Andrej Berg

Andrej Berg

středa, 24 duben 2002 22:09

New Goal - Cameroon!

We hope you are well and we wish you a nice and warm springtime. Here in Douala - the commercial capital and biggest city in Cameroon, with over two million people, it’s hot and humid! It has been a long time plan for us to open up a base in this exciting new field and now our dream has become a reality.

While the majority of the photos in this letter show the last distribution of maize in Zambia, we wanted to share with you the amazing things the Lord did for us in a place where we didn't know anybody. After only a few weeks, the Lord helped us to find a completely furnished apartment with relatively good security. A real miracle and special blessing, since we only arrived with and live out of our suitcases. In a short time, He has opened so many doors for us, that we can only thank Him and the openness of the people here. Of course we also have to take plenty of precautions in our daily activities like watching out for Malaria, our security, boiling and filtering the drinking water etc. But that's life in this part of the world.

We were also able to make our first important contacts in Yaounde, the Capital. Since we're planning to prepare another big container of humanitarian aid in the summer in Germany, we need to find the right way to import it tax-free. Through another miracle the Lord opened the door to meet the Minister for Social Affairs, Mme Dr. Fouda, and she was inspired about our plans. She wants to be personally involved in getting the container through customs free of charge. It's the first time she's doing something like this in her five years in office!

We've also done extensive research into where our direct help is needed the most. As usual there is a huge gap between the rich upper class and the extremely poor, i.e. in the Southeast, where the people live like thousands of years ago without streets, electricity or clothes in the jungle in the poorest conditions.

It’s exciting to see so many possibilities to help here. Through the humanitarian aid we are trying to raise the livingconditions of the poor, but also plan programs to teach them to help themselves. Somebody has asked us to train the workers in an orphanage and get them more motivated in their work. We'd also like to buy food from poor farmers who can't market their products for lack of infrastructure and then distribute it to those who can't help themselves, like the handicapped, old aged, orphans etc., i.e. in the far North, where they can't grow enough food because of drought. And of course we are distributing God's Word wherever we go, as there is a great vacuum for it here like all over Africa.

Cameroon is surrounded by some of the poorest countries in Africa such as the Chad and Central African Republic. Although our goal is to help first in this country, we would also like to help the needy in the neighbouring countries in the future.

We'll do whatever we can to alleviate the plight of the poor and need your continued support, without which we cannot reach our goal. Thank you for all your help, which makes you an important part of our mission here. May God bless you in your work and your private lives!

Sara with a happy mother who just received maize (25 kg) and the orpans she is taking care of.Lenka teaching a Bible class to students of a big Boarding school in the Petauke City.The Minister of Social Affairs of Cameroon, Mme Dr. Fouda inbetween Lenka and Wolfgang.Wolfgang helping to unload maize for our distribution in the village Museke, East Zambia.

pondělí, 24 červenec 2000 22:09

Finally through Customs

After three months of preparation we were able to finally order the container and pick it up from the harbor after only one week. Everyone who heard about it, said that they never saw a container leave the harbor of Conakry as easily as this one. Most people have to pay high fees to all sorts of officials; containers are sometimes stuck for four to six months. We could only thank God, that He answered all your and our prayers!

The distribution, which we had also planned and prepared in those months, started right away. As was arranged in a last meeting with the UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees), we drove with their truck and jeep to Forekariah, where in three camps about 30.000 refugees from Sierra Leone and Liberia live. At the moment there is security-level 4 because of the recent rebel-attacks. Even the UN-members have to return to Conakry in the evening. All the other organizations have left the city for now. At our own risk we could stay at the UN-quarters.

Together with the Federation of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent we distributed half of the aid to about 2000 of the most vulnerable refugee-families and 1000 displaced Guineans, who lost everything during the rebel-attacks and were moved temporarily to this area.

So much destruction and atrocity happened on both sides, which we don’t want to get into here. In short, the rebels attacked different villages, and looted and destroyed everything. No one really knows who was behind it and what was the motive. There was quite a bit of fighting until the Guinean army drove the rebels back. Then came the counterreaction. Encouraged by the government the public kicked all the S. Leoneans out of their houses. They took what they could and tried to leave the country as quickly as possible. Even two refugee- camps, which are under UN protection, got completely burned down. Shortly thereafter our container arrived. Here is an excerpt of a thank-you-letter by the UNHCR for our project: "…The donated clothing, shoes etc…came at a time when they were most needed…We would therefore like to thank you for your initiative and for physically taking part in the distribution."

Distributing the materials properly was not an easy task. When we arrived, about 1000 people waited eagerly in each camp behind a fenced-in distribution center, where they get their monthly food-supplies for one meal a day. Our music show and speech about God’s love was well received by these precious believers who prayed together with us at the end of the show. Then the organizers had some disunity about the distribution and the situation got tense, which can happen easily in Africa. Finally they called the refugees to another place, where the most needy got a paper for which they could get some clothes etc. From then on everything calmed down again and we had some deep talks with these dear believers, who were so thankful for our time and gifts. Marianne and our friends there will keep visiting them to care for these precious people.

