Sponsorship program gives hope to communities

By May 8, 2008

Congo (MNN) — "We are leaving the fingerprint of Christ on these orphans that they
otherwise would not be experiencing. We're bringing them hope by providing them spiritual care. We're paying for their schooling; we are giving them medical care, and we are providing them nutritional care through micro projects in their communities," said Jen Castro of Evangelical Free Church of America .

This is the mission of Global Fingerprints, the product of a partnership between EFCA and the Free Church of Congo. Help is given to children who have been orphaned by AIDS, war, malnutrition and other tragedies. Unlike many orphan sponsorship programs, children are not living in orphanages. "They're actually living in homes with extended family members or caretakers, which is really a wonderful environment for them to be in," Castro explained.

It's not just the child who benefits from the program. On a recent trip to visit some of the orphans, Castro talked to a caretaker about the impact of this ministry on her. "We asked how her life had been changed, and she was just speechless. And she said, ‘I have no words. I'm just so blessed, and I'm so happy.' To see the name of Christ having good report and good rumors going on in these communities, it's really
beautiful to see." 

In fact, 50 percent of the children sponsored by Global Fingerprints are unchurched. The Free Church of Congo is able to share the love of Christ as a part of this outreach program. 

"The resources are coming from Congo to Congo," Castro said. That means, thus far they have not been affected by the food crisis. This is due in part to their
micro projects that are self-sustaining.

The program started in the northwest area of Congo, but it is now being implemented in other
areas. Rebel activity has not impacted the outreach; it is mostly in the East of Congo.

$25 a month will cover schooling costs (uniforms, shoes, etc.), medical costs at the nearby Touch
Global hospital, and part of the community nutritional micro-programs. Go here to find out more about sponsoring a child.

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