Where do I start to tell you about all that we’ve seen? The need is overwhelming. It presses my heart like a weight mixed equally with both despair and hope. The despair in which so many live is truly unimaginable. To see their reality, created by circumstance they have not chosen, is a grief indescribable. They despair in the lack of any means to support children, of any real hope of medical recovery, of anyone who could intervene to bring some measure of change.
And I too find myself choked by tears of despair. I despair to think of the families we will never reach, those throughout Congo who will remain unseen in their pain and suffering. I asked the question, “Is it worse here than elsewhere in Congo?” “No” was the answer: “Everywhere it is like this. People live in total misery.”
I despair to think that we can never expand enough, reach them quickly enough, garner enough resources to impact each life in need.
But that despair is mixed with equal hope. The hope amid grief is that God does not abandon us even amidst such unimaginable difficulty. One day the suffering ends. One day the sickness and hunger and pressing weight of poverty will be no more.
But there is hope too when I think of what he has done through Mwana Villages. Those whose lives once resembled the broken, poverty-drenched trap in which so many live now see a different day. Their days consist of work and food and family and peace. Those like Mama Rebecca and her grandsons. Those who have a testimony of their own to share turn and serve others.
There is hope when I consider the holistic model in which we so firmly believe: family first. Meet the urgent needs, work toward long-term self sufficiency all the while showing love and dignity and worth. There is hope when I consider that people with resources rally around those without. Yes, there is hope for what can be done.
And when I see the flicker of hope in their eyes too, I know it’s not too late, and we better get to work.