by Elisante S., BSN student from Tanzania
When we arrived at the Ibambi village, we were welcomed by many people celebrating our arrival. People and children happily danced. “God bless you!” they sang.
My outreach team from Bible School for the Nations was beginning the first in a series of three yearly seminars about relationship with God, how God has called us to live, and how to transform our society to be like His kingdom. The seminar is called “BELT,” Bible Education and Leadership Training.
I could see in the peoples’ eyes their expectation and hope. The welcoming was so touching; it brought tears to my eyes to see these people giving us all this honor. It was like they wanted us to know that we finally brought what they had been looking for for so long.
Last year, epidemics tore through Ibambe. So many children were lost. Some families lost up to four kids, others lost all the children they had. The children I saw were almost naked and poorly fed. They always carried their younger siblings strapped to their backs. Many of the families had been large and the parents struggled to care for all their children.
This place is full of poverty but it should not be that way. The land is rich! Yet even the school and health care center we visited were so very poor. Last year’s disaster could have, should have, been prevented–what about next year?
My heart was broken. I lost hope. I thought it was impossible to even want to come back here next year. What if I return only to discover another epidemic wiped out these beautiful little children? As I spent my free time with the kids, teaching them Tanzanian Swahili songs, I prayed for them. Even as I praised God, I asked him in honesty, “Is there any hope?”
God worked in my heart while we were in Ibambi. He restored my hope and helped me see answers. I know there is a lot that can been done in the Congo. The only way to stop the enemy from snatching the lives of the kids in the Congo is to teach the people the Truth, the Word of God.
It is going to take God’s principles being applied to see kids being valued, loved and brought up in the right way. We need to know the values that God has for people, knowing God for who He is will bring transformation and kids will be safe.
I believe that the BELT seminar will bring transformation and revival. I want to keep coming back to the Congo to run these BELT seminars and outreaches to train leaders who will reach others!