April 1980 – April 2020: 40 Years of Marriage
After 40 years of marriage, this year began with the wedding of our second son, David. His elder sister Zawadi has 3 children, and his elder brother Samuel has one child. Our youngest, Victor, is still single and is studying in the Philippines. This wedding was an opportunity for the whole family to meet again after 8 years. Fortunately, in Africa there are always relatives to fill the empty nest. We were blessed by the presence of CBM co-workers, Darrell and Laura Lee Bustin at the ceremony.
There is stress in the increasing number of cases of COVID-19. Most are not in our area as 95% are in Kinshasa.
The shocking news is that two days before the government announced the end of the Ebola crisis, two more cases were identified in Beni. This issue is raising a lot of controversies on the reality of the case. With the support of CBM, the CBCA has been very active in the fight against the pandemic through general education and the distribution of prevention equipment and materials. Pastors are particularly involved because they are the ones who are directly in contact with the population and who are a trusted source of information.
As a family, we can’t help worrying about the risk: my wife is a nurse, my daughter and her husband are medical doctors, all of them are in regular contact with patients. We need your prayers so that God may keep them safe while they are struggling to heal others.
What has Been Going on in the Area of Relief and Food Security Among Partners?
Vocational Training for People Living with Handicap
People living with handicaps have capacities that need to be explored to enable them to improve their livelihood and gain dignity in the society. That is what we do at Katwa vocational training Centre with the support of CBM. We visited this tailoring workshop with Eugene Akondeng, CBM Program Officer. “This workshop has changed our status from beggars to self-reliant people”, said the group president with much confidence.
Ecological Farming for Food Security
Traditional farming techniques have spoiled the soil. CBCA, with the support of CBM, train farmers on conservation agriculture and ecological farming. In Buyinga, some pygmies have decided to change from hunting to farming. This includes food and cash crop farming (cassava and cocoa). Training time is also the opportunity to educate farmers about preventive measures against Ebola and Corona viruses.
Farmers’ Field Day, an Opportunity for Exchange of Experiences
Farmers from different locations met in Muku to gain more experiences about better farming techniques in the demonstration field. As most of them testified, “CBM has helped us to increase our production of potatoes and we are now able to sell potatoes to the city and meet our basic needs”. Further research is still needed to fight underground rats which damage fields in the area.
Kitchen Gardens for Food Availability and Food Diversification
Théoneste is a lead farmer in Gahara in Rwanda. Like other farmers in his group, he has a kitchen garden behind his house, which helps him to produce vegetables for his family even during the dry season.
Farmers are also structured into cooperatives, which help to increase production with joint efforts. Pineapples are drought resistant crops which help households to increase their income especially in dry areas like Gahara.
The visit to AEBR food security project in Gahara, Mahama and Nasho together with Rev. Sibomana, the Africa team leader was really impressive, and the farmers are grateful for the change the project has brought up in their lives.
Visit to ACC&S
In March, I was introduced to the ACC&S church leaders by the Africa Team Leader and took advantage of that opportunity to visit Embu food security project and Guardians of hope project but also to meet a team from First Baptist Church Prince George during their visit to ACC&S. I was impressed by the way farmers manage to harvest rainwater water for watering their crops despite water shortage in the area.
Visit to South Sudan
The visit to South Sudan was planned for the end of March, together with Rev. André Sibomana. I went to Kampala and got the entry visa to South Sudan, but the Covid-19 situation suddenly worsened and the trip was postponed. We are very much concerned about our brothers and sisters who have been experiencing famine for a long time and who have now to face the challenge of the COVID-19.
Perspectives for 2020
Despite the critical situation, we have faith thatGod will intervene so that we may be able to pursue the dreams we have for our ministry. The following activities are in perspective:
- Visit to South Sudan and FEBAC projects.
- Accompany AEBR and ACC&S in project evaluation and designing a new project.
- Assess the consequences of COVID-19 and reflect on relief measures.
- Accompany development officers in developing projects and activities for 2021.
Word of Appreciation
We are grateful for the support, which enables CBM to reach out to hungry farmers living on unproductive and overexploited fields, people living with handicaps and trauma, who need socioeconomic integration, poor households that have no secure income. This is a precious contribution to the mission of Jesus Christ, who came to ‘preach the good news to the poor’ (Lk. 4:18).
“The harvest is plentiful…” (Mt. 9:37). Let us keep together in laboring in the Lord’s ministry for the glory of His name.