Dem. Rep. of Congo, Africa

DRC03a - Rehema Ministry - Secondary Education: Partnership Reports

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REPORT DATED: MAY 13, 2016 >

Report Date: September 22, 2022

Update from Rehema Ministry

Recent Events

Current Situation

Security in the country has remained very poor and if anything has even gotten worse. Our province (Ituri) and that of North Kivu are still under siege as it is led by the military. The general context is one of volatility and unpredictability with several active rebel groups operating around. We are also experiencing several riots including demonstrations against MONUSCO that the population think has been ineffective after 20 years in DRC without good results. Presently, politicians have started to move around as we are planning for the presidential election by 2023. This is another concern that may bring problems. 

New Pool

heart for the vulnerableFollowing the needs and opportunity around, we are now partnering with Mr Samoli (on left), another motivated volunteer pastor with a great heart for vulnerable children’s education who has approached us several times in the past to seek for possible support. He is coordinating our fourth pool of Rehema Ministry: the Rwampara and Mbio pools that are added to the three other pools namely the Shalom, Cite and Ngezi pools.

Since we got an increase in the Rehema funds last year, we immediately turned our attention to Pastor Samoli. He is married to Anibala Kalite and from their union they have been blessed with 8 children, 7 boys and 1 girl. Samoli has been working as a pastor since 1998 after completing his undergraduate studies in theology at the Shalom University of Bunia. 

Currently Samoli is the pastor in charge of a local church in Bunia area (Mbio), the headmaster of Rwampara secondary school and promoter of Mbio Primary and Secondary schools. These two schools operate in Bunia south suburb near Rwampara.

Samoli lives with a large number of displaced people who have fled the attacks of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels in the southern part of Ituri, especially in the region of Tchabi, a brethren mission station that has completely been destroyed (hospital, schools, chapel, guest house, hospital, etc.) by the ADF rebels. Following the ADF raid in the region, Pastor Samoli Maga lost 11 people in his very close family including his mother, three brothers, one sister, four nephews and two nieces.

near campThe school in Rwampara is not far from a new camp for displaced people which is hosting about 5,600 people in 800 households. In this camp, Samoli has been concerned about the situation of children who do not go to school. Those who are able to attend school are unfortunately not able to pay the school fees because their parents have no income source to provide for their school fees.

As Samoli shared the concern with us, we considered for assistance a selection of needy children among the displaced who enrolled at the Rwampara Secondary School and Mbio Primary and Secondary Schools.

We were much more concerned about those who were at the final year and have to face the national examination with much more fees to pay. We thought that those ones were also in the now a teacherposition of completing their secondary school with the possibility of starting a business or seeking employment. Rehema Ministry has provided schooling assistance for 30 children. Mr Kenda (on left), one of them, has successfully completed his secondary school education and is now employed as a teacher at Mbio Primary School to the great satisfaction of both pastor Samoli and the Rehema Ministry. Mr Kenda has become a great source of support for his family.

Currently the numbers of children being helped are:

Pool Ngezi: 20 children in primary and 5 in secondary
Pool Cite: 20 children in primary and 10 in secondary
Pool Shalom: 20 children in primary and 5 in secondary
Pool Mbio: 10 children in primary and 5 in secondary
Pool Rwampara: 10 children in primary and 5 in secondary

Total = 80 children in primary school and 30 children in secondary school 

Ministering to Vulnerable Minister's Children

Pastor Adhata and his family joined Shalom University in 2008. He did not have proper support from his sending church, as the church members were scattered by another rebel group operating in their region. Having eight children, Adhata left three of them at home with his cousin as it would be hard to manage the living costs, his studies, and school fees for the whole family in Bunia. By 2010, as we humbly started the Rehema Ministry, three children of the first 20 we enrolled in the support program were from Adhata's family.

Adhata graduated in 2013 and was commissioned by his church denomination to serve at Mungwalu as a pastor. He went there with Remo, another graduate from Shalom whose family was also on Rehema's support program during his theological studies at Shalom University. It will be noted that Mungwalu, a city known for its gold, become in 2017 an epicenter of a new militia group known as CODECO. CODECO militia, composed of Lendu community, initially targeted the Hema community over land dispute. However, five additional communities have recently identified themselves as victims of CODECO atrocities. Besides, several travelers including soldiers, businessmen, and administration officials, etc. from different communities have many times been attacked or killed on the road by CODECO militiamen. International organizations reported more than 1,100 killings by CODECO militiamen since December 2017, as well as hundreds of cases of sexual violence, and large scale and systematic destruction of houses, schools and medical centers. CODECO militiamen have several times attacked the city of Mungwalu and other surrounding villages in that mining region.

Following the unrest in Mungwalu, Remo requested a transfer to a safer city while Adhata decided to send his wife and three children to live in Bunia while he remained in Mungwalu pastoring a traumatized community. He recalled that a good share of his ministry was concentrated on burying church members or their relatives and trying to bring consolation to the bereaved families.

doing well at schoolAdhata visited Bunia in 2020 and insisted he would like to meet me and will not depart before seeing me. His concern was about his children who returned to Bunia. He was in urgent need of seeking support especially for the youngest child who was forced to quit his studies due to a lack of school fees. After prayerful consideration, we agreed to support Mungufeni, his 14-year-old boy, who enrolled in a secondary school providing training in house construction, while his brother Jonas (20 years old) was working as z motorbike driver to bring food on the table. We were amazed at Mungufeni's performance as he is always getting the highest grade in his class.

