Congo- Kinshasa (MNN) – Jesus describes the Kingdom of God as a tiny mustard seed. This small seed doesn’t stop as a plant or a bush, as one might assume from the size, but it grows into a tall tree.
The concept of small, humble beginnings turning into something great is similar to a program launched in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Tiny tree seedlings contain the potential to save and nurture lives of whole communities.
Food for the Hungry has instituted a food for work program. Families who choose to join the program will be paid in food to work at an agriculture station. The seedlings they raise will be planted in an effort to reforest their community.
Marcelline Maniema, living in the Congo, is a mother of eight. She and her husband once could not provide enough food for their family. They were always hungry.
In August of 2012, FH began working in in Marcelline’s community, and she along with her husband soon joined their program. Before the induction of that program, the village was burdened with malnutrition. The land was bad for farming. Any crops that were produced were usually ruined by the flooding from the Rugamba river. This created a food deficit.
But that is all turning around now. Working at the agricultural station, Marcelline and her husband received food, and also learned valuable information about farming. Other community members have joined this work, learning what plants benefit the soil, and how to maximize the success of their farming efforts.
Knowledge learned about one subject can often lead to knowledge in another. Marcelline is also a part of her community’s care group where she learns about health and hygiene practices. This knowledge she brings to the rest of the community.
Marcelline and her husband can now feed all of their children because of the payment they receive for their work. FH’s program not only benefits the community immediately with food, but also long term by their reforestation efforts and the farming skills taught.
When the trees begin producing fruits, the members of the community will know how to best market the produce to benefit their community.
When Christians go out of their way to aid a hurting people, the impact is more than just physical, emotional, or mental. It can be spiritual too. Acts of kindness like this one can be a gateway to share the Gospel with those who are unsaved because the Gospel has already been exemplified before them.
Praise God for the hope that he has brought this small village. Pray that this community will continue to learn how they can support themselves and earn income. Pray that they could keep fighting malnutrition and other health issues that are rampant with their children. Pray that Christian organizations would use the blessings they have from God to share the Gospel in a loving and effective way. To give seeds or seedlings to communities like this one, click the links.