Great Progress in Goma [Becky’s 1st Blog from Africa]

10 Mar

Great Progress in Goma [Becky’s 1st Blog from Africa]

Can you believe these children’s toys are made from tightly-twisted plastic bags (like the kind you bring home from Walmart)?

Dear Friends,

Diane and I were quite taken back as we disembarked from our car. Women and children were greeting us with singing and dancing! It was so humbling, as we knew we were undeserving of such an honor, but it helped us realize how grateful all of them are for the help they’ve been receiving from Heaven’s Family. I know that we only represent the many donors who have loved and cared for them. I want you to know that they are so thankful for you! So please keep reading!

Heaven’s Family has been working in war-torn Goma, DR Congo, for a number of years. I was returning, along with HF staff member Diane Scott, to see how our investments are making a difference.

One of our primary projects in Goma has been a vocational training center for impoverished refugee women, most of whom have been sexually abused or widowed as a result of the region’s wars. Our goal is to help women become self-sufficient by using the skills they learn, such as sewing, embroidery, weaving (baskets and handbags), crocheting (with recycled plastic bags) and manufacturing soap. I’m happy to report that, since our previous visit about a year ago, there has been wonderful progress and fruit.

Last year, 40 women were struggllng to learn to sew on a total of 4 sewing machines. And what they were producing was of such poor quality that it was essentially unmarketable. Because of gifts to our Christian Refugees Fund, however, the women now have 20 sewing machines on which to learn and practice. And today, we saw some newly-made garments of very high quality…and amazingly sewn without patterns! The vocational training center is now earning some profits!

Foot power: All 20 sewing machines are treadles of course, as electricity is sporadic in Goma.

A sampling of the soap that is being manufactured at our vocational training center. The women told us that they are anticipating a contract to provide soap for a local prison, which could mean a huge boost to their soap production.

Diane and I were also very encouraged to learn of women who have completed the sewing program and who are now successfully using their skills to support themselves and their children. This program is working! Although it is a small ministry working on a shoestring budget, women’s lives are dramatically improving.

Beautiful shopping baskets woven by beautiful ladies!

Since last year’s visit, the entire atmosphere of the vocational training center has changed. There is joy, hope, love and laughter. The women have also been receiving trauma counseling, and many have turned to the Lord and forgiven those who had abused them.

Your prayers and love are a huge part of this transformation. The women are all well aware of that and are so appreciative. Thank you for caring for these marginalized women. God is answering your prayers…and theirs!


Becky Servant
Director, Christian Refugees Fund

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