Pastor Adhata came back early September 2022 to present his profuse appreciation for the support provided to his son. 


Personal Stories

tough lifeGrace (pictured with Jacqueline) arrived in Bunia, escorted by her maternal aunt, on 5th May 2018, when she was nine years old. They fled from Tchee, a small village, 50 Km off Bunia, in north-eastern Congo savanna, as their village was attacked and destroyed by CODECO, a deadliest tribal militia group. Grace narrated to us her ordeal and glimpse of hope that followed.

“One day, we heard that the enemies have attacked a neighbour village. We were told that they are armed with machete and guns. We were also told that they were planning to attack our village. My family did not flee because there was no sign of conflict between our village and any other surrounding village. Though from different ethnic groups, we were peacefully sharing the same church, the same school and the same wells, etc. But rumours of a possible attack on our village continued until the day we saw fire on houses that were burning in a close village to ours.

The same day, our village was also attacked. My mother, and I spent the night somewhere in the bush where we went to hide ourselves with several other people. My mother carried my younger sister as she was much more vulnerable. But the enemies quickly discovered the place we were hiding. My mother was brutally cut with the machete in my presence. My young sister and I were seriously injured by the same militia. I didn’t believe I could live again as I had machete blows on my head, near my neck and a strong one on my arm that was later amputated. The pain was unsupportable, yet I was still desperately praying, praying and praying for deliverance.

My mother passed away in my presence. I walked in the blood trying to hide myself in another bush. It was there that I met my maternal aunt. She took me and cared for me from that very day. She encouraged me and said, as God preserved our life, He will also care for the same life. We should just trust Christ.

The following morning, the village was quiet as the armed group left. We saw wicked destruction of our houses, garden, cattle, etc. As we were trying to plan what to do, we had rumours that the militia were planning to come back. In that confusion, we saw a car coming in our village: it was that of MSF (Doctors Without Borders emergency team)! They were coming from Drodro, a nearby village where they have their office. They quickly rescued us and administrated first aid care to all wounded people from that attack, including my younger sister who was also collected. We were then taken to Bunia for appropriate treatment in a church’s clinic.

During our stay in the hospital, MSF personnel continued to assist us with food, bedding and clothing for several months of our hospitalization. When we were healed, they told us that they had found a place where we would stay until security resumes in our home village. They then took us to this displaced camp where we are living up to date with the help and assistance of several other people God is continually sending to help us.

Since we moved here, security has never been restored back home. After the May 2018 incident, my father quickly returned back to the village to bury my mother's body. Although he managed to put my mother’s body in the ground, he had risked for his life, because the CODECO militia came back to destroy the fields and chase away all those who intended to continue staying back and reorganize their lives. My father was very discouraged. He did not come back to us at Bunia. He stayed a Drodro, but in the despair, he got immersed in drunkenness. I and my younger sister are staying in Bunia with our aunt. Though for a long period, I was discouraged to live without my left hand, I have progressively gained joy and hope. I now learned to speak Swahili; the vernacular language used in the region; I have connected with many friends.

Before our village was attacked, I had repeated Class One. Since my father could not afford to pay for my school fees regularly, I was several times chased from class. This negatively affected my performance. Arriving in Bunia, on the displaced site, I was already 9 years old. I was admitted in Class two instead but with no mastery of this class level and the language barrier, I had to repeat class two. This discouraged me again more.

hope for the futureHowever, with the advice, encouragement, and several forms of support from Pastor Bingi, and especially from the projection of one of his videos on successful people living with disability, I regained courage. I now have peace. I am no longer suffering from low self-esteem. My performance in school has greatly improved. I am now happily working on my assignments and my teacher is very proud of my performance and grades in standard four.

My mother died, my father disappeared, but God has faithfully used several good people I have never known before to provide to my needs and support me move forward with life. I am very much grateful to God who has used people to save my life and care for my various needs, including that of my schooling which I very much cherish. I am very much grateful to God Almighty who has poured more grace on me, following the very name my parents gave me.”


Current Issues and Challenges

Several pastors ministering in regions that are vulnerable to militia attacks have found it difficult to go with their children in their mission field. Most of them have left their family in safer places such as Bunia but are still experiencing difficulty to care for them from the mission field. Rehema has recently started to support a limited number of such ministers’ children with their schooling in Bunia.


Prayer and Praise Points

Thanks for your continual prayer with us. Please pray for:
1) The vulnerable children to get the basic education they need
2) The restoration of peace and political stability in the country
3) Trauma healing among displaced families
4) Supplies for living, schooling and medical aid to the displaced families
5) Divine protection over the community
6) Ministers serving and living in unsecured regions and their children
7) Easing of militia atrocities and the restoration of peace and political stability in Bunia.
8) Christian witness to stand amid this new wave of persecution that the church was not well prepared to face.


The Lord bless you richly for the work you are doing for the glory of His name.

Dr George and Jacqueline Atido
The Rehema Ministry Bunia