International Widows and Orphans Fund (iWof) was formed out of the concern for orphans in one of the world’s most dangerous places to live – Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Our Vision is to partner with orphanages around the world where we supply resources in support of what they are already doing. We recognise that they have the local knowledge to minister to children with no family to take care of them. We see it as a true partnership.
Here follows a true story by a student in the orphanage, Anna Mbilizi, with assistance from a staff member, Sofiya Tambwe. Translation from Swahili to English by David Mtange.
My Name is ANNA MBILIZI. I was born in Mushero village and I grew up in Kigongo village on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. Both my parents were Christians, and my father died from an injury from a fall. Three years later my mom was taken by men from our house to an unknown place, and till today I have not heard any news concerning her life.
My mom told me that she gave birth to 1 boy and 2 girls before she met my dad, and that she left them at their home village. I wanted to see them but could not due to a long distance.
My Mom is taken away
My mom was a prayerful lady and many times she taught me to intercede for other people. She loved me and I also loved her a lot. One day at noon, two armed men came to our house. As there was nobody in the house, they walked up to our field where I was working with my mom. After a while they told her to stop working, and led both of us back to our house.
They told her to take clothes from the house and then they took her to unknown place, leaving me behind. I cried a lot wanting to follow my mom, but I was stopped and knocked down. I returned home knowing that my mom is going to be killed. A neighbor came to hug and comfort me, and told me that my mom would be back after a while. He took me to his house and I stayed there for long time, waiting for my mom to come back, but she never came.
Life on the Street
I felt very unhappy to stay in that neighbor’s house and decided to start living a street life. On the street my life turned very bad. There was no food, clothes, shoes, medication nor education. We were drinking very bad water, sleeping outside without something to cover us at night. Often boys were molesting the girls. I hated life on the street, but I had no other place to live.
One day I met Brother Hosea sharing the word of God with fellow street kids. I felt his speech corresponded to what my mom was telling me. After his preaching I had some time to talk to him concerning my life on the street and where I came from.
I get invited to Grace Home
I asked him if he could find a place for me to live at his church. Hosea did not answer right away, and later told me to wait for him and that he would be back within 1 week. Hosea left and I kept waiting. After a week he returned, and when I saw him from afar, I immediately rushed to hug him. He then told me to wait for him until the end of the service. After the service he took me with him to the children’s home where I am living now.
Life at the orphanage
Here at the orphanage, I’m learning to sing, and I do help with kitchen work each Saturday. I am always happy when I serve food to my fellow children at the dining room. I feel so good when they clap hands for me after the leaders mention my name. I also help to clean the girls’ room each weekend. While at the orphanage, my life has changed a lot. I love to serve others; I love to swim and to sing. Football is my favorite game.
I can now go to school!
I had a lot of difficulty during my first month at school, but now thank God for Grand David’s teachings each Sunday evening about the importance of school in a person’s life. I am now doing well in class and I had passed my exams. I keep praying that I will pass to the next class. I thank God for Oceanside Church to support us. I am working hard to achieve my vision of becoming a pastor.
Please stand with us as we give these children hope in a country where there is very little hope for children. Visit our website at www.grace-orphanage.org to read more and get involved. Also see regular updates on our Facebook page at Congo Grace Orphanage.