The next day we drove to the displaced Guineans and experienced the same joy and thankfulness, as we did afterwards at the hospital of Forekariah, where we delivered different medical equipment. We started the first distribution in Conakry two days later in the "Cite de Solidarite", where 55 handicapped (blind, cripples etc.) and their families live together. They beg daily on the streets for a living since there is no such thing as welfare. They were so happy and thankful for our visit and gifts.

Marianne wants to remain in Conakry and help with her longtime experience to distribute the other half of our aid to the poorest there.The lists for that were put together for us by ADRA Guinee. I will visit Daniela and the kids to pray about our next steps and to raise more regular funding for our work in Africa, so that we can do more transports and help alleviate the need of as many as possible there while getting out the gospel. Every donation big or small is needed and will be greatly appreciated. Maybe you can even try to find others who want to support our work.

Marianne with TV-team at customs in the port.Our Container outside the port of Conakry.Sorting the storage.Mari and helpers in refugee camp „Kaliah“ near Forekariah.Kamara from Sierra Leone has like many others a crippled body due to sicknesses in childhood. He took it graceful and tries to get an education.Daily newcomers from Sierra Leone arrive. Waiting in front of their embassy for the next boat.Happy children with their new clothes.Blind and handicapped persons with their families in „Cité de Solidarité“.Unloading the UNHCR-truck. Standing in line, first children and women, then men.

pondělí, 24 duben 2000 22:09

First Impressions of Afrika

As I disembarked from the airplane, inhaled the thick, moist monsoon air, observed the small airport and the simply dressed local people and picked up our soaked-through suitcases, I felt as though after many years I had finally arrived home again. Such poverty, so much to be done, so many precious people. It reminded me a lot of our time in India.

Before going on I would like to write about what happened in the months before we came here. First of all, a sincere Thank You to all who helped us with contributions and the many preparations in order to get our first container for Africa ready: good storage places, more materials than ever before, new and old friends who helped us with lodging and food, the use of their telephone, fax, e-mail, the reloading of 67 cubic meters of material into the temporary storage etc. Our so far biggest and most complex project took more time than the ones before. At the same time we also tried to increase our net of helpers and friends, so that in the future we wouldn’t have to spend so much time with the many preparations in Germany, but can spend more time here on the field to reach the people.

In the meantime we also moved out of Kosice and passed on our ministry there to our friends so that it can continue. When we moved into a very old East German house near Erfurt which is desperately in need of repair, cooked the first meals on a woodstove and ate sitting on our trunks, we were once again in need of some miracles. The Lord answered promptly and gave us the basic necessities for this new base in East Germany as well as for the work in Conakry. Daniela and the three younger girls are continuing to work on and set up the house, while the two older girls are helping me here.

At the moment we’re counseling with the other German family that we have known from before and who have been actively working here for over a year, what steps we should take next. There are still many hurdles to overcome, most importantly with customs. Please pray that we’ll get tax-exemption soon, that everything goes well with the transportation and distribution, and that we can reach with His message and help as many of these needy people as possible. Thank you so much for all your prayers, we couldn’t do without them! We need a lot of patience and perseverance with the slow moving bureaucracy. The Temporary storage: two 20 ft container filled to the top. usual answer is: „Tomorrow it’s ready“. In the meantime we’re also trying to locate the right places where we will later distribute the humanitarian aid. This is not an easy task because slums of the natives and Sierra Leonean refugees are abundant and all over the place.

Slowly we’re getting accustomed to the new living conditions and the difficult infrastructure here. I.e. there are no telephone lines leading to the house and to send a simple email is not easy. You have to go to town to find a phone and sometimes the phone lines or the server is out of order. But once it works, you have more assurance that it gets there than a postal letter. For this reason we’d like to switch over to E-mail as much as possible. If you are able to get on-line somehow, please send us your or your friends email address where we can reach you. To be sure that everyone else will get this newsletter, Daniela will send it from Germany.

Some of you asked us when we’re planning our next shipment and what type of materials are needed here. We can say that in general the collection of aid will continue as before, but how often these shipments will happen depends a lot on the finances. In order to safe time and finances we will most likely send one big Container per year, the same amount as the two shipments last year. We’re not sure yet when and where we’ll send the second container, but one thing is sure: the need in Africa is endless and in Europe there is so much excess that is desperately needed here. It all depends on how we can best get it here.

The greater distances and more complicated transports increase the expenses. If we would have more support we would also like to do more projects to „help people to help themselves“, i.e. sewing and other handicraft centers etc. For this reason, we founded a Charitable Organisation in Germany called „Africa Direkt Hilfe e.V.“ (Now "Aktive Direkt Hilfe e.V."). If you would like to have a German tax-deductable receipt, please use our foundation’s account, otherwise our personal one. We would also appreciate it very much, if you could find other people who are interested to support this mission. Thank you so much!

Marianne with a group of students.Marianne having lunch the African way.Temporary storage: two 20 ft container filled to the top.

  2003 – 2004: Přišli jsme do Kinshasy po ničivé občanské válce v Kongu, dovezli do Afriky náš třetí kontejner a rozdělili potřebným humanitární pomoc.

10 výročí “Aktive Direkt Hilfe”


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