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What is the most important responsibility of a Christian in the world today? When examining Scripture, we are to look into the life and character of Jesus Christ and mirror our lives to His example. We are to follow His last command of going into the world to make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey and follow Him. Our obligation to the Lord is to further His kingdom by seeking to tell and display the love of Christ among the nations. And this is exactly what we are doing in the Republic of Congo with our MissionGO ministries—The Kimia Leprosy Center and our Feeding and Nutrition Program.

The Kimia Leprosy Center

Our work is vital as we are the only leprosy center in the region—and these people would have no other way of getting this treatment. An old hymn reads, “All because we do not love them, millions fill the heathen grave; brother, can you see them perish, when a little love would save? Love undying, love eternal—will impel us to our duty.” What a joy it is to bring lasting physical treatment coupled with lasting eternal hope for a neglected people.

Our Kimia Leprosy Center is a respite for those suffering from a horrible disease. We are currently at full capacity at the Center with 28 residents, as we administer treatment for leprosy. Treatment may last from 6 months to a year depending on the stage of their leprosy. It is important that they are treated at the Center, as the concept of taking the treatment in a timely manner is not well understood in their culture. Untreated, bacteria destroys the skin and nerves over time. Leprosy can cause deformity, crippling, and blindness. With treatment, tremendous effects will occur as the medicine halts the process completely! As it will not repair past cellular damage, our missionaries train residents and their families how to take care of affected limbs (such as wearing socks, using rolled-up leaves to grab a warm pot, etc.). We proactively take medical trips deep into the tropical rainforest on a regular basis to find individuals with signs of leprosy and others who need medical attention for various tropical diseases. Our missionaries, Sarah and Serge, often have to cut out infections, repair broken bones, and practice wound care.

Cultural Background: While 95% of the world’s population has a natural immunity to leprosy, the Aka Pygmies in whom we serve are not immune. In fact, they are prone to it. Sadly, they are the downtrodden and known as outcasts of society, as they are treated very poorly by other tribal groups. However, we bring hope to them and tell them of their true identity in Jesus! Because this people group is vastly unreached, this is the first time they are hearing the name of Jesus, and their hearts are open!

Feeding and Nutrition Program

“If a brother or sister is…destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus, also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 2:15-17

Our Feeding and Nutrition Program (led by Jesse Mitchell, our missionary and program chef) responds to the critical need in the region. Malnutrition is rampant. In the region in which we serve, the forest has been ravished by other tribal groups. The Aka Pygmies now mostly search for honey, caterpillars, and fish, yet since many of the natural resources have been destroyed, it leaves them suffering from malnutrition and very susceptible to destructive diseases such as leprosy, yaws, and tuberculosis—along with serious infections! In order to break the cycle of malnutrition, our program establishes food security by teaching locals how to grow food in a sustainable way. Our gardens produce local varieties of fruits and vegetables. This produce is used in preparation for meals—and various cooking techniques are taught as well. Jesse is also working on ways to expand the lifetime of the produce by a process of drying, which preserves food for the dry season! By drying other plants (such as moringa leaves), they will serve as nutritional supplements. Agricultural development is a foundation for a strong community.

Cultural Background: The Aka Pygmies are a nomadic people group. This means they do not stay in one place—thus, they have no knowledge of farming. As our missionaries teach them sustainable living (such as building gardens, teaching composting, and crop rotation), the community improves!

Around 3 million children in the Congo are intensely malnourished. If a child is not properly nourished by the age of five, the child can suffer irreversible physical limitations for a lifetime. Our missionaries form personal relationships with families who bring their babies suffering from malnutrition. Children come to our Mission Station every morning and evening for feedings. Medical screening, nutrition training—and most importantly—the Gospel, are all shared with these families! MissionGO also has a stateside missionary who, by using her nutritionist background, provides nutrition consultation and program support.

The ultimate goal is not only to alleviate their temporary suffering but also for these cherished people to learn of the One who suffered that they may be wonderfully and intimately known by Jesus Christ. Their Creator knows exactly what ails them and has the power to heal. While we work to restore their community in tangible ways, we also seek to restore their spiritual brokenness. Recently, through the impact of Bible Studies, a young man received Christ and asked one of our missionaries to be involved in his baptism and be a spiritual mentor!

These crucial ministries are funded by faithful supporters like you. If these ministries do not have the support, there are no others to replace us in this work! Not only do we strongly desire to maintain these ministries, but also, we have many opportunities to grow! Acres surround our property and the ways to expand are numerous to meet our growing demand. This is a pivotal time in us praying and seeking the Lord’s leading on the Kimia Center and The Feeding and Nutrition Program.

Our immediate need is $56,000 USD ($68,000 CAD) to support these ongoing ministries and their operation through the end of the year. Your gift today will provide such things as nutrition for our patients and their families at the Center, fuel and repairs for vehicles, surgeries, medical supplies, medical screening equipment, upkeep and maintenance, river trips for finding new patients, seeds, additional food items from the local market, support for our Canadian missionaries in the Congo, and so much more. Your financial gifts of kindness go directly to meet the needs of the Congolese who are in desperate need of physical attention and spiritual truth. By giving a one-time or reoccurring donation, you “rescue the perishing, care for the dying” and help us “tell them a Saviour has died.” By His wounds, we are healed. Amen!