Monday, December 20, 2010


I was able to get a bit of cooperation to get most of the boys looking my way to snap this picture.

We're really grateful for the past year with it's successes & provision.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


This is 11 year old Nathan. He is one of the boys the Katanga province justice department brought to us 2 months ago. He had spent 1 month in adult jail for picking up a plastic bag he found by the side of the road. He was brought to us because no family had come to look for him.
Three days ago Michael went to the address Nathan gave him for his family. Michael was quite surprised to find the various aunts, uncles, children & other relatives angry at his even bring up Nathan's name. He'd been chased out (along with his twin brother) for being a witch. They believe the deaths in the family (including his mother's) were all caused by Nathan & his brother. This is a familiar reason for boys to be thrown out as the society tries to find a scape goat for the tragedies they face. I'm just glad he is with us enjoying playing, school and just being a boy.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ilunga & Mulumba

Here is 16 yr. old Ilunga & young brother, 14 yr. old Mulumba. They've been with us for a year and a 1/2 and are 2 of my very favorite boys. They have suffered difficulty most of their young lives but now are thriving in the safe place that God has made for them. They fled their home days after their mother died as they overheard her family blaming her death on them being witches. The conclusion was that Ilunga & Mulumba should die. They were 8 & 10 years old at the time. As they traveled on top of or under trains Ilunga made sure that Mulumba was safe; even, on one occasion, choosing to risk death or serious injury letting go of his safe place under the train when he saw Mulumba had fallen so that they would remain together.
We call Ilunga 'Commander' because he behaves like a soldier. Don't do the wrong thing where he can see you or he'll correct you or make sure that you are brought before some authority regardless of the cost to him. He is a young gentleman in a land where you don't find such people.

Monday, October 11, 2010


This is 16 year old Kale. He has been with us since April of 2007, when he came one day with another boy. He was very dirty & I think high on glue or some other chemical. How he has changed! He now loves school (he's in 7th grade) and is really beginning to do well. Before he came to live with us he worked stealing whatever he could. His father died leaving his mother alone with him and 2 sisters. A couple of weeks ago he was telling me about that experience and how he (at age 7 or 8) would go to the market & pick up pieces of corn to bring back to his mom & sisters so they would have something to eat. Not long after he began to ride trains back & forth from the province he lived in to Lubumbashi. I'm so thankful that the Lord has kept him & that he now has hope.

What we eat.

This, on the left, is what the Congolese MUST eat. It's bucardi. Corn meal & water. They haven't eaten if they haven't had this. Even if they ate a chicken, rice, 3 vegetables, potatoes, bread....etc. If they haven't had bucardi they haven't eaten.
But on Sundays we've started having spaghetti. They think it's for variety (which is partly true) but the reason we started eating it is because it was and still is on sale for .83/pkg.

And this is Michael showing us all how to cook spaghetti Nigerian style.
Everyone was shocked to see him cooking because that is not something men do in DRC.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cooking fuel

This is Dauphine, the man who comes every Thursday to bring the charcoal we cook with. He usually arrives at the house around 8 or 9 in the morning; after riding from his home for about an hour. We spend about $80 per month on charcoal. The bundles of charcoal weigh around 25 pounds each. I see many men in & around Lubumbashi selling charcoal. Many of them ride their bikes for hours & hours.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Jeres & Toto discuss whether or not to amputate Jeres big toe. Jeres of course argued hard to keep it while Toto teased him that maybe it would be best to cut it off since it had a small injury that required too many bandaids. Jeres lost both his parents and has been with us since May. He is eager to be getting on with school and is in 1st grade.
His toe averted amputation!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wash day.

Every Saturday morning the boys wash their clothes. Well they are supposed to wash their clothes. It has been a battle all along in every way. First just to get them to do it, to get them to wash all their clothes that are dirty, to admit that something is dirty, to not use all the soap (too much is not enough), to not fight over the buckets & basins, to wash more than one person per basin, etc, etc, etc. The battle goes on & on. I usually use the carrot of soccer or showing a DVD to get them started & to finish. But still you'll end up with someone like Kamba with a pile of dirty clothes hidden under his bed or worse yet in a basin of water.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

MY hero.

Tarzan, the wonder cat. Responsible for making sure all the rodents, large & small, are either dead or at least stay on the roof. Thanks Tarzan.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Before & After pics

Wanted to show in pictures what the Lord has been doing here since 2005. The picture of the boys receiving bread & tea was taken while they were still living on the street. That is Yannick pointing and looking at the camera. AND here is Yannick today in the suit that our friends in Belgium provided. Transformation. And not just outward but I am thrilled to report that not only is Yannick now dressed, fed & sleeping well but he's learning about the Lord, receiving an education and being reconnected with his family. That is resurrection power!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010


Here's Aaron with his 1st level class. He is a good teacher, a pastor and I think an artist. I always like to go in and just look at his writing on the board. Below is an example of his handwriting. In the Congo school system great emphasis is put on handwriting... actually it is more calligraphy than just handwriting. I think it's pretty.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Katanga fabrics

Here are the some of the boys 'modeling' some of the fabrics that I see everywhere, everyday.
Above is Ilunga with the black/tan/white. Below is Yannick with green and Jacque is holding the orange/yellow/white. Most of the women, and some of the men, where clothing made from bright bold fabrics like these. I love to look at all the colors & patterns they wear.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Before & After pics

Here is what they looked like when there were 12 of them.... 2007.
Now they are 30 and how they've grown!! God is good!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Thank you Belgians!

