Beni is a northeastern city in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It lies directly west of Virunga National Park (known for its mountain gorillas and intermittent scenes of violence) and borders Uganda. Since October 2014, over 3,000 people have died in a series of attacks in and near Beni which have been attributed to Ugandan Islamist rebels. Beni has also been a hotspot for Ebola outbreaks, leaving thousands of kids without families and without hope.Jeremie and Jean were two such children. Their parents were killed by rebels. We don’t know how they survived the attack and the days that followed, but the 4- and 6-year-old pair were found by a journalist who brought them to an orphan home in Beni. Jeremie and Jean were dangerously malnourished and pathetically sapped of hope.Train Them 2 Fish supports three orphanages in Beni by providing food, clean water, and other necessities to the children. When the leading lady of the children’s home received the two new boys, she alerted us to their urgent need and asked for help. We brought them what nutritious food that we could find and provided for their care, but Jeremie’s health declined. Heartbreakingly, only three weeks after we first made contact with him, Jeremie passed away. Happily, Jean is alive and in good health and he is currently living in the orphan home under the supervision of Train Them 2 Fish. At this time, a legal process is underway for him to be adopted by a loving family in the United States who financially supported both of the boys in their time of dire need. We believe that God has a special plan for young Jean’s life.In the country of DRC, there are thousands of children who are malnourished and facing a similar plight to that of Jeremie and Jean. Your support and prayers will give us the ability to spread hope and to offer much-needed supplies to the children in Beni and beyond. While not every case will result in the positive outcome we hope for (such as in Jeremie’s) the opportunity to show a child what God’s love is like is a treasured experience. For all of the children who receive a second chance at life (like Jean) we pray that they will grow up to be strong men and women of faith who spread the hope of Jesus’ soon return–the ultimate rescue.
According to UNICEF, more than 4 million children have lost at least one parent in Congo over the last two decades. It reports that 770,000 are left orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS and about 2,500 due to Ebola. Only 120,000 of these DR Congolese orphans are receiving support, and 400,000 are severely malnourished and at risk of death.
Since 2012, Train Them 2 Fish (through the support of donors) has impacted hundreds of orphaned and needy kids by covering their education and living costs, often placing them in Christian homes with an Adventist Bible worker assigned to their case. This practice has resulted in multiple baptisms and a church plant comprised of sponsored orphans along with their “new” families.