Andrej Berg

Andrej Berg

In the last few months our team almost doubled, a real boost to our work here. Six months ago Joe came from Switzerland. He is a professional handyman and a big asset in overseeing our many needed home improvements. Then Dom and Marie arrived with their daughter Natalie from South Africa. They are a great help, being veterans on many mission fields, and French speakers. The last newcomer is Mike who in his youth likes the challenge of a difficult field. We are very happy for this addition to our team as this way we can get more done. This requires of course more room in the house and dear Joe and Mike have been working extra hard on this and are turning the annex into nice rooms.

During our yearly visit to Europe we were able to see or phone our friends and relatives as well as raise support and look for new sponsors. Right after our return we received our first visitors from there: Andreas, a good longtime friend and supporter, and his son Marco. It was a big blessing to have them here and we’re looking forward to receiving more visitors from Europe to give better understanding and more insight into our work and Africa. Andreas said he didn’t just want to come and see Congo, but also learn from this personal experience. At the end of his visit after seeing the many difficulties we face here on a daily basis there were three virtues standing out which can be learned here: patience, faith and staying positive when things go wrong.

In order to make more progress with the orphans and to offer them a better future, we felt led to put a new goal in front of us. The first step is their daily food and thus better resistance against sicknesses. Next we would like to also give them basic schooling so they have a better chance in their life when they grow up. So now we are looking for new sponsors for this purpose, again with 10 Euros per child per month. This amount would be for a second sponsorship of the same children to pay for their schooling. If you want to help with that or try to win others for this cause we would appreciate it very much.

The agricultural project is making slow progress and also needs more help. The first little pineapple-fruits are coming and we are planting avocado, banana, mango and other fruit trees. If we will be able to get a grant for a school-building in Mokali and we have a guard on the field we would like to also start breeding fish. Until we have the building which will also serve to prepare food for the orphans instead of giving them their food packages, we are looking into finding the best local schools for the amount we have available.  

The 13 year old Land Rover which Paula in Italy donated helped us to make a big step forward. But with the arduous sandy and muddy roads and the many potholes on our way to the outskirts of town when we see the orphans the car feels the wear and tear. So when it is in repair we desperately need another car and with now 11 people on the team we need it anyway.

In the long run we are looking for the right local people who one day can take over our work here. At our bible study we are not just passing on important values for life, but we are trying to see who we can trust with these big responsibilities. Character, integrity, willingness to work etc, are all things we put high emphasis on. We already do have some candidates, but they also need support as some of them have so little that they can barely afford transport to visit us.

Here is still a personal request: we are all working as fulltime volunteers living the whole year around in Congo. This means we are not paid like in the UN, Red Cross, a church or some other organization, but need to raise support for our running expenses. We are very thankful for some of our old-time friends, relatives etc who have been helping us towards this over the years which will also help our projects in the end. Now with the team and our work growing our running expenses will also rise.

We’d like to use this opportunity to give a big THANK YOU to everyone who supports our work here as without you we couldn’t do the job. You carry a big load and share in the rewards of what we are able to get done here. Everyone plays an important part in the big puzzle. We know that we have to sweat it out here, but we are also aware that for some of you 10 Euros a month is a big sacrifice and we do not take it for granted, we really appreciate your help! Thank you also for telling others about our projects. You can tell them that we are living right on the field fulltime and make sure that the active help goes directly where it’s supposed to go.

Kisenso: Florence in action.Mokali: P. Theophile, Marie and some of the children dramatising a bible-story,...As desert: who catches the first package of biscuits?Wolfgang, Marco, P. Theophile & Andreas on the field in Mokali....& the others are watching intensely.Florence likes to use our childrens posters with quotes....& banana trees at the fishponds.Preparing the food packages at home ...From our garden brought to the field: little african apple- & avocado trees... josef knows how to help himself.jpgAndreas planting one of the avocado-trees.Difficult sand roads in Mokali.That little one in the middle didn’t get a plate yet.Why isn’t the car starting anymore?visitors eating lunch new.jpgmike  joe fixing annex roofing.jpg... and then enjoying the distribution in Mokali.Attendance sheet for the orpahans.Pineapple and other little fruit trees on the field in Mokali.Lenka is fitting new shoes and clothes.

