Throughout this past year, Dave and I have been quietly working with the team at Help One Now to determine how we could make an impact together in Congo. Dave joined the team earlier this year in Haiti to see their work firsthand. He was able to meet with and learn from the empowered local leaders who have created safe havens for children rescued out of trafficking, built homes for local families, built schools, fed children and preserved first families. He saw sustainable, real, life-giving change in communities across the country.
It was a first step toward realizing the vision God was slowly unveiling for our place within His plans.
More recently, Dave and a team went on a life-changing vision trip to Congo. As they flew over the ocean, I wrote the words burning on my heart…
The depth of answered prayers here are beyond my ability to articulate.
When we first stepped foot on that Congolese soil together, Dave and I knew our lives were forever changed. We knew we would make it our life’s work to serve the people of this beautiful country, particularly her children.
We absolutely believe the impact of our work will be far greater by doing this together with the Help One Now team. And, we are so fortunate to already be working with a strong and capable local Congolese partner, Mwangaza International. This trip is the first step into understanding what it is that we are all being called to do together.”
Chris and his team have been so incredibly gracious and generous with their time and wisdom. They have helped us to very intentionally cast a vision for how we want to invest for the long term in our daughter’s birth country. You guys, I can’t even tell you what a privilege it has been to watch all of this unfold.
Honestly, we never set out to do any of this work. We simply wanted to feed a group of kids we had come to love. And, yet, God moved and breathed life into all of it. Each month, He provided through unexpected donations or last minute checks arriving in the mail. Some months found us with $10 left in the account after food money was wired over to our team in Congo. Yet, each month, He provided. Just enough. Just in time.
We learned quickly that this work is not about us or personal agendas or non-profit organizations or fundraising. It was simply about children that are desperate for the bright light of Hope. And, I am 100% sure that God loves these kids something fierce. He simply asked us to step up and love them tangibly. It’s part of the deal, after all. Caring for orphans and widows is what is required of us.
We could so easily live our lives and miss out on all of this. We could get caught up in all.of.the.things and not ever say “yes” to the very best things. The serving. The loving. The awe-struck wonder of watching God’s hand unfold and release something more beautiful than could have ever been dreamt up.
We coined it our “Congo Launch Party.” It was the perfect pause in this advent season.
We have walked with our heads down, praying for guidance and wisdom for months and months. We have been in our own season of waiting. And, now, during the wait of Advent, we celebrated the first steps forward toward a launch of long-term, local-church-led work in a country so dear to our hearts. It was a beautiful night.
I’m so hopeful for what’s to come. I can’t wait to continue to share how this all unfolds. Thank you all for being a part of this story of Hope.
*Photo Credits: Mike Rusch
**If you are interested in coming alongside us as we launch this new program in Congo, you can learn more and give financial gifts HERE.