Can we expect spiritual fruit from preaching and teaching forgiveness and reconciliation while the body remains hungry and malnourished?
Our answer is ‘NO, it would be like sowing seed upon rocks’. Congo Peace addresses both the spiritual and the physical needs at the same time.
The Belllevue Presbyterian (BelPres) congregation, based in Belleuve, WA, generously donated $307,000 in May 2021 for this ministry. This amount was divided equally between reconciliation work and hunger relief. The half for food relief - $153,000 - was fully expended in June 2022 and has accomplished much in providing food relief for young children, pregnant and nursing women, vulnerable and displaced adults, and two seasons of expanded agricultural crops.
These crops provide not only food to all tribes, but the seeds sustain the next season’s plantings. When peace and reconciliation allow the return of cattle for milk and meat, the need for food supplements should be reduced, possibly eliminated. The feeding of high protein SOSOMA porridge (from local grains) has also yielded fruit towards reconciliation. Friendships and community building have occurred across tribal lines.
Over a period of approximately one year, thanks to your generosity:
· Over 18,000 vulnerable and displaced people have received food relief
· 1100 pregnant and nursing women and children have been nourished with nutritional supplements (SOSOMA); many have been cured of severe malnutrition (kwashiorkor)
· 12 fields have been planted with beans, corn, white potatoes and sweet potatoes and 1100 pounds of beans harvested
· A small group of 50 orphans began receiving food relief in a safe location
While hunger, malnourishment, and insufficient farming continue to be a problem in the area, we are thankful that these needs have been able to addressed to this extent so far.
We fully trust our God - who faithfully provides for all needs - will move hearts to continue to donate to the work of Congo Peace in East Congo.