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About Congo VBS 2017

“There’s good news and bad news. Which do you want first?”

My husband has heard this question more often than he’s asked it. Personally, I always want the bad news first so we end on a positive note. Sharing the gospel is often done this way as well. The bad news is that we have all done wrong and are unable to be in the perfect God’s presence. The good news is that same perfect God loved us so much He sent his son Jesus to pay the price for all our wrong doing so anybody who trusts in Jesus can be with God forever. I love that!

So here’s the bad news about our Congo Vacation Bible School this summer. Our kickoff day is only 6 days away and we’ve only received $600 of the $5000 budget. Yikes!

The good news is our God does amazing things in only 6 days including leading a donor family to match every gift that is made.

We’ll be posting lots of info about Congo VBS in the next 6 days.

Please Pray. Please Share.

Please Visit our Razoo Foundation crowdfunding site: 

https://www.razoo.com/story/Veydig


Kristin

 

 

Kristin King – President of Future Hope Africa, Inc.

 

 


 

Ready for VBS this year!

We are all so excited as we draw closer to our VBS weeks:   24 July – 4 August!

God created the earth and put Man and Woman to keep and manage all of it. We would like to emphasize this message and bring young ones to an understanding that it is our responsibility to keep a clean and safe environment for us all and for our children in the future.

 

In Africa tons of waste is produced everyday but in most places nothing is done to properly manage it. Modernization is not helping either! Now Congolese women want to use disposable diapers for their newborns! While this is taken for granted in the developed world, it is relatively new in DR Congo and presents a huge waste issue.

 

Screen Shot 2017-07-17 at 8.12.31 PMLike most African cities, waste management is a huge issue in Bukavu. We need to do something about it! (Bukavu’s population is near 900,000.)

 

Future Hope Africa is building a project to educate families on this matter; first, by teaching about producing the least waste possible to reduce what needs to be handled. Then teaching about finding the best solutions to dispose of the produced waste.

 

To begin to solve the problem in Bukavu we need a long-term strategy, funding, and your prayers. But even with limited resources, to start a change process we know that we have to take action with what we at hand. It is an OVERWHELMING task!

 

So, we chose to start with this year’s VBS. We are expecting 200 young people; 35 ofScreen Shot 2017-07-17 at 8.14.16 PM.png the older youth will be trained to teach the younger ones. This will be one step, one heart, at a time as we teach Biblical responsibilities of taking care of our community’s environment.

 

GOD wants His people to live in a safe and clean place, and the Bible has many verses that talk about this issue. During ten days, we will be exploring these Scriptures with our children, and bring them to an understanding that a good leader must take care of his/her environment.

 

Young Leader called to protect:

  1. My environment – wherever I am: Numbers 35:34 You shall not pollute the land in which you live … You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell, for I the Lord dwell in the midst of the people of Israel.”

 

  1. My room – Genesis 2:15: The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

 

  1. My house – Psalms 24:1 A Psalm of David. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.

 

  1. My school – Revelation 4:11 Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by Your will they existed and were created.

 

  1. My street – Jeremiah 2:7 And I brought you into a plentiful land to enjoy its fruits and its good things. But when you came in, you defiled my land and made my heritage an abomination.

 

  1. My avenue – Ezekiel 34:18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture; and to drink of clear water, that you must muddy the rest of the water with your feet?

 

  1. My quarter – Jeremiah 32:17 ‘Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.

 

  1. My town – Jeremiah 23:1-40 “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord … Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds … Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will set shepherds over them who will care for them … .

 

  1. My city – Jeremiah 29:7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.

 

  1. My country – Deuteronomy 11:12 A land that the Lord your God cares for. The eyes of the Lord your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.

 

We will use crafts, music and discussions to show the youth the problems of environmental abuse and teaching Biblical responsibilities. Each day will be closed with positive actions for the participants to apply and teach others. FHA is leading the way in Bukavu. This program will be further integrated into local schools this fall.


