Democratic Republic of the Congo (MNN) – In a report by World Watch Monitor, dozens of Christians were brutally killed in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo by attackers using axes and machetes, all part of the Islamic violence evident in the area.
However, Mark Luckey with Every Child Ministries, was just in the country and says the western side of the Congo is a different world when compared to the eastern. And it’s in the western area where ECM works.
“There’s actually a couple different aspects to the ministry of ECM in Congo. One would be the training ministry…they [ECM] started two training schools. One in the rural area of Garzi and the other in the capital city urban area of Kinshasa,” Luckey said.
These schools have been designed for nine-month curriculum to prepare lay people in the communities to teach and develop Sunday schools. ECM has also been able to help provide a resource library with the intent to have materials continually flowing through. These are the same materials which would be a store trip away in America, but are scarce in Congo.
But the other aspect of ECM’s ministry in Congo is it’s work with street children. “I wanted to check on our street ministry to children in Kinshasa. And that one I found needs more funding, but what they’re doing is very good. . . Vocational ministries to street children I found to be the real necessary, helpful ministry to those kids,” Luckey explained.
Kids on the street are especially vulnerable to a life of violence. But by showing them love, providing for them, and enabling them to have more options than thievery or begging, God is using ECM to help transform these kids lives.
“I was able to meet some of our kids who are involved in carpentry apprentices, going through a three-year program that prepares them to open up their own shops,” Luckey recounts.
“I met with kids who were mechanic apprentices to work on vehicles. Worked with some kids who had been taken in, street kids who have been taken in by their local church as part of the ECM ministry. Kids who didn’t have a home.”
But now, they do have a home. It’s the church.
As kids go through ECM’s programs and learn trades, they’re also introduced to the beauty of the Gospel. And for many of them, they accept Christ as their Savior and experience love for possibly the first time by being shown the Gospel in a tangible way.
But for ECM to keep doing what it’s been doing in Congo for the last 30 years, it’s looking at where things need revamping. As it is with anything, after three decades, things need to shift a little to stay relevant.
“It needs some refreshing. Some of the staff have been part of the ministry for 30 years, since the very beginning. And we want to make sure that they can continue their enthusiasm and excitement. So that means that we have to really carefully think through how we do the ministry there and make sure that we’re still on the right track,” Luckey says.
Would you pray for ECM as it travels through a period of change. Pray for the necessary changes to be made and for God’s wisdom to guide ECM. But also, will you pray for the children and adults ECM serves there, for their safety and success and for God’s work in their lives.
If you’re looking for a more tangible way to help, ECM has children still needing sponsors. For a three-year commitment of $50 each month, sponsors provide an education which will impact these children for a lifetime.
“I’m very excited about our work in Congo. It was really good to be able to go there first hand and meet the staff and to see the great work that they’re doing there and figure out how as a ministry ECM can partner with those who are already there doing that work to make sure we continue to reach the lives of these children with the Gospel, so that their lives can be improved both for today and for eternity.”