We first met Patrick when he was studying medicine at the University of Kinshasa, where he joined the 12 Foundation Stones Bible studies led by Olivier. After graduating from both medical school and the Bible studies, he taught the 12 Foundation Stones course to a group of students in a popular neighborhood of Kinshasa, and then MCed their graduation ceremony.

Since then he was assigned as a medical doctor to a remote village in another province where he hoped to start a Bible study group. But the Lord had other plans for him, and instead of teaching, Patrick has been learning to preach by example and to lay down his life for these people. He even goes as far as giving his own blood to save patients’ lives, as there is neither blood bank nor refrigeration where he operates.

Here is his story in his own words:

“My name is Patrick Mboma. I am a general practitioner and a missionary trained by Espoir Congo. I graduated from their 12 Foundation Stones Bible Course and then became a teacher of the students of Masina.

For the past three months I have been working as a doctor in Kimvuza Medical Center in the Province of Central Congo.

Patrick with some colleagues

Patrick with some colleagues in Kimvuza

Before my arrival, several doctors had quit in Kimvuza. Poverty was the main reason these doctors left, as they are not remunerated by the government, as well as the very difficult working conditions. But, being a missionary, I felt called to accept the assignment, even though there is no electricity, no running water, no Internet, and no medicine.

As the majority of the population is illiterate, and because I do not speak the local dialect, I am not able to teach the 12 Foundation Stones, but the Lord told me that I could preach through my example, use my knowledge to serve and assist, and show the people how to live by letting my light shine (Matthew 5:16).

In spite of all the efforts deployed by the provincial government, our medical center is far from meeting international sanitary standards, because we lack the most basic infrastructure, such as a proper building with beds and mattresses; as well as surgical, gynecologic, and obstetrical supplies. Still, these lacks do not stop us from assisting the population. Over the last three months, even though I am not a surgeon, I had to perform surgery on 21 patients for a variety of reasons, often in the middle of the night in complete darkness, making do with the little we had.

Here are few examples of the operations we performed:

  • Barely a week after I came to Kimvuza, at 11:00 p.m., a woman in labor was brought to the clinic. She had never come for prenatal checkups, and the baby was presenting itself sideways. She required an emergency C-section, but we didn’t have any anesthetic on hand. I had to travel by motorbike some 12 kilometers to fetch some myself, after which I performed a C-section in the middle of the night. Both mother and baby are now safe and sound, but no one has yet been able to cover the bill.
  • Another time, while I was in the middle of a training session 45 kilometers away in the main city of Matadi, I was called for another emergency for a complicated delivery. I asked if someone could drive me, but to no avail. Finally I had to rent a motorbike and arrived in the middle of the night to perform another C-section at 3:00 a.m. There were also many other patients waiting for me to be attended to. To the head doctor’s amazement, I returned to the training after taking care of it all.
Patrick performing an emergency operation

Patrick performing an emergency operation

In these and all other instances, not a single post-operation complication has been registered. I could go on and on with the emergencies I have to face: SS anemia, malaria, typhoid, respiratory distress, convulsions, dysentery, dehydration, etc.

Dilapidated conditions where a woman delivered her twin babies.

Dilapidated conditions where a woman delivered her twin babies.

The precariousness of the conditions does not enable me to take care of the patients as well as I would like to, but I feel that, even if I am unable to teach Bible classes because of my lack of linguistic knowledge, my actions and my commitment to this population are a proof of God’s love for them (John 3:8  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.) The Lord showed me that I am even more than a chaplain for them because I live first of all to serve others, even to my own hurt.

I am so thankful for your prayers, which can save these more or less forgotten people. “

Please keep Patrick in your prayers, and ask the Lord to sustain him and encourage his heart to keep on going under such difficult conditions.

 

6         A Surprise Vacation

The Lord had a very special and totally unexpected treat for us this month. We met the Paschke family 4 years ago when they came to adopt a little Congolese girl. This year, they are taking their 4 kids around the world, stopping at various missionary outposts to minister to the needy. They invited us to join them for a week during their time in Morocco and we had the most wonderful time catching up, fellowshipping and sharing the Word, and also rest! Their love for the Lord and for Congo has led them to become key partners in helping us develop our Kikimi project and keeping it going. They hold a very special place in our hearts.  

With the Pashcke family in el Jadida

With the Pashcke family in el Jadida

Samara Joy, their youngest, wearing the DRC soccer outfit

Samara Joy, their youngest, wearing the DRC soccer outfit

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