Last year at this time, I was gearing up for a big trip the Democratic Republic of Congo. If you were reading then, you probably learned more about Congo than you anticipated. Me too.
From the time I was a young teenager, I felt drawn to Africa — and I never really knew why. When I got the chance to go to Mozambique at the age of 19, my love for the continent was sealed forever.
After traveling as well to Ethiopia and Kenya, the opportunity to go to Congo with my church arose. They told the story of a miracle that happened right with our church walls.
The sermon that day was on miracles. A woman who’s mission organization our church supported was visiting that day from out of town. She knew she needed $15,000 to start the orphanage desperately needed in Uvira, Congo. There were 60 kids who needed a place to live and they had run out of options.
She was never one to “go to the alter” when prayer time was called. She didn’t intend on any sort of special treatment. But it was a day of miracles so she went forward and confessed to our pastor that she needed that $15,000 and didn’t know where she would get it so she was praying for a miracle.
Our pastor felt at that moment God told him to take up an offering. And so, he did. Spur of the moment offerings are also not something he does. It was extremely rare — a “God thing” if you will.
After the offering was taken, the woman had more than enough money to fund her orphanage. You can see the result in the building behind us last year:
|The girls are all wearing handmade dresses from some wonderful women at Ashleigh’s church back home! Thankfully, the women made another round of dresses for 2013!|
And our pastor felt a stirring in his heart out of nowhere. He had never wanted to go to Africa. He had never thought about the Congo. But on that day, the Congo for Christ Orphanage was made and the trip there was set in motion.
They told the story a few weeks later — and as soon as they said, “We might even plan a trip there next year” — my heart said YES. I knew I was going. That was it.
|Me, Ashleigh, Mandy|
Now — my team is heading back to DRC — though I am not going with them. My spirit, however, IS and I’m here to support them all the way. They’ve got two months until go time. My heart is sad that I won’t be there. I’m still on all the emails because I want to know what they are up to but each time I get an update, it’s kind of hard.
Either way, prayer matters most — and our prayer team leader Ashleigh had a great idea that I wanted to share with you. First, though, MEET our kids 🙂 below:
There are 58 orphans that need our prayers and we want to circle each child in prayer. For 58 days we will be praying specifically for a different child each day until all the kids have been covered in prayer. This prayer challenge will start exactly 58 days before departure for Congo.
We’ve got this super easy chart you can use to pray for the kids each day. If you are the praying type, I’m just gonna ask that you pray for these kids. I truly believe that God has BIG plans for each and every one of them.
They are also still in need of about $3,000 for the team — for medical supplies, construction equipment, education tools and other things for the children. If you’d like to donate, just click here.
Not only do they need multi-vitamins and basic medicine, but we want to provide them with plain old “kid stuff” too. Last year, they got a kick out of this:
I wrote this as a testimony that will be featured on an upcoming website supporting these kids and Congo as a whole (started by my friend, Sarah, who is going back for her 3rd trip this year):
Congo is special to me because it has been so forgotten. The country — the children of the country — need a voice in the world. Congo does not have oil, one reason it hasn’t received the attention in deserves in the first world. But it has so much potential, so many resources, so much possibility.
It’s amazing how large a country it is and how little most people know about it. Because I was lucky enough to be able to visit CCC last summer and come to know and love the children of Congo, I am committed to prayer and financial support to those country for a lifetime.
I currently sponsor a girl from CCC each month as well as a woman — a mother of two — through Women for Women, International. Meeting the girl I sponsor, Esperence, was an amazing experience — she is so sweet and innocent, beautiful and in need of love. As I held her hand, sang with her and communicated through a language barrier, I felt like a mother. It broke my heart knowing how many of these kids don’t have parents.
Congo is with me and will be with me for the rest of my life. We can never do enough and I hope more people will come to see the beauty, opportunity and possibility in this country.
Pray for them, support them, love them. I miss them.