Dear BelPres family and friends
Dear BelPres family and friends,
We are excited to share how your donations are bringing health and hope in East Congo. THANK YOU for your amazing generosity with the congregation’s gift last May of over $300,000 to help with food relief and reconciliation efforts in this war-torn region. Together we have made a difference thanks to the dedicated work of the multi-tribal Congolese reconciliation team on the ground. Our unique multi-tribal approach is bringing hope and reconciliation to warring tribes. All tribes are treated equally, and all are represented on the leadership team.
More than half of the funds, over $150,000, were designated for food relief. By the end of February 2022, approximately 90% of these funds will have been sent to East Congo to treat starving children and infants, nourish pregnant and nursing mothers, feed thousands of vulnerable people in five villages, and to plant fast-growing corn, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, and beans. Harvests have been bountiful!
The other half of the Congo Offering has been designated for reconciliation activities – spreading the biblical message of love, forgiveness, and reconciliation among the warring tribes. Fifty percent of the funds ($75,000) have been sent so far, with the other half for the rest of the year. This money funds the efforts of an 11-member multi-tribal Congolese team, who bring warring tribes together in common endeavors, while emphasizing Jesus’ message of love and forgiveness. They host large worship gatherings, events, team-building, and prejudice-reducing activities. And they will soon be able to meet in the nearly completed community hall, which is being built by 100 workers representing every tribe.
Nothing is better than hearing about the amazing things God is doing in the East Congo from the Congolese who are helped. Their words capture the impact of your support for our Congo ministry – people who are finding hope in this ministry after a lifetime of fear, starvation, homelessness, and violence.
Here are the stories of two grateful mothers whose children have received protein rich SOSOMA porridge to cure kwashiorkor (severe malnutrition) through food relief. Through the feeding program, we have been able to restore health to young children with kwashiorkor, nourish pregnant and nursing women so they can have healthy babies and provide nutritious diets for their families, and feed thousands of needy people in five villages. We have even begun sending money for all tribes to plant crops and harvest together.
Jeannine is from the Bafuliru tribe. She has a three-year-old son who was unable to walk due to kwashiorkor. But shortly after beginning the SOSOMA porridge program his health improved. Now he can walk! She says we have come “just at the right time” and she will never forget how her child was cured.
And another mother, Soleil from Banyamulenge tribe, shared, “New Hope Congo is like a parent for our children who were in bad health but are now healthy. We were affected by the ongoing conflicts in Minembwe but the nutrition project has come as a solution. Our children were extremely happy to share SOSOMA porridge together and this made us parents closer which is a sign of reconciliation and unity building among tribes.”
These are just two stories from over 500 mothers who are so grateful for the nutrition project, not only for how it has changed their children’s health, but also for how it has brought families of all tribes closer.
Truly amazing things are happening with the reconciliation work of the multi-tribal team. In addition to hosting gatherings and traveling from village to village to spread the Gospel, the Congolese in-country team produces and broadcasts a weekly radio show to 45,000 people. People hear the ministry’s message of reconciliation, love, and forgiveness and are finding hope. Displaced people are returning home, and when they arrive, feel welcome and safe.
This is the story of Binwa from Babembe tribe. She fled the area because she was afraid of being killed by armed groups. When she heard the reconciliation message on local radio - that people must forgive one another and live together without discrimination - she decided to return, but still feared being killed or betrayed. To her relief, when she arrived in Minembwe she was well received by New Hope staff and all the tribes. She was even added to the list of mothers taking SOSOMA porridge. She feels forgiveness for everybody, laughs and shares food with all tribes and now counts many as friends.
Hallelujah! God is doing amazing things through this ministry. And so much of what is happening is due to BelPres congregation’s generosity. As we continue our work, a group of Bel Pres/New Hope Revival members are working diligently with the people in the Congo. Currently they are finishing the building of the community hall where more reconciliation and worship activities can take place. One of the next steps is to build a vocational school.
There are so many more stories, and so much more to say. Check back soon for more updates or subscribe to our newsletter to have them delivered to your inbox. Together, we can bring God’s love and healing to our brothers and sisters in East Congo.
Thank you for your support.