Feature

Moninga Malamu

GCF in Action

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Brice Ngoyela, a member of a C&MA church in the Republic of the Congo, was assisting with our orphanage ministry, which involves monthly distribution of food items purchased through a generous donor in New Jersey and, at two orphanages, Bible lessons and verse memory. Brice himself is not an orphan, but because his parents were irresponsible, he was placed in the home of an aunt and uncle. There, he experienced discrimination in sleeping quarters, division of food, clothing and medical care. He felt like a slave more than a member of the family. Brice knew of many children living with parental figures, such as grandmothers, uncles, aunts or older brothers or sisters.

When the donor visited in February 2011, he shared his vision to have a ministry to these kids. We called it “Good Friend Ministry,” or in the trade language here in Brazzaville, “Moninga Malamu.” Brice himself went into the neighborhoods surrounding his C&MA church to locate the kids. He asked neighbors about the conditions and family relationships and informed these children, who live in extreme poverty, when and where to come; approximately 75 now attend.

Good Friend, which welcomes children up to age 14, meets every other week, with several volunteers from the local C&MA assisting. When the children arrive, you can feel the joy and the sense of “family” and community in the group. They walk together, help one another and obviously feel at home and know they are loved and remembered. They notice when someone doesn’t come and know the “why” of one another’s absence. The day starts with singing, and then I or one of the volunteers lead Bible memory time and tell a Bible story. This is followed by coloring and skits—and more good singing. Afterward, each child is given a bag of food worth approximately USD$15. With this food coming into the household, the child now has value and the discrimination lessens.

A parental figure comes with the smaller children, giving us the privilege to minister to them also as they hear the Bible story and join in the verse memory. Several adults have joined the Body of Christ because of this and are now attending church on Sundays. Also, two young men have turned their lives around since being part of Good Friend. Their neighbors have noticed much less anger from the teens, and the boys’ parental figures are impressed with their new attitudes toward the other children in their respective households.

In July, we began a second site for Moninga Malamu in another neighborhood of Brazzaville. Seventeen children came with their parent figures, which multiplies the impact.

Each week at both locations we have a time to pray for the sick and for difficulties in the children’s lives. Stefans is 11 years old. His mother is a prostitute, and Stefans and his five siblings each have different fathers, none of whom are involved in the family. A neighbor said it is only by grace that the children eat each day.

Celia, 14, has a caring father but suffers from sickle cell anemia, a disease that took her mother’s life. Over the summer Celia realized how dark her future is. Pray for her to know that the Bible is a friend that will speak peace to her during her suffering. And please pray for a miracle of healing.

Your gift to the Great Commission Fund (GCF) supports Alliance international workers, like Barb, who are partnering with national church leaders to introduce lost people to Jesus. To donate go to www.cmalliance/give.

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