"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

5.08.2006

oh, great light of the world, fill up my soul

Hope. I haven't written about Sake in a week or two, because things have been happening really quickly and I didn't want to jinx it. But here's what happened: in order to help 224 families (768 people) to restart their lives by buying them a field where they can plant crops and build homes, we needed $2100. The Librarian talked to the missions committee (of which she is the chair) at my church, they voted for more than that, a couple others chipped in, and we have $3500.

Which means that, as Lyn put it, not only can we buy them a field, they can have houses, too.

On top of that, Ciza wrote up a plan that will ensure that these families will be able to fend for themselves and to thrive in the future. The houses will be built in stages until every family has its own home. There will be enough money to build decent sanitary facilities. Until they can harvest crops (with three harvests a year, it doesn't take too long here), they will get temporary food assistance from the World Food Programme. FAO will donate farming tools. A local NGO called Mawe Hai will teach them sustainable farming techniques - pygmies are from the mountainous forest and will have to learn how the land here works. Local churches will help them adapt to life in Sake, and will welcome this group which is so discriminated against in Congo. Most importantly, the communities will have title to their land. If banking services for the poor ever come to this corner of the world, they'll be able to borrow against their land. And no one should be able to take it away from them.

The land scouts have already been out to look for a place. When the chiefs heard that this was going to happen, for real, they asked that the land for the houses be in town so that their children can go to school. So that's what will happen: part of the land will be in town, and the fields will be outside of the town. Being close to the village means that the families will be able to reach the health centers, too. We hope to have the land purchased in the next week or two, and to go out to Sake for a celebration before I leave.

Hope. $3500. Redemption. Abundance. Amen.

2 Comments:

Anonymous The Librarian said...

Tonight's the Hunger Banquet at church. I'm using your photos and words to share this awesome story with the rest of the congregation.

Thanks be to God!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 9:05:00 AM

 
Blogger texasinafrica said...

that is awesome. thanks!!!!!

Thursday, May 11, 2006 3:05:00 AM

 

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