Bintu

 

 

Nabintu Mujambere – Director of FHA’s Kanega Education Center, Bukavu, DRC

 


Check out our website and new secure giving features!  
Be sure to visit our website – http://www.futurehopeafrica.org – for the latest information. We’ve created a new section for biographies of our teaching staff in Bukavu.
— Also, we’ve incorporated a new “Give the Gift of Education” feature for secure giving through credit/debit cards or a direct bank transaction for one time or recurring donations. Paypal is also available. 

You can also support our VBS through Razoo
https://www.razoo.com/story/Veydig

THANK YOU for your prayers and support. If you have suggestions, questions or other feedback please email us at futurehopeafrica@gmail.com.


Meet our staff – Rachel

Rachel formal photoRachel NEEMA KWELEKA was born in September 1993 in Bukavu, South-Kivu province, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. She is one of a six children raised by a single mother who was a prominent role model to Rachel. Her mother pursued her own education that allowed her to provide food, shelter and education for her children.

 

Rachel finished her fundamental education in 2006 at EP Nguba, a school funded by the church that hosts the Future Hope Africa Education Center. In 2012, she was awarded her State Diploma for secondary studies in Social Studies at a Catholic school in Bukavu. In 2015, Rachel finished her undergraduate program in International Relations at the Official University of Bukavu.

 

Rachel is presently in her final year of a Master’s degree program at the University of Rachel3.jpgBukavu.

 

Rachel remarks, “I found this job just after the last year of my secondary (high school) studies, before I knew I passed the State exams, and before I got my diploma. I am thankful for FHA and the chance it gave me to work while I was still studying. FHA is one of the rare NGOs that allow that. Most of the other organizations ask for many years of experience. Someone has to give young people their first experience and FHA does that for many!” Rachel even gave up a golden opportunity to study in the neighboring country of Burundi because she was attracted to FHA’s mission and philosophy of a Christian-based education provider.

 

Initially recruited as a teacher for FHA’s 2012 Vacation Bible School, Rachel soon became the Communications Manager at FHA’s education center. She coordinates the center’s internal communications and staff planning, and facilitates community outreach for FHA’s ever-expanding educational and entrepreneurial programs. She acts as an executive assistant to FHA’s Director and Deputy Director. Rachel also performs teaching duties when an extra teacher is required.

 

Rachel with student

 

Rachel is a member of the Young Leaders Club and a Bible study group where she learns and mentors other young women in leadership and social skills according to Biblical principles.

 

Rachel enthusiastically adds, “I am really enjoying working with FHA. My studies wouldn’t have given me so much experience and all the wonderful people, the children and the colleagues, that I am working with. When I think about it, I wouldn’t have gained so much if I had gone to Burundi.”

 

Losing God’s Money

money

Losing money always feels bad to me. So you might think losing God’s money would feel worse. Here’s what happened.

Back before Future Hope Africa had a bank account in the US or one in DR Congo that we could transfer money to, the only option we had was Western Union. I would go to the grocery store in Maryland straight to the Customer Service desk as my kids wandered frozen foods within sight. I filled out paperwork, produced ID, signed a register, double checked spellings and sent funds. Normally a smooth process.

One time, though, way back in 2012 I was traveling with my family when it was time to send money to Bukavu. Instead of sending money from the usual grocery store I sent money from my parents’ hometown grocery in Kentucky. Only one person was trained for this task, and that store didn’t have as much paperwork. No big deal, I thought–till the money went missing.

Back in Maryland I got the news from our education center in Bukavu. The money wasn’t on the system in DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo). After lots of hold time on several phone calls I was told I would have to take it up with the office of origin. After many months we were finally back in Kentucky, and the only thing to be done locally was to check the confirmation number. They did and said I’d have to speak with Western Union directly. I tried that again but got no where.

Was God’s money lost? Would the students in Congo never benefit from these funds gone astray?

This was God’s money, not mine. I focused on that and wasn’t as upset after a little while. It’s not like God didn’t know what happened. He knew exactly where that $1000 was. I did my part; gave back to him with open hands. Also, I did what I could to rectify the problem, and then I was forced to leave the rest to him. God was in control then just as he is now.

Fast forward to 2015.We had moved away from Maryland to Holland. After our USPS forwarding order expired, I received a letter. A class action suit was under way against Western Union. It seems lots of people had lost money on transfers about the same time I did. Login online to participate if you wanted to join the suit. I signed up and waited…and waited.

