Andrej Berg

Andrej Berg

úterý, 24 květen 2005 22:09

New „Consider the Poor” Projects

After we left Congo in December we wanted to take the opportunity to get a good checkup for Lenka in Germany as she had not recovered well from her operation in May. To our surprise we found out that she needed another operation in her abdomen. As difficult as this news was for us, we were very thankful for this opportunity and that everything went well.

Lenka who already had several operations in her childhood was now quite weakened and we needed to find a mission field which is not quite as taxing as Africa, so she could heal up better. Friends of ours in Veracruz, Mexico, asked us to help them in their mission work. We accepted this offer and joined them two months ago and are happy to be here as there is a lot to do.

Another change is that the office of our association moved from Datteln to Rheurdt. Near Rheurdt happens to be an association with exactly the same name as ours, only spelled a little differently. To avoid mix-ups and to include our increased sphere of operation we changed the name of our association to "Aktive Direkt Hilfe e.V." (Active Direct Help).

Some of you asked us if we are still doing humanitarian aid work. Since this is part of the goals of our association as are the support of children and youth and the dissemination of educational materials according to the Christian faith we will continue to do all this. The only difference is that instead of the complicated and expensive container ministry we opted for different local projects, some of which are explained here.

The team in Veracruz has a few projects running, which we wanted to start in Africa in a similar way. Once a month i.e. we visit sick children in the hospitals. First we give a little clown show to cheer up the children who enjoy it tremendously. Then we go from bed to bed to all those who are too sick to attend the show. Everybody receives a tract to read and often personal conversations start up with the relatives of the children which are almost always there for a visit. We offer all who want to receive Jesus in their heart to pray with us and we pray for their healing. They are very thankful for this and appreciate all the encouragement, inspiration, love etc. they can get.

Another project which we were planning to do in Africa and which we want to support here is the distribution of educationally valuable books to poor families, who don't have enough money to send their children to school. Every child should get a chance to at least learn reading and receive as much education as possible.

It's amazing to see how the gap between rich and poor continues to grow everywhere especially in poor countries, where on top of it there is no social help. If you leave the center of Veracruz and go to the outskirts or into the countryside, you can quickly see where there are people in need. Every week we are picking up food items and groceries from different sponsors and bring them to the poor in their shacks since they have a hard time managing on their own.

We also go to the universities or the beach and wherever we can meet people and talk with them about questions they have about their lives. Most everybody here is very open to God and people from all walks of life are thankful for a listening ear and answers from His word. We invite them also to our weekly bible study, where Lenka can be more active.

Although all this keeps us very busy, we continue to stay in contact with our friends in Congo by email and see how we can help them. They are very thankful for the spiritually feeding materials we are sending them regularly and are asking us for more Activated magazines to distribute there. We are looking for the best way of supplying them with these materials. Please continue to pray with us for the peace there, especially that everything goes well with their first elections coming up this year. We would also appreciate your prayers for Lenka to heal up soon and well so we can go back to our beloved Africa.

Wolfgang visiting the children’s ward in the local hospital.Our team at the last book distribution to poor families in Veracruz.„Dr. Clown“ Cephas and Wolfgang praying for a sick boy with his grandfather.Lenka with three of our happy visitors at a bible study in our home.

středa, 24 listopad 2004 22:09

Container Distribution and New Horizons!

As usual it was difficult to find out where our humanitarian aid would do the best service as these items can get easily mishandled. After searching for a long time i.e. who would use our complete dentist office the most effectively, we chose the “Salvation Army”, which is helping the poor here since decades. They appreciated our newer equipment to replace their ancient one.

Finding the right people for the wheelchairs had other problems. The first lists of handicapped were either not complete or faulty. Other local NGOs were so unorganized, that when we’d arrive there we couldn’t even find a responsible person who would take care of the wheelchairs. After a long search we finally found a center Kikesa in Ngafula and another 11 centers of the “Bondeko Villages” where we got a valid list of their former students -mainly children. They have therapeutic centers where they were very thankful for our walking aids. They also received our shoemaker machine and four sewing machines. Three more sewing machines went to BICE, an organization which takes care of children and mothers with babies in the big prison.

Unfortunately we couldn’t bring the clothes to the North as we had planned since the UN stopped flying up there and it is too dangerous and complicated to bring the goods by water and road. Many people warned us of this expedition, because the soldiers in this region, former rebels, aren’t paid now since a long time and can easily plunder such transports.

