Posts Tagged ‘education’

This week in Bukavu – 5/7


A program for the cleaner environment


Our first Green Club for a cleaner environment was started last school year in one of our partner schools, called Mushere, with the idea of duplication in other schools.

These are the Green Club leaders from the Mushere school.


Water gets into the classrooms at Mushere school during the rainy season so the Green Club members recently built retaining walls and planted grass to help control the water.


Our youth and FHA are preparing to officially launch this program with a procession and a street cleaning on the 17th of this month.

More about that next week, as we continue with the prep work for the launching event!




FBS is a curriculum created by Marco Strömberg a Swedish fellow, who got a revelation from GOD during a mission in Burma. He decided he would join an entrepreneurial training to the gospel he was preaching to these local beneficiaries to help them raise out of poverty. The results that came after his very first try were very encouraging. There was born a course that has been translated in several languages and taught in many developing countries to fight poverty.

FBS is a course given in 48 lessons, summarized in the nine themes below.

  1. The Seed (included in the Introduction lesson)
  2. Bringing your personal finances into balance
  3. Dreams and visions
  4. Business plan
  5. Market mechanisms
  6. Business basics
  7. The character of a businessman
  8. Biblical finances
  9. The spiritual businessman / woman

Our fourth Focus Business School training is ongoing since February. We host a 1:30 min. lesson time for entrepreneurs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday after the school children are dismissed from their homework class at 16h30. Two-thirds of the lessons have been given so far in the first 7 themes.

We are expecting to finish the program this month and get ready for our fifth FBS. We are also praying that we’ll be blessed with more funds for the microloans to accompany and to encourage our graduates!

As we said last week, this program is a must for anyone who wants to be eligible for our microloan program.


Here’s how you can help FHA


Please pray with us:

  • That GOD will give the Kanega Center staff the wisdom, strength and vision to mentor and encourage our students.
  • For the Focus Business School participants to understand all the financial and Biblical concepts presented during this course.
  • For the Green club event on the 17th , and for its impact on the population of Nguba, Bukavu (more on the Green club later).
  •  Help us to have the vision and resources to plan vacation activities, particularly for VBS—that God will provide for what he wants us to accomplish.  
  • For the expansion of the Kanega Center as we see that our services could serve more people and make a tremendous change if we expanded our building.
  • For our sponsors and funders in the USA and everywhere else, that GOD would bless them in all they are undertaking.

With love,


Bintu head shot

For more information about FHA, please visit:

Our email:


This week in Bukavu – 4/28

More on Microloans

Our microloan committee has been working hard going through the business proposals given to us by candidates who would like to receive a microloan from our program.


Did you know it’s not easy to get a microloan from us? To be eligible, candidates must first take our FBS (Focus Business School) training. Some have said “I want the money but I do not need the training.” No, that would be too easy.


By taking the course we can be sure they understand good business practices which will help ensure their success. We also teach them how to build a business plan for their new or expanding business, which they submit to us as part of their application for a microloan.


Last week, as planned, we gave our first two microloans. One for the chicken business I mentioned last week and the other for a convenience store.


We have 3 more proposals pending on our table and are very excited to be able to help individuals start or expand a business that will help their families to be financially stable.


Focus Business School

Speaking of FBS, we are currently hosting our fourth Focus Business School seminar in Bukavu. More about that next week.


Prayer requests for the week of April 23, 2018

Below is a list of our specific prayers from this week’s gathering. Please join us in prayer:

  • That GOD would fill us with energy to serve our children.
  • For the children who participate in our homework school, that GOD will help them understand their lessons easily.
  • For their teachers who need courage and a loving heart to serve the children.
  • For our mobile library and the people who are in charge. Also, that all the children who have the opportunity to read our books, would make the best use of them and it will help them learn.
  • For the Focus Business School course, that GOD will bless the learners as well as the trainers.

We closed with the LORD’s prayer.


With love,


Bintu head shot

Counting Down to VBS…

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Future Hope Africa family:

Happy July 4th for our American friends; many of you celebrated America’s independence this week. Speaking of that, on a historical note, the D.R. Congo received its independence from Belgium on June 30, 1960.