Here are the 4th level boys with their teacher, Mr. Gerome. They are wearing sports clothing that the Belgians furnished money for. The boys love having outfits for physical ed & to wear to play soccer.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Belgian gifts.

Here are the boys & Michael with Samera, receiving the letters, cards & pictures that Samera brought them from Belgium. Samera's stepmother, Michele Dokens, lives in Belgium where she works for a private school. Because of her the ministry was the school's Christmas 'project'. The kids there raised money for school supplies and lots of other things, which Michele will have shipped to us. The boys were very happy & excited to get letters & pictures of the classes in Belgium. We're very grateful for Michele, the kids, their families, the teachers and the school for all they've done. THANK YOU!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

What THEY eat. WARNING: disgusting.

Sorry for any ill effects these pics may have on you. Just wanted to show a slice of life from here in Lubumbashi. The boys were happy & excited last week that these big fat catepillars were part of their meal. I could not look at them let alone give even 1 a try.

More cooking in Congo.

This is the kitchen. And that thing that looks like a wheel of a tire filled with charcoal is just that and serves as one of the stoves we use. In the back ground is bags filled with the charcoal that we use. It is made by a man who brings it once per week (more on him in the near future). Two of the boys work in the kitchen with the cook for 2 weeks at a time. It is has helped them to learn to schedule their lives as they have to haul water, start the fires, go to the bakery for bread, chop vegetables, etc..... And do all of this along with their school duties. It has been a humbling process for them also as males in Congo usually don't help with cooking at all.

Monday, February 8, 2010

What we eat.

The giant, wooden mortar & pestle thing above is to smash
saumbie (sp?) leaves; which are then cooked and then we eat them. One of the boys favorite greens.
This is Kambala doing the work of smashing and cooking.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

African bugs.

This is a Congolese lady bug, sitting on Kale's hand. It has yellow spots on a black stripe that runs down it's back and red down low on either side. Kale likes bugs.
There is a winged thing that comes out once a year that all the boys run after & jump up to catch. Then they eat it. Right there where they catch it. Adults tell me that it is good if you catch many & saute them. I'll never know.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Congo water source

This is the way we get water in Lubumbashi. Someone hauls it. This week Malumba had the job of hauling 9 of these plus filling up a large plastic barrel. Two boys share the job for 2 weeks then Toto appoints another 2. How far do they carry it? About 1/4 of a city block. In the past many a fight was fought to get the job finished, now (thanks to the Lord's transformational abilities) the job just gets done.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

In Jesus's Hands

This is 14 year old Fabrice. He came to live with us in April '09. He had seen Joe & Yanick at the soccer field for a couple of months and when he heard about where they were staying & since they had all been friends at one time Fabrice asked them to intervene on his behalf so that he could have a place to live & be able to attend school. Finally there was room for him & Michael told Joe & Yanick to bring him. After a couple of months with us Fabrice asked me for paper to draw something he had been thinking about. He drew the picture showing himself as a small sheep in Jesus's hands.

Looking back.

I just wanted to post these 2 pictures to show and remind myself of how far we have come in the area of the school. The picture on the left was taken in June '09 at a celebration of the boys progressing from one class to the next. Out of 28 boys, twenty seven of them passed onto the next class. Eleven of them jumping from 4th grade to 6th.
The picture below comes from September 2006 when we had just started. Teacher Edward was using a door as the blackboard to teach the 12 boys we had started with. Now we have 5 classes, 7 teachers and 6 blackboards. Real blackboards; like the one in the picture on the top.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

He restores my soul.

Here is Tshbaka (pronounced Chibaka) getting sugar for the morning tea. He's around 14 years old and is a wonderful example of the Lord's power to transform. He used to be a wild boy; disrespectful, rude, failed in school & didn't care. After being with us for 2 or 2-1/2 years he is a different guy. He opened up to us over the last year & told some of his background. His father died when he was 10 & he was hit with the ever popular accusation of being a witch. This meant that he was taken to a "pastor" and stripped and beaten. Hard. He was able to get away and that is part of how he ended up living on the streets. Also, in the last months I'd finally asked him why he didn't act like he heard well. Answer. Because he doesn't hear well. He'd experienced numerous ear infections with broken ear drums when he was small; explaining the reason he would act like someone with pretend ears. I am grateful that the Lord has saved Tshbaka and helped all of us get to know him. Now he is one of the sweeter boys we have, much calmer. And he is determined to do his best in school. AND when Tshbaka leads praise... everyone follows. It is awesome to see another of the diamonds God has given us being revealed.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Brothers united 2

Here are James & Matthew (Sengwa). The were reunited when 16 year old James came to live with us in early December. They came from a western province to live with their uncle after their parents died in 2008. Twelve year old Matthew came to live with us in April of last year due to difficulties in the uncle's family. When the difficulties hadn't been ironed out James joined him. I am glad that we had room for them as the next thing for them would have been to join boys on the streets. They are both extremely intelligent and love school.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Comings and goings.

On the right is Bilonda, at the grade promotion we celebrated in June. Even though he was 2nd in his class & had been with us for over 4 years he decided to leave last month. I am sorry he left but glad that he at least is with his family even though they aren't able to put him in school. And the other picture is of Patrick who left for 1-1/2 years but after going all around Lubumbashi decided he would return to us no matter what. Unfortunately it is too common for some of the boys who have been with us the longest to decide to leave. But I am grateful that the Lord has brought much more stability to the mindsets of all the boys so that now we are at 30 boys.