Al's story of his mission trip to Rwanda/Congo:
“In 2016 during an Elim M-Power meeting led by Mark Lindon-Jones, I felt challenged to go on a mission trip that would be out of my comfort zones. Mark mentioned a trip going to Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Rwanda, and I knew this was for me, and for a friend who would have a life changing experience and know the love of God in a practical and challenging way. I felt this was a fantastic opportunity for the men across Elim to step out in faith on mission, challenging us to break the comfortable lifestyles many have in countries such as the UK.
The DRC is a very beautiful yet broken country, tainted with corruption, poverty and war. It is the 4th most dangerous country in the world, with the most cases of rape in the world. The team were unable to get travel insurance and were advised not to go by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. A great start to a mission trip!
Whilst working with ‘Comfort Rwanda and Congo’ we were involved in several projects such as supporting rape survivors at the Rusayu Clinic. Opened in 2015, it supports victims who needed hospitalisation following rape attacks. This clinic also supports women during pregnancy and childbirth, providing pre and post natal care from pregnancy resulting from rape. The MPower team helped build a pre and post natal support facility to create space and resources for this to happen. As a team we raised over £11,500 towards the building!
Survivors of rape in North Kivu have been subjected to terrible abuse. Multiple rape often leads to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual trauma. Husbands and families often reject victims; their families may even be killed. ‘Comfort Congo’ gathered over 150 women aged from 13-85, all who had been raped, to minister healing and hope into their lives. The MPower team worked with the rape survivors and with men in the area to teach what it means to protect and value women. We were overwhelmed at the response and lost for words but all knew the power of prayer. As a team we felt it necessary to ask for forgiveness for what men had done to these women. We knelt and washed the women’s feet (babies included) with soft soap and prayed and ministered to them. There were many tears and hugs from the women. They said that they have never seen men do such acts of kindness before. This was such a powerful moment for all concerned and an experience none of us will ever forget.
Child soldiers are a vulnerable group who desperately need support. Deeply traumatised, dislocated from their homes and bereaved of their families, without income or support structures, they need educational, spiritual, social and practical support. Dozens of ex-child soldiers came to MPOWER mission. Many of the team were deeply affected by the horror stories but also amazed at the wonderful work that had changed their lives through accepting the Lord Jesus. We had the amazing privilege of working with these children; teaching and building a new wing for accommodation. I personally had the privilege of teaching Kingdom Business principles to a number of the teenage solders, and I was amazed at the way they grasped the concept and were inspired. The testimonies were devastating of children killing many and being used as sex slaves to the rebel army. A feeding programme had begun and land bought to create a ‘village of hope’ where the ex-soldiers were given free education and emotional support.
Mission will always be through someone else’s eyes, and always will remain through someone else’s eyes until you see and witness these amazing challenges for yourself and GO ON A MISSION!”
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