Whooo—whoooo–All aboard FHA’s VBS train! I had my weekly conversation with Bintu on Wednesday and then went on my regular 4-mile run. After both those events I can say “I’m all fired up!”. All I could think about while running was all the great things Bintu’s team is doing to change lives in Bukavu. What an inspiration!


YES; the VBS train has left the station and is gathering speed. It will eventually ‘carry’ 35 teacher/facilitators and 165 children to a life-changing, two-week experience. Unfortunately, Bintu has to turn children away due to lack of space.




This VBS is only possible with your prayer and financial support, and we are far from our financial goal to provide a spiritual and leadership intensive program for these children and teenagers.

PLEASE VISIT AND SHARE OUR VBS MightyCause page: or go to


Here are of some of the things happening in Bukavu right now:
¬ Bintu’s team is preparing a program to be broadcast on local radio stations in Bukavu; they will talk about the Focus Business School and VBS programs, and also cleaning the environment.
¬ Summer school has begun and Bintu has introduced a new class on local traffic codes. She says even adults know little about traffic codes for the streets of Bukavu. Other classes include music, reading and writing, and English (with a new instructor!)
¬ The solar panel installed earlier this spring is working well and the Center will soon pay its final payment. The contractor has been very helpful, making certain the system works well and the Center is satisfied.

Future Hope Africa’s VBS 2018 runs from July 23 to August 3.


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Blessings to all for your

commitment to Future Hope Africa. 


….Steve Butler, member – Board of Directors




Praises and Prayer Requests from Bintu this week:


  • We are so thankful for the commitment of each of our team members here in Bukavu in preparing for the vacation/summer classes coming straight ahead.
  • We are grateful for the study we are doing in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah to prepare for VBS. We have been learning so much together with lots of insights from each of us. As they say, there is more in two than there is in one brain.

As for the prayer requests, join us this week in praying for:

That GOD would make us more and more leaders like Nehemiah before we start training the helpers;

  • That He would send us helpers that will really be helpful and committed;
  • That He will be with us as we teach the summer classes we started this week;
  • That He will provide for everything we need for VBS.

Bintu head shot


For His Grace and Glory,

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Hope.  What is the definition of hope?  How do the people of Bukavu keep their hopes alive?  And how do we, as sponsors, friends, and prayer partners, give enough of ourselves to keep that hope alive?  Read below to hear directly from Bintu on the issues that the people of Bukavu and our friends at the center are facing and living day-to-day.  Know that what you give with your prayers, time, and money does make a difference.  We, as sponsors, must continue to do our part to help keep that hope alive–Sara Johnson


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–Our future hope is here, in the faces of our children.


Hope when everything you see says,

“Don’t get your hopes up!”


Bukavu and the entire DRC have been going through a lot of turmoil and all kinds of calamities that have brought discouragement and have gotten our hopes down for decades.  For all  this time, it’s like we have always been waiting expectantly to hear worse news than what we already hear from our home city:  Nothing clear on the horizon.  Complete darkness.

How can you risk beginning anything new in a place where there is no competent infrastructure working?  There is nothing that encourages you to build or invest for the future here.  Nothing.  That is why young people are fleeing the country.  That is why many people are not even trying.  They stay in complete numbness and without vision.

The picture of our present Bukavu is of complete darkness.  From a bad economy to corruption, from anarchic building to bad roads.  (By the way, I had already returned to Bukavu when I saw tractors, one day, purposely destroying the road in front of our center—that was about 3 years ago.  Albert, our administrator, went to talk to the tractor driver and he said they were destroying to rebuild a new road. Two governors have come and gone since that happened.  And now the road is in even worse condition than before!  It was never rebuilt.)  Many taxis and other vehicles for public transportation do not come to our streets any more.  Cars suffer much damage on this side of Bukavu so drivers don’t come here anymore.

For many things I see, it just goes from bad to worse!

