Saturday, November 5, 2011

children that deserve a chance, that deserve to have their stories heard

I was making pizza tonight.  I couldn't remember the exact measurements I needed, so I pulled out the cook book.  It is a mennonite cookbook and I enjoy the simplicity of the recipes right now with four little ones pulling at my legs.  As I randomly glanced to the top of  the page I saw this verse, "The field of the poor may yield much food, but it is swept away through injustice."  (Proverbs 13:23)  

It hit me hard, because this verse speaks to what has happened and is happening in Congo.  Living in the eastern area of the country, I was struck again and again by the beauty of the country.  The area we lived in is so lush, verdant, set on a lake surrounded by green mountains covered in tropical jungle.  We had good friends that grew quinine trees on plantations.  The bark of those trees produced quinine, which treats malaria.  They also grow trees that end up producing medicine that fights against prostate cancer.  This is a tiny tiny tip of what is grown and produced in this area of the country.

My husband worked in the humanitarian development.  Large scale projects mostly funded by large U.S. government grants from organizations like USAID.  Some of the projects were in remote villages where there was a lot of insecurity due to rebel and military movements.  In one small area farmers would painstakingly plant and grow their peanut plants, only to have them stolen by rebels or military right before they were to have harvested them.

Injustice can be seen on a smaller level.  On the level of a little babies life.  A woman is pregnant.  She goes into labor.  She gives birth and then she starts to bleed.  In the U.S., her bleeding would be stopped.  She would live, her baby would live.  Not so in Congo.  She dies.  Her baby dies.  Perhaps some of her other children die from starvation.  If they are fortunate they stay with their father and they live in dire, destitute poverty.  Preventable death.  Life that should not have ended.

What we are doing at Tumaini is trying our best to keep the little babies alive after their mothers die.  Most of the babies have living fathers that want their children.  Most of the fathers bring them to the orphanage to save their lives.  The orphanage has life saving formula that the father cannot buy.  The father wants their children, and if the children live, most do go and live again with their families one day (most after 3-5 years, some sooner).  We are trying to prevent death by providing formula and staff for a small orphanage in a remote area of eastern DRC.  It's not an area that is easily assessable.  It's not the safest area of the country.  But, we are trying to meet a need that is very hard to meet because of the high cost of formula, the high cost of keeping a baby alive in a developing country.

November is adoption awareness month.  And tomorrow is orphan sunday at churches around the country.  There are 5 babies, orphaned by the death of their mothers, who still need sponsors.  Would you consider sponsoring one of these little ones this month?  Would you consider being a part of stopping injustice in a small area of eastern DRC, where little ones live in an orphanage called Save the Children?

Please read this post.  It speaks to the difference the work we are doing at the orphanage has made in children's lives at the orphanage.  (And you also get to see my two babies the day we first met them!)  And it is because of people who have partnered with us that makes it possible for us to continue to buy formula, milk and hire extra staff.  We also help to pay for the school fees for 82 children who have aged out of the orphanage and are now living with their family members or long term foster care.

Finally, here is one of two posts about my first visit to the orphanage that left me undone.

Please continue to pass on the word about what we are doing at the Save the Children orphanage.  Feel free to link to this blog or our website.   Our website is www.tumainidrc.org.    I'm excited to think we could possibly have all our children fully sponsored this month!

Thank you for the bottom of my heart!

Gloire, he is fully sponsored.  




Francine, she needs one more sponsor (at $25/month).



Shereba, he is fully sponsored.  

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