úterý, 24 březen 2009 22:09

Anissa Mary and Many Other Big Steps Forward

For those of you who don’t know yet, since quite a while we were considering adopting a Congolese baby and have inquired at two orphanages about the possibilities. Unexpectedly soon after our visit we received a phone call informing us that an abandoned newborn baby was found on the street in the night. As shocking as this news was we’ve heard of similar cases before.

After checking things out and praying further about the matter we decided to adopt her. We named her Anissa Mary and she is such a joy. Many Congolese get touched by our adopting one of their children and take it as proof of our love for their people.  

The food distribution at our two orphan centers is going well and we again had some special visitors to help with this: one couple from the German Embassy and one couple from the Belgian Embassy. They also donated food, clothes and shoes.

A teacher from the French school and her two teens helped us with one of our Christmas programs. During this season we were extra busy with different shows - both for the 30 orphans in Kisenso and the 70 orphans at Mokali as well as for children in some hospitals and the orphanage where we found Anissa. Fisca, one of our Bible students, went with us everywhere, was part of the program and faithfully translated into Lingala, the local language.

Our missionary colleague and Africa lover, Roland, who wanted to join our team, but had to stay back in England for health reasons, came for a one month visit. He was a big blessing as he didn’t just bring some needed items, but also helped actively in our work.

The German Embassy came through with the biggest possible grant they can give for a project like ours - a very big blessing! This means the starting point for our long planned building in Mokali, although there are still a few important details to be worked out before we can actually start with the construction. Prices i.e. are fluctuating a lot recently and we have the usual challenge to find trustworthy people to do a good job – not an easy task here. Since the grant covers expenses only for the materials we are also looking for other donors who can help with the transport and labor etc. Another special “Thank You” goes to the Vodacom company which dona-ted a very useful and needed Nissan pick-up. This is a big help as mobility and transport are so important in our work here.

One more highlight was the graduation of our first set of Bible students who finished the “12 Foundation Stones” study course. This basic training course is very important as there are so many different teachings going around here and many people wonder what to believe. This course gives a solid understanding of the many practical and spiritual guidelines in the Bible, which people can build their lives on. And after graduating they can share what they learned with others (2.Tim 2:2). Our goal is to start many such study groups so that people everywhere can learn how to apply those values to their everyday lives.

Last but not least: Thank you all for your continued support of our work in so many different ways. Thanks to some new sponsors we are able to send a quarter of the orphans to school now. Please keep praying for our work and that peace will prevail in the country. Thank you very much!

Wolfgang & Lenka with Anissa Mary (3 months old)First two rows: graduates - behind: family and friends.nannanChildren in the General hospital color in their pictures...Rosine really gets them going, singing Congolese style.nanNow who would this dress be for? Wolfgang & Olga in Mokali.Quite talented: Florence cooking 70 Christmas meals...... especially with juice and fresh Christmas donuts!nanOrphan brings wood to the market.nannannannannannanFisca, Naomi and some of the kids at Ngaliema hospital.nannanFirst pineapples after almost 2 years.nannan

sobota, 24 listopad 2007 22:09

Overcoming Obstacles - Gaining Victories!

Since we arrived back in Congo last April we had many obstacles and at the same time great victories for which we are very thankful. A good friend of ours here said: "Living in Congo is like a free university course teaching you how to overcome obstacles." Indeed it is amazing how people here manage to make ends meet under the most challenging circumstances.

Some of the bigger difficulties we faced recently were major rain falls which washed away many houses, killing quite a few people. They also broke our and our neighbors' walls and flooded our houses. We are still fixing things up and prepare for the next rainy season coming soon. Another time we woke up early to a big BANG - a car had broken through our wall and landed upside down in our front yard. Thank God the people inside were unharmed. Recently also some of our materials outside the house got stolen and we are taking steps to protect ourselves better against theft.

