“I want you to go to the farm” is what Innocent told us. You have met Innocent before; he is the UMC Missionary that handles the ECC Orphanages in Kinshasa. Well… he also has a farm?
There is this farm that ECC owns outside of town,in Lutendeli that is being used to grow food and help pay the expenses to feed these orphans, but it’s not near the orphanages.
So… we sent out on a new adventure.
Things in the Congo are not what them always seem and seldom what I’m expecting.The Eglise du Christ au Congo has a large piece of property in the country that wasn’t being used for farming anymore so Innocent thought it should be farmed for the orphans.
Many years ago apparently it was used as an agricultural training center. Very large fields and many buildings.
During the war in the early years of this century, it was abandoned. Just like so many other projects in the DRC during the conflict near Kinshasa. The NGOs (non-government organizations) left, the missionaries left, many institutions did not remain and programs were abandoned.
Now you can imagine what happens to property on the edge of the forest in the Congo. 15 years and the forest takes over. This is what I saw. Forest growth, old buildings, and even people that moved into some farmng buildings.
Today there is now a caretaker and family living there and workers farming there. After a year this property has crops and a few animals. It was not the farm I anticipated but it is a farm with a future.
This area that was once overgrown is now a place for a future source of homes, future jobs for the community, future food and a future income for the orphanages in nearby Kinshasa.
So… we parked the car 20 Kilometers out of town rode the motos another 5 miles though paths and roads that “no missionaries had gone before” (well almost) to see renewal.
To understand better what people can do. To understand that a missionary helps the widows and orphans, but also help improve life, provide work, and provide care to the earth.
But mostly… we see again, when the church works within a community, so much good can happen.
Even where the road is rough!