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News Around the World
Published on 18 May, 2010

Vocational training for widows and orphans

Congo-Kinshasa (MNN) — AIDS, civil war, polio, and poverty
have devastated the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Wives have lost their husbands, children have
lost their parents, many have lost their health, and thousands have been raped.

"There's
a very large population of widows and orphans that have basically no means to
provide for themselves or their families because it's such a patriarchal
society," said Sam Snyder of Evangelical Free Church Mission. "So there's no shortage of people–especially
within the church in the Congo–who need help."

Over
900 Evangelical Free churches in an area the size of Indiana have far more
needy people to care for than they can possibly handle. That's where EFCA's Elikya Center comes
in. The Elikya Center was established in
2008 to support the local churches by providing vocational training, literacy
education, and Gospel ministry. Snyder
and his wife, Sarah, hope to join the center's ministry this summer. 

"Elikya
in the local language…actually means ‘hope,'" Sam Snyder explained. "What they're hoping to do at Elikya, the Center
of Hope, is to be able to give these people some hope for a future… They come to
the Elikya Center to learn trades, to help provide for themselves. But at the same time, they're also learning
about Christ and about the Word, and they're spending time in the Word through
studies." 

The
Elikya Center provides training in sewing, farming, masonry, carpentry, crafts,
and literacy. The Snyders' role at the
center will be to facilitate short-term teams that come to train the leadership
of the Elikya Center  to teach computer skills and English to the
students. 

The
Snyders would appreciate prayer as they finish raising their support and
prayer for wisdom when they are in Congo as they develop the curriculum for the
Center. Pray also for the spread of the Gospel
in the Congo .

"It's not just about teaching
them trades, but it's about introducing them to the living God," Snyder said. "That's something that offers far more hope
than just learning a trade."

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