After a while, I figured the settlement wasn’t coming. Or they took out lawyers’ fees and nothing was left. Either way, it was still God’s grand.

In January, the board of Future Hope Africa had our first meeting of 2017. It was time to discuss increasing the monthly amount we send to Bukavu. We’d been sending what we could to pay our staff at the education center. It was a modest amount, but we were beginning to lose good teachers because they couldn’t quite support their families on the amount we were sending. After much prayer (and researching fair wages in Congo) we decided to step out on faith and raise the staff pay. Knowing we needed more monthly donors to sustain the salaries, we got to work on that. But by the end of February we looked at the budget and could see future deficits. We still can, but in the meantime we are praying. We are directly soliciting in places where we are legally allowed to do so. We remind ourselves that the education project is God’s project. From beginning to end, He is our provider. From board to Bintu, from 501(c)(3) status to setting up bank accounts, everything moves or happens by God’s hand.

We do our part. Then we wait upon the Lord.

And sometimes He reminds us how sovereign He is by meeting our needs today with funds that went astray 5 years ago. The truth is we serve an awesome God. A couple of weeks ago I was sorting through the mail and noticed an envelope with a return address I did not recognize. When I opened it, do you know what was inside?  The $1000 plus the $65 transfer fee. Money that could not have come at a better time. God’s timing is best. God’s mysterious ways are unfathomable. God’s almighty authority is over every part of the world, including money transfers.

– Kristin

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FHA-Support-footer futurehopeafrica.com

Little by little…

bible-club-nl

Bible Club in The Netherlands

A boy stood up and recited his weekly memory verse at the after-school Bible Club in The Netherlands. He got the whole thing right, even the chapter and verse. His reward was handed over, a twenty cent coin. Did he put it in his pocket? No. He put it in the mission jar for the children in Congo.

In this way, week by week, a handful of children raised 32 Euro for Future Hope Africa. We give a big shout out to them. THANK YOU KIDS.

Is there something you can do? Little by little?

From Student to Teacher

moses

Moses Cito Kajiramugabi

Moïse (Moses in English) is one of the teachers at our Future Hope Africa Education Center in Bukavu, DRC. He first came to the Center when he was in high school, for help with his studies and to participate in our Princes Club, now called the Young Leaders Club*.

He graduated from high school with very good grades and was offered an opportunity to go to Kinshasa (the capital city of DR Congo). After much thought and prayer he decided instead to stay in Bukavu and work with us at the Center. His passion is to help younger ones with their school work.

Moses is 20 years old and among the youngest of 11 children in his family. His father has recently become ill so staying in Bukavu has also meant he’s available to help care for him. His father and mother currently have no employment, so working at FHA came as a great blessing for him and his family. Moses joined our staff in September and is one of 4 teachers tutoring students during our Homework School.

Moses is a deep thinker and has written the following piece for our blog. Thank you, Moses!

 

Home in Bukavu for Christmas and New Year

 

“For Christians, Christmas does not mean only the day of his birth, but rather the remembrance of the birth of Jesus Christ in our hearts. Christmas is not only a day of celebration for children, but it is the day when we remember the love of God for humanity.”

When the pastor said this, I felt more comforted. Because, I had done research on the meaning of Christmas and what it should represent for the world.

Here are the results of my research: The word Christmas does not even exist in the Bible. Noël is Christmas in French; it is a Christian feast day instituted in 368 AD. It was established by the fathers of the church, they said. If we relate to the biblical calendar, Jesus Christ was not born on December 25th. This date was just a pagan feast day celebrated once a year, at night, in the midst of winter, at the peaks of the mountains to worship Saturn. They worshiped in the middle of four candles. During this pagan cult celebration there were four things:

– debts were forgiven and forgotten,

– captives were freed,

– slaves were emancipated,

– and the condemned to death were pardoned.

The celebration of Christmas on this day of the 25th of December, gathered around this feast the pagans and the Christians.

