A Mustard Seed Planted

This is the last week to purchase hip camera accessories with mod. Benefiting JabuAfrica. We are so thankful for their partnership and belief that together we can bring hope!

Here is another post from our friend, Rody. This is a moving story of how your actions are changing lived in DRC.

A Mustard Seed Planted in Musamba

The Bible uses the mustard seed as a sign of hope because it is one of the smallest of seeds but properly nurtured can grow so large to even be a home for birds. That’s why we call our “Masumba Childhood Nutrition Program” a mustard seed of hope.

In 2012, Alice and I raised $40,000 among parishioners I had served over the past 35 years to be a foundation of funding for the first three years of an experimental program in Musamba Village. We came to this one village at the invitation of one of the United Methodist bishops of the area. Even though there is still a small hospital in this very isolated place of about 10,000 people no significant help of any kind had reached the village for over thirty years. “Couldn’t we come, spend some time and see what we might do to help even in some small way.” This was Bishop Katembo’s request.

So we:
• Began to communicate through e-mail with the head of the hospital who assigned a small of group of nurses to work with us.
• We found an American company who produced a high quality grinder to make the RUTF and purchased two of them. We ran our own trials to make sure we could produce the RUTF efficiently and effectively.
• We found sources for all the ingredients to make the therapeutic food in the DRC except for the vitamins that we had to purchase in South Africa.
• We had people who worked for the UM church purchase all the ingredients in Lubumbashi, the closest major city.

Then in May of 2012 we arrived in the village, ( a 2 ½ hour small plane ride from Lubumbashi)trained a team of five nurses, two workers and a supervisor and began to feed kids. The nurse we had brought with us to lead the training had to return after the initial ten day period but Alice and I stayed for a month and got to see the first sixteen children literally go from near death to life!

As of today we have given almost two hundred children a chance for a full life and the program has been so successful, now run completely by local people, that we will be able to double the number of children (400) this coming June when we return with a new team.

While transportation costs are very expensive as of today all volunteers have paid their own ways to the DRC and we have been able to use all gifts directly for the nutrition program. We do need to offer some small travel scholarships to a few of the young adults going with us this year but still 95% of all gifts go the salaries of the workers, equipment and the RUTF for the children.

We function under the auspices of Our Family in Africa and all gifts should be marked “OFA-Nutrition Program.” We also have ties to “Hope for the Children of Africa,” a program of the Pacific Northwest United Methodist Church and Jabu Africa who have so graciously welcomed us their web site.

You can read a daily blog on our first trip in 2012 at my web site, rodyrowe.com and watch this space for my next entry about the new things our 2013 teams hopes to accomplish in collaboration with the people of Masumba Village. You can also reach me at rodyrowe@gmail.com

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