The population in Bukavu seems to increase every single day as if someone were making humans and multiplying them somewhere near.  Streets are crowded with so many people that you can no longer enjoy a quiet walk in the main streets of Bukavu anymore.  In the same way, houses are growing from everywhere.  We have no idea who is building them, and no regulations are being followed at all!  Nice property is being sold to people who have no idea of the proper way to build.  Most of the time, the buyers resell to tens of people, and a piece of land intended for one house ends up with ten buildings.

Thus, the problem to continuously distribute electricity and running water to all at the same time fails because the facilities were intended for a tenth of the current population.   And despite the taxes paid for electricity and water, some households are still paying monthly.  There is no option to upgrade the facilities and no one knows why.

At the same time, technology is growing so widely.  Canal + (a TV channel provider) is gaining new subscribers every day.  Some people do not have a house to shelter in but have a Dish on top of their “pretend” roof.  Families gather around a screen showing nice houses while sitting on the floor—but they don’t care—they are just trying to survive!

Almost every teenager has a smart phone with lots of virtual friends to chat with.  They spend their money on megabytes provided by phone companies, but most of them do not have food on their table more than once a day.  They have begun copying dressing styles and other behaviors that they see on shows and in the media.  But they still walk on the muddy roads!  And they cannot tell their parents to build their houses like the ones they see on tv shows.  It is like they can’t see ahead, to a better way, a better future!

To all of this, you add a few more things like trash in the streets (there is no garbage service), bad traffic orchestrated by crazy untrained drivers that have no idea of a traffic code.  Add unemployment and insecurity….and the list keeps going!

And yet, still in this same city, you meet people who are trying to emerge, to do well, to meet life’s goals, to pursue ambitions, to start businesses, to improve what they already have….and those who are seeking for any opportunity that comes their way.  These are the individuals we like to serve.

Pastor Emmanuel Lubala came up with a very interesting topic for the year 2018:  “HOPE” ( How can you paint such a dark picture and still talk about HOPE?)

It drew my attention, especially because of Future Hope Africa and our mission, and, also because of his preferred Bible verse during the two-week seminar:  Jeremiah 29:11.  His plans for our future are great, no matter what our present situation looks like.

In such a desolated place, where there is so much value crisis, the word, hope, is becoming so meaningless.  “Hopefully,” we say.  “Hope is alive,” we also say.  But how much of that do we believe?

When you have hope, you fight! You do not cowardly run away from the battlefield. When David went to fight against Goliath, when he saw Goliath running towards him, he also ran to meet/fight him.  1 Samuel 17:48

We should not run away from our fights. We should confront them.


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–Education, teaching our children for the hope of their future.

I took this information for me and for our non-profit, Future Hope Africa in Bukavu.  I and my colleagues from FHA cannot just leave the DRC and go to be fake refugees somewhere in a Western country.  We cannot just sell all that we have, including family and friends and our community’s chance at wellness, to go for a better life in Europe or in America.  We cannot just think of ourselves while a whole community is going through turmoil.  No, we can’t.  That would just be the most selfish way to live, thinking of our own comfort and not others.  Some may feel okay with that, but we just don’t.

I have to fight! Congolese people have to fight.  People from Bukavu have to fight.  We all have to fight!  Our enemy is not a person. No—No! Our enemy is a situation, a state of malaise, a culture of depression.  It is a number of things put together against our development, against our peace, against our security, against our happiness.

We cannot be afraid to take risks while we have the Almighty one on our side.
FHA will take risks to bring change!!


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–Planting, watering.  Looking to the future. 

Pray for FHA and Bintu  to continue, looking towards leadership that will lead them into a future for their city and their people with hope in their hearts and minds.  Let them not grow weary in the race that they are running, let them not grow weary in doing what is good and right for the people of Bukavu and Congo. Pray for them, pray for their leaders, pray for their country.–Sara Johnson

Connecting Continents, Student to Student

Bracing for winter storms, my husband has diligently been filling empty containers with water “just in case.” In North America and Europe we don’t often consider the day-to-day struggles others have to obtain clean water for cooking, cleaning, and drinking.