I found these results quite interesting …

In Bukavu, Christmas and New Year are two very important events. And this observation I have made since when I was still very young. Back then, we were even more interested because we were expecting new clothes and gifts from our parents. Unlike those in Europe, we were not told about Santa Claus. The idea of Santa Claus develops only in certain families, but it is not popular here.

One week before Christmas, almost all the shopping points of the city, and the markets are filled with new clothing and decorative articles (flowers, Christmas trees) and in this festive atmosphere, all the parents of the middle class strive to buy beautiful clothes and beautiful shoes their children  in order to see them in Sunday clothes. Those who are more fortunate organize holidays and take their children to foreign countries to spend the holidays. And the less fortunate are just satisfied to find a better meal than what they usually have.

On the festivals’ eve, the public places are beautifully adorned with flowers and with Christmas lights. An intense circulation of pedestrians and vehicles is noticeable until late at night. At the same time, in the outskirts of the city, some young people spend the night under the stars and take pleasure in “palavering” (chatting) around a fire that they often light with tires throughout the night.

Alas, for many people, generally unbelievers, it is an opportunity to wander here and there during the night, visit nightclubs and drink too much, and to commit various other disorders.

Unfortunately, after all these pleasures, wounds and sometimes death follow.

Christians, on the other hand, gather in their different assemblies to praise and worship the Eternal God for the passage from one year to another.

For the Congolese, the crossing toward year 2017 was especially valuable. We were seized with a certain fear because of the political riots that could have taken place on December 19, 2016. God in his mercy protected us and now we have arrived successfully in 2017. All the churches were invaded by songs of joy.

All those who live on Congo territory had a good reason to glorify our God for his protection this year. After Sunday worship, everyone went to spend the rest of his party with his family gathered around a table filled with everything the family would be able to afford for the celebration.

In my family, my grandparents, my brothers-in-law, my parents, my brothers and sisters, my cousins and nieces, my uncles and aunts, all in fraternity, we shared the same meal. We talked about our personal experiences last year. And at the end of the ceremony, we wished each other the best wishes and shared the gifts.

The Christmas celebration is not an opportunity to wallow in sins. One is not obliged to put oneself in situations of distress to celebrate a great feast at all costs and beyond possibilities.

Thus, God’s children should avoid getting into debt to have a celebration above their financial level.

Indeed, for us Christians, it is Christmas every day because we have to remember the great deeds of God every day as if Christ is born in our hearts.

Moses Cito Kajiramugabi

*Our Young Leaders Club is a club for young men to meet and discuss the way young men should behave, how to be useful to their families and community, and to discuss  entrepreneurial projects. We have a similar club for young ladies called the Princess Club. Our club teachings are based on Biblical principles.

Future Hope Africa – VBS 2016 Report

It has become a custom for us at FHA to have a summer camp; a Vacation Bible School (VBS) for youth and for children. What a wonderful time we spend with the young helpers recruited for this purpose, and with these children! It is our rendezvous of the year! A great opportunity to see all of them again! Every year we have new ones coming, but this year it was even more special because we were able to have 3 times as many children as last year and the years before, as well as twenty more teachers. A good number of new ones! A lot of excitement!

This year our camp theme was « A l’école du jeune leader congolais. » or At the Young Congolese Leaders’ School, in English. 10 days of blast and great blessing! Each day we discussed one character of a good leader and then at the ten’s day we went to visit the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Kalambo, a few miles outside Bukavu. For 1O days our children learned so much!

It was a first for the staff to train and lead such a big group of youth and children.

Our ten day program was explained and taught in « the 10 commandments of a good leader ». That’s how we decided to divide the ten lessons for the 10 days. We discussed ten characters of a good leader, the only ten that we chose to cover for this year. We formulated them as 10 oaths of allegiance, and it turned out to be a great idea. We linked each commandment with a Bible verse.

                  Oaths                                      Bible Verses

  1. I will be humble                             1. Proverbs 22:4
  2. I will be courageous                      2. Joshua 1:6
  3. I will be honest                               3. 1 Kings 1:52
  4. I will be proactive                          4. Proverbs 6: 10-11
  5. I will be organized                         5. 1 Cor. 14:40
  6. I will think positively                    6. Mark 11:23
  7. I will listen                                      7. Proverbs 1:5
  8. I will work in a team                     8. Ecclesiastes 4:9
  9. I will be a servant                          9. Matthew 23: 11-12
  10. I will protect my environment   10. Numbers 35:34

Some of the children captured our attention in a special way!