On the other hand we had some great victories. After we moved into our new house one of our close friends proclaimed: "Now you have a seat in Congo!" Our dear landlord continues to help us get set up and we are very thankful for our many local friends who donated different items so we could get the house in order and have the basics to operate with. Some close friends of William in Italy donated a desperately needed car for which we are especially thankful since it's so difficult to operate here without a car. Colleagues of one of our special friends in Europe helped us to ship it here and a dear friend from here is helping us to get it through customs etc. And we thank everybody who so faithfully continues to support the orphans and field project. We sure couldn't do the job without you. All of you are an important part of this work and will share in the blessings and rewards.

Dear Pastor Theophile continues to be a big blessing when we visit the children. He helps us with organizing, coordinating and distributing the food to the children and further the work on the field. His wife Florence keeps overseeing and cooking for the children in Kisenso with her faithful helper Jeannette. For the children in Kikimi/Mokali we still prepare and deliver weekly food packages until we have the facilities to cook there.

In order to be a bigger help to these kids in Mokali we are looking for sponsors to help us build some rooms on the upper flat part of our field there. We need a room for a small family - the husband would guard and work on the field so we can invest more into it including fish for the fishponds, and the wife would cook for the children. Two bigger rooms are needed to feed the children and give them some basic schooling once we are set up for that. There will also be a small lockable storage room for the food of the children as well as the tools for the field. Since there is no electricity the cook works outside under a roof where the children can also wash their hands. An out-house toilet will be separate as there is also no running water.

So far we found one potential sponsor. At the German reunification day we had a chance to meet the new German Ambassador and were able to shortly explain our work to him. When we shared that our operation is so small compared to what other big international aid-organizations have to work with, he encouraged us by saying that sometimes small projects can do more good than big ones. He didn't just encourage us with words but made a special tour to see our field and the orphans in Mokali and wants to see what he can do to help us realize the above building plans.

The overall situation with the children continues to be quite a challenge for several reasons. Prices keep climbing, especially for food; the “road” conditions to the outskirts are very bad, especially during the rainy season. Another big challenge which we didn't foresee is that some of the orphans are getting called by their relatives to move to other far away locations. This makes it impossible for us to keep caring for them. When this happens we take in new orphans and hope you don't mind to support another needy child in case yours had to move. We are very sorry for this complication but have no choice in the matter.

Some of you asked us how it is going with the minimum support for the children. The 10 Euros per child per month barely cover their food expenses and we are thankful for our local friends who help to supplement those basic needs. It would be great if we could receive more funds so we can give them also some basic schooling, more clothing, medical care etc. But we don't want to overcharge anyone. Some of you give already more, but others cannot. We are thankful for whatever you can do to help us care for these precious underprivileged children. Thank you again for all your help! Each one of you plays an important part in this big puzzle - let's make it a beautiful picture!


nannao singing.jpgk1600_ladies pealing kasawa.jpgTheophile & Wolfgang unload food in Mokali where we prepare weekly food packages ...nanThe Bible students enjoy their studies every Sunday afternoon in our public meeting place - Naomi plays the guitar.The German Ambassador helps with the food distribution in Kikimi/Mokali.Granny boils these cricket larva....& lively songs with Naomi and Madlen.flannelgr story.jpgThe children in Mokali are very thankful... Captivated audience at our special Christmas flannelgraph presentation... ...donated from a friend in Dubai.... until we can cook there too.German Ambassador and security officer visit our field-project in Mokali. He said that he enjoyed the food distribution.bible study dscn3949.jpg...for their weekly food packages and new T-shirts... w jeep.jpgFlorence and Jeanette cook ...nanTeam and kids are so thankful for our new car which was donated.The orphans are so thankful for their food & T-shirts.... and the children in Kisenso enjoy a hot meal daily.k1600_cutting trees.jpg

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