There is nothing better than getting these updates from our project leaders in Africa! The most recent update from DRC was so touching, we wanted to share part of it with you. Because of your support, this and more is happening: Dreams are coming true. Former child soldiers and children orphaned by war are sponsored and receiving an education. They are finding emotional, physical, and spiritual rehabilitation!
These words, direct from our DRC program leader, will warm your heart!
“March was a special month at PLC!
God has brought health to the boys and girls [and] success at school has been brought to 80% [referring to school exams] during the second trimester of school. Time spent with Bethany in Kigali, Rwanda was very encouraging and comforting. It was good to have her visit for time of prayer and planning. More than we can say, receiving the new laptop and camera is so very helpful. Recent counseling trainings for staff are another success to the ministry and to the Peace Lives Center (PLC).
PLC has been able to pay school fees for 27 Young Peacemakers [former child soldiers] and 32 orphans who are studying in Goma town. The Young Peacemakers (YPMs) who are at University have successfully completed 8 courses and their examinations.
Many of the children fell sick during the dry season… Over the last month, 6 of our children had malaria. They went to the hospital where they got medicine. Now, every one is well.
Counseling groups continue in the Empower program. [This rehabilitation program incorporates trauma counseling, art therapy, forgiveness, reconciliation and emotional resilience]. While PLC’s counselor attended a training [with Exile’s partner in Uganda] the children continued their Empower groups with the center’s coordinator.
Most of the Young Peace Makers are involved in church services… During March, the YPMs went to sing in a Baptist church and visited two poor families. One is for a poor widow who wanted to change her home… the boys helped her move her home and rebuild it in another place. Another was a very poor family unable to provide water to their home or to do some activities. The boys brought water and salt. *Andres [one of the former child soldiers] preached at the same place while people around were very surprised to see how a young boy with a hard background can stand, preach and organize the boys to visit this widow…
We purchased the new generator. With this generator we are able to:
- Provide light to the center at night, which enables children and young boys to review their lessons easily after prayer time and to read their bible. Before, they had just one person reading because they used only 2 petrol lamps.
- [It assists us in] easily using the computer and other machines without seeking power outside the center. This enables us do our work in the reasonable time.
- Full security of the area. Each day there are rumors and information of a tentative attack by M23.
- Space to take in more boys and girls who have been rescued [and currently in a transit center. Agencies have nowhere to send them]. Since our accommodation space is limited, we are struggling on how to respond to this issue. We are still asking God how to handle this issue.
- Addition [of] more bathrooms and toilets.
- For young boys and girls [in nearby towns] … who were displaced by M23 attacks. Many have lost everything… they need other materials and support: clothes, blankets or shoes. Praise Lord, most of them do still have their Bibles. [Thank you, supporters! Because of you and the Lord’s provision… PLC leaders are distributing clothes, blankets, necessities and encouragement to the displaced youth].
- [These boys girls in nearby towns] Their dream for the future is to seek how they too can study next year; how they can get school fees for next year [www.exileinternational.org/childsponsorships].
Let us keep praying for this issue and ask God how to handle.
- In my own name, on my family and in the name of PLC, we are grateful to Exile International for the heart, love, courage, and engagement to our families, to PLC, to [the girl’s orphanage] and to DRC. The best future of Congo will be the fruit of the hard work you are doing.
- I know Exile is working with assistance of donors. For each donor, we bring our thanks for all you are doing to rebuild hearts destroyed by the war.
- For all who are contributing for the transformation of our nation, we say thank you and may God continue to bless the fruits of your hands.”
In His name,
*Exile International Program Leader
*Names omitted for reasons of safety.