OMS is a Church Planting Mission Movement and as such seeks to establish relevant churches, those that will have a holistic impact on the community.
Orphans live, dream and bathe in gutters, alleys and graveyards.
Photos below from Farm of Hope School for Orphans
(see letter at right)
OMS ministries have seen about 13,300 churches established in more than 25 African countries in the last ten years. These churches have been established in towns, villages and cities that have been ravaged by years of merciless wars in which children have been the greatest victims.
OMS is a Church Planting Mission Movement and as such seeks to establish relevant churches, those that will have a holistic impact on the community. The proclamation of the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ among children struggling to survive another day can only be truly effective when the church endeavors to meet their most basic human needs.
Africa’s wars have been harshest on her most vulnerable treasure, her defenseless children. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the so-called “Land of the Approximate,” estimates of orphaned children range from 50,000 to 100,000. African orphans are a by-product of dysfunctional societies and family structures. They have been orphaned for a number of reasons, but mostly related directly or indirectly to the savage wars. Marauding armies have separated fleeing families, killed parents, and captured children as unwilling conscripts, and sex slaves.
Street children are an entrenched phenomenon in Africa, and for their survival they gather into gangs led by strongmen who assign prostitution and protection duties in return for personal shelter. Children live, dream and bathe in gutters, alleys and graveyards. They beg steal and sell their bodies to eke out a daily existence that knows no hope beyond the next meal. Drug pushers also exploit orphans, who are increasingly turning to crime to pay for their addictions. Girls, as young as six, are finding out that their bodies can be sold for a meal. Desperate parents have not been immune from selling their children to commercial sex syndicates. Cult pastors are paid to cleanse families from child witches, a finger raised at hapless children can see them cast out of their family and abandoned to the harsh reality of a nomadic life among the reeking squalor of Africa’s gutters and alleys.
Every time I am asked to write an article on Africa’s children I am also conscious of a number of NGO’s who earn a living from fundraising for destitute orphans. A sad story with a telling photo and unscrupulous fund-raisers are on the way to living advantaged lives as they join the ranks of exploitation. They drive the latest 4X4’s, have the latest technological comforts, live in comfortable city homes while in remote villages orphans live in rags, are unschooled, and are fortunate to eat meat once a year.
OMS Africa is committed to ensuring that this will not happen in the projects we support, and that donor money will be properly accounted for. We are committed to ensuring that compassionate programs are embedded in responsible churches where communities lovingly take responsibility for the rehabilitation, social integration, medical needs, education, and vocational training of orphans.
Increasingly these days I am beginning to understand the words of Jesus when he said:
Then the King will say to those at His right, "Come, my Father's blessed ones, receive your inheritance of the Kingdom which has been divinely intended for you ever since the creation of the world. For when I was hungry, you gave me food; when I was thirsty, you gave me drink; when I was homeless, you gave me a welcome; when I was ill-clad, you clothed me; when I was sick, you visited me; when I was in prison, you came to see me."
"When, Lord," the righteous will reply, "did we see Thee hungry, and feed Thee; or thirsty, and give Thee drink? When did we see Thee homeless, and give Thee a welcome? Or ill clad, and clothe Thee? When did we see Thee sick or in prison, and come to see Thee?" But the King will answer them; "In solemn truth I tell you that in so far as you rendered such services to one of the humblest of these my brethren, you rendered them to myself." (Matthew 25:34-40)
May God grant you wisdom as you consider ways in which you can transform the lives of African orphans!
In a cause that keeps breaking my heart,
Regional Director: Africa
One Mission Society
OMS Africa believes that spiritually maturing churches need to be actively involved in mercy ministries. We encourage our churches to adopt and foster orphans, start feeding schemes, and where necessary open orphanages.
African orphans are a by-product of dysfunctional societies and family structures. They have been orphaned for a number of reasons but mostly related directly or indirectly to the savage wars. Marauding armies have separated fleeing families, killed parents, and captured children as unwilling conscripts, and sex-slaves.
Several countries served by Into Africa ministries have experienced the ravages of war in recent years--including the area around Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Estimates of orphaned children in the DRC, the so-called "Land of the Approximate," range from 50,000 to 100,000.
As of June 2011, the VCP Church Register indicates that Into Africa Project churches were reaching out to approximately 28,000 orphans in their communities. The actual figure may be significantly higher.
Click here to view photos of orphans and other refugees at a refugee camp in the Goma area of the DRC.
Click here to view an article on an orphanage being established in Mbuji-Mayi, DRC.
Click here to view an article on the Farm of Hope end-of-year celebration in Uvira, DRC.
The Farm of Hope School in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo reaches out to the many children orphaned in the area by war. The following is a status report from September 2008 on the ministry from Floribert Kazingufu, the school's coordinator and a legal representative of Into Africa's local partner.
The school is now operating both primary and secondary programs, with separate headmasters for the elementary and secondary schools. We have hired three teachers for secondary school grades 7-9.
This year , the number of orphans has doubled in all classes, making it difficult for the teachers to manage. We face many challenges, including the following needs that I would like to mention:
At present, the school has the following number of students:
We thank those who have been thinking about us in the past and we invite you again to continue bringing your "stone" of contribution toward the construction of this beautiful tower of ages. Remember that your contribution is noticed by someone who sees everything. He will reward you!
We can indeed learn from these verses in Ecclesiastes 11:1-2, "Cast thy bread upon the waters; for thou shalt find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth."
Thank you for continuing your support to these kids and the world.
REMAC legal Representative
Farm of Hope Coordinator
Democratic Republic of Congo
PS: Photos taken during distribution of pencils donated by an American student.