A group of students in the Netherlands rose to the challenge of investigating global clean water issues and connected with some of Future Hope Africa’s students in the Congo to ask questions about DRC students lives and issues they face. The video below offers you and me a glimpse of their investigation.

Do you know some students or a class that would like to connect with our students in Bukavu? Let us know.

Meanwhile, several empty water containers were found in my son’s room where he used Dad’s emergency supply to refill his fish tank. 








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Bintu in a cowboy hat?


New cowboy hat. San Antonio, Texas

My visit with Bintu:

What a blessing it was to finally, after so many years—at least 10—to have my sweet sister, Bintu, travel all the way to Texas to visit with David and me.  We so enjoyed her


At Mi Tierra in San Antonio’s Market Square

stay here and were glad to offer her respite after her flurry of travel and presentations.  My favorite part of her visit was our taking her downtown to the Alamo in San Antonio, along with taking her to the top of the Tower of the Americas so that she could see the entire city and surrounding areas.  We ate an afternoon snack there in the revolving restaurant, which was a comedy in and of itself with David present.  On the Riverwalk, we ate Texas Barbecue and  bought her a Cowboy hat which she took with her back to Congo (I can’t wait to see pictures of her in Congo with her hat!).


Tower of the Americas San Antonio, Texas

One of the things we discussed was quilting and how we could put together packets to send to Congo for the children to learn to quilt.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have time this trip to get any of the kits made.  I hope to get a few made with instructions, learn SKYPE, and see if we can’t have some online classes.

I think her favorite part of the visit was just relaxing and taking as many showers as she wanted.  I didn’t think it would be so hard to let her go, but it was.  I am so glad we got to visit and just love up on one another as sisters do.  My hope is that she will be able to return again on her next visit for more rest and relaxation.

Sara Johnson
Boerne, Texas




Above left: Making a presentation about FHA in Boerne, Texas.

Top right: Visiting with Rachel and Madeline in Boerne, Texas (did I really teach them French 10 years ago?).

Bottom right: Texas barbecue on the Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas

We couldn’t do this without you…

A message from the

Future Hope Africa Board of Directors:

Christmas Star

On Christmas day, we are invited to join the shepherds and angels in their celebration (Luke 2:8–20) and the Wise Men in their worship (Matthew 2:1–12). Our Father calls us to unite with that “great multitude that noone could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages” who are “standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9). With the saints of the ages and the angels of all eternity, we offer our praise to our Incarnate Lord.


The FHA Board of Directors sends Christmas Greetings to all our partners in Africa, Europe and the United States. We thank you for your support throughout this year to educate and mentor children, youth and families in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). You have been faithful in prayer and monetary support, allowing FHA to continue its vital mission in Bukavu. Besides the daily education projects that help many children, we had another successful Vacation Bible School last summer, and FHA has embraced an entrepreneurial training program that is already gaining results with budding entrepreneurs.


Not the least of 2017’s accomplishments was Bintu’s three month speaking tour in the United States. We humbly thank all our volunteers who made this trip a huge success, and to all the new friends of FHA Bintu made in seven states. Her visits to America and Europe are vital to expanding FHA’s support network. As one partner expressed, “Africa is pretty far from our minds and hearts, so having a face to the place is something totally new.” We hope to increase these (now) biennial visits in the near-future, if financially viable.


Above all, FHA’s educational mission provides HOPE and JOY to those in need in Bukavu. Your partnership is a great gift this Christmas. We echo the words of the Apostle Paul to his dear friends at Philippi when he wrote: “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you” because of their “partnership in the Gospel” (Philippians 1:3, 5 ESV).

May God Bless you all in 2018!


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From the staff at Future Hope Africa in Bukavu, we want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your support and prayers for a successful 2017. We look forward to sharing more of our success stories in 2018 with your support for helping us touch the lives of more children and families in Bukavu along with teaching adults the Christian values and ethics of entrepreneurship in business life.

Please visit our website for more info about Future Hope Africa: