lunch at La Grace

lunch at La Grace
Orphanage in Kinshasa, Congo


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Fufu anyone?

Fufu is the staple food of West and Central Africa. It is a thick paste of potatoes usually made by boiling starchy root vegetables in water and pounding with a mortar and pestle until the desired consistency is reached. In Western Africa, fufu is usually made from cassava, yams, and sometimes combined with cocoyam, plantains, or maize. The common method is to serve a mound of fufu along with a soup made from okra, fish (often dried), tomato, etc. Fufu products have been made into powder/flour and can be mixed with hot water to obtain the final product hence eliminating the arduous task of beating it in a mortar with a pestle. Photos: Dried cassava root being pounded into flour to be put in boiling water in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.A plate of fufu accompanied with peanut soup.Powdered Fufu mix.

Friday, February 26, 2010

"Kin La Belle" or "Kin La Poubelle?"

Residents of the Democratic Republic of Congo capital, Kinshasa, used to proudly call their city "Kin La Belle" (Kinshasa The Beautiful) but after years of neglect, they now disparage it as "Kin La Poubelle" (Kinshasa the Dustbin). According to the BBC the city council of Kinshasa has just three dustbin lorries (garbage trucks) for a population of 8million people!


pa·ri·ah /pəˈraɪə/ –noun
1. an outcast.
2. any person or animal that is generally despised or avoided.
3. (initial capital letter) a member of a low caste in southern India and Burma.

The Congo is a country where the belief in Witchcraft is common. Historically a norm practiced in the countryside it is now increasingly more present in the cities as well. The increasing beliefs in witches and sorcery have tended to mirror the social decay caused by war and poverty. Many of the street children that roam the Congo's cities have been cast out of their families after being denounced as witches. These homeless 'witch children' often live in cemeteries and only come out at night. Children....pariah?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Less than 100 days

We are within 100 days of leaving for the Congo. What an exciting time! Please pray as we seek to gather a strong support team and as we prepare our hearts to serve. We are reading a GREAT book on cultural intelligence where we are measuring our individual ability to engage successfully (in Congo) and are learning the importance of really knowing the culture of the people we seek to love in order to do so effectively. This is quite a feat for Westerners! My next couple of posts will be dedicated to sharing some things about the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Congolese. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Q: What is the #1 killer in Africa

1. A.I.D.S.?
2. Typhoid?
3. Malaria?
4. Yellow fever?

The answer is surprising to some. It has become a worldwide epidemic that impacts 350 to 500 million people each year. It kills about 1,000,000 people annually worldwide, 90 percent of those deaths are children in Africa. What is outrageous is that it is preventable! The answer is C. Malaria! Clink on the Bite Back Link on the side bar to learn more about Compassion International's response and their fight to save innocent lives from this deadly killer. We plan to help deliver treated mosquito netting to the orphans in Congo we will visit this summer. PLease let us know if you want to contribute to this project. We will hand deliver nets, in your name, for children in need!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Congo - June 2010

Skip and I have decided to proceed with plans to go to the Democratic Republic of Congo in June. As our earlier post explained this will be an invaluable way to gain training and experience for future orphan ministry. The need in Kinshasa is great in the aftermath of war. Our Congo Bridge Team will travel to the capital city and will come alongside of the Congolese to help them in their ongoing process of rebuilding with pastoral training, economic development, medical assistance and orphan care. We have just completed our family news and support letter with all of the details. Now we will begin making plans for our time away. Scheduling summer childcare, necessary vaccinations, visas and flights are next!
1st photo: lunch at La Grace de Dieu orphanage in Kinshasa
2nd photo: new medical clinic
3rd photo: a widow with 3 children takes 3 orphans into her home!!

Our 3rd visit to the E.R. since arriving in St Louis

This time it was Skip. Please pray for the healing of his left hand, severly severed with a serrated knife. I guess my brownies were too tough! 13 stitches later he is back together again and has several follow-up appointments in the works.
He is doing remarkably well!