Charlotte Byenda:

Our little Charlotte was distinguished for her sense of cleanness. She has observed the charlotteinstruction given by the teachers at the first day of the camp on taking care of our environment. Charlotte, 8 years old was a role model. She did not pass a piece of paper on the playground.

All the trash that this beautiful girl found in her way, she bended and picked it to throw it in the garbage. A courageous girl who worked hard to memorize the Bible verses and all the 10 commandments as well; Charlotte’s behavior touched all the teachers and in one accord we decided she should get a prize. SO she did!


Deborah Munoka

This is another young lady; 12 years old, who came with very negative thoughts about life and everything else.

deborahWhen we discussed about honesty on the third day, she said: “I want to be a lawyer when I grow up, and I believe that no one can be a lawyer and stay honest. It’s impossible! “

From her point of view all lawyers are dishonest and corrupt and she would not even try to do another way.

But after the day we discussed about honesty as a good leader’s charactor, she went in the front and announced to all the other children and the teachers that she will still be a lawyer but she promises that she would do her best to fight and make a difference. “I promise that I will still be a lawyer but I will never lie or be dishonest in my job! “

At first, she so much persisted in her negative opinion that when we heard her change her mind and see her willing to declare it for all of her friends to hear, it made us proud of her. Because this young lady is a very strong-willed person, we believe that she might really grow up to make a difference.


Nicaise Mirali

Three other children were exceptional in their work. Nicaise Mirali, King Kabesha and Amani Ndagundi. These three children discussed the first commandment about Humility in a very impressive way.

The teachers discussed the housework. Many people in our culture believe that housework is only for girls and not for boys. And guys can sit down, wait to be served and eat, watch tv, play outside, …

Nicaise, in the picture to the right with a colorful shirt, was one of the children who, at his so young age, thought and strongly supported that boys are not to work and only girls should do the housework.

King Kabesha

King, the boy in the picture in the left, at 11 years old, was able to tell all children of his group that boys as well as girls can and should do any housework.

Amini Ndagundi, 10 years old, quoted all the Bible verses we

Amani Ndagundi

Amani Ndagundi

learned without hesitating from the first to the last day. This boy had some problems at our center in the past. He misbehaved in a way that raised our attention in a very negative way.

Our regulations being strict, we had to suspend his coming to the center for the rest of the year. He came back for VBS this year and conquered the heart of the teachers and was able to reintegrate into the homework class.


Cynthia Mulumeoderwa

Cynthia Mulumeoderwa

Cynthia Mulumeoderwa is a girl who has been raised by her mother alone. Apparently, her father abandonned them. At the beginning of the camp, the girl did not want anything to do with the male friends. Even the teachers. When we tried to understand the situation we were able to get the fact that she detested all males because of the absence of her father.

But a few days later, the girl was already jumping and playing with everyone with no discrimination!


The group of teenagers, 13 to 15 years old, have always been the most difficult to manage. They believe that they do not need to be instructed and that they are no longer children to be taken care of. These are the children to whom this program was meant for. A lot of work! Young teenagers are the ones who need the most to be taught these things.

teenagers

Matthew 23: 11-12, our overall verse, helped us remember that the one who wants to be great should serve all the others. We noticed some positive change in these children by the end of the program. They were able to actively commit for change.

10 days of work together. 10 days of work on our future leaders. Many of us did not know each other before this and then we started becoming a family.

group1

On the tenth day we went on a field trip where we learned about this organization that works to improve the seeds for tropical food in order to make food more nutritional for the community. A good leader has to take care of his environment. He has to take care of the land he is living on and of its cleanness, as well as the wellness of the community among which he is living.

group2

This program is life changing for the children, but even more for the recruited young teachers who all testified of having learned very much.

group3

Our VBS program always ends with a presentation of what the children have learned to their parents. This year again, the parents were so happy to see how their children were served!