So we decided to pass out our 400 banana boxes of clothes, shoes, sheets, as well as cooking utensils and tools in one of the poorest parts at the outskirts of Kinshasa, in Kinsenso. Pastor Theophile and his helpers run the Children’s Home SABEC there. Since they know this area very well they put together lists of the poorest widows, old folks, orphans and young single pregnant mothers. These people came all to SABEC, where we could conduct the distribution in peace. They also received two sewing machines, a computer and two typewriters. We gave our usual salvation message with the special prayer and passed out tracts in Lingala, the local language. They were so thankful for everything.

You can’t imagine under which circumstances these poor people live and with which difficulties they fight to survive. Just to get there with the “road” conditions they have is an art. We were surprised to find that even the roads to the Pygmies in Cameroon were better than here in the capital of the country to this part of town. Several cars including ours got stuck in the mud on the way there. Before we could drive home our driver had to fix the car in the dark by candlelight. You can only admire these people how they handle their poverty and get along with the dirt and simplest of means day in and day out. You should’ve seen the room in which they delivered a baby during our distribution - incredible!

As sweet as these people are, as difficult is their country! One of our close Embassy friends told us recently, how the security situation in the country was never as weak as it is now, since they have many fractions which fight each other and none trusts the other. There is no strong hand and some soldiers take advantage of this and even attack ministers in their cars at night to rob them.

After the last coup d’etat the authorities hassled many people and even arrested some. They don’t hesitate to even take foreigners as they can get more money for ransom from them.

On top of this, next year are supposed to be the first elections in Congo, which are expected to bring big upheavals. Nobody knows what will happen, when from the three big rivals – one president and two former rebel leaders, now vice presidents – only one will win, because no one wants to loose his power.

We got advised from several places that it would be safer for us to leave the country. As hard as that is for us, all our friends agree that it is the right decision. We are very thankful that we trained a few local people who can now carry on our missionary work. They received lots of tracts and reading materials to distribute and we will stay in touch with them.

At the moment we are praying about our future steps to see where the Lord wants to have us next. Wherever we go we want to continue to help the poor and share God’s love and His message with everyone. Jesus put it in simple terms and it could be a solution for all the problems in the world if everybody would only put it into practice: love God with all our hearts and love our neighbor as ourselves (see Mathew 22: 37-40). 

The poorest people from Kisenso were so thankful for our clothes, shoes, sheets etc.Mathew, Pastor Theophile and thankful recepient at our clothes distribution in SABEC.Jean Pierre distributes gospel tracts to the many open and hungry hearts.Wolfgang turning over the dentist office to the „Salvation Army“.Genevieve with children in our wheelchairs at the „Kikesa“ Center.Wolfgang with microphone and Joseph on camera filming the distribution.

sobota, 24 červenec 2004 22:09

News About Our Work in Kinshasa

The container finally arrived here and we thank God for some companies who helped us with the very high transport and handling charges, which came about to the same amount as the whole transport from Erfurt to Matadi.

 We also faced tremendous difficulties in our preparations for the distribution because the political situation here was quite turbulent in the last few months: two attempted coup d’etats including attacks of Rwandan soldiers and former rebels in the East of Congo which resulted in violent demonstrations in Kinshasa and in other cities against the MONUC, the peace keeping force of the UN for Congo. Several people on both sides lost their lives in all this and we had to stay in our house for several days during this time.

In light of all these different complications we are planning to switch the focus of our aid from this container project to other needy local projects in the future, like schools, orphanages, prisons and hospitals etc.

We want to ask you to please keep praying with us for peace in this country and that there will be more peaceful solutions found among the many different factions to stop all the trouble and heartache this country suffered in the last years. Thank you very much! For those of you who know about and believe in the power of prayer, you know that prayer is not the least you can do for someone else, but the most. What things so ever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them and you shall have them (Mk. 11:24). If you are able to support our work financially we would be very thankful as our team of fulltime volunteers can’t do the job without your help.

Our team celebrates a special birthday party with our Bible Study group.Wolfgang prays with interested group of performers.Wolfgang, Mathew & helpers unload a shoemaker machine.Everybody was happy to help unload our container.

  Kvůli špatné infrastruktuře je pro nás těžké prolomit začarovaný kruh chudoby a překonat řadu překážek ve vnitrozemí.

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