Barb Sorensen wrote in Alliance Life about the Good Friend Ministry program in the Republic of the Congo. I encourage you to read it here. This is a story about kids who may be orphans, or for other reasons are not able to live with their natural parents but are in a home with friends or relatives ie. grandparents, aunts and uncles etc. This sometimes mean that they have a lower status in the household, or may have to work harder in the home or not be given enough food if there isn’t enough to feed everyone.
The Good Friend Ministry (taken from article)
Good Friend, which welcomes children up to age 14, meets every other week, with several volunteers from the local C&MA assisting. When the children arrive, you can feel the joy and the sense of “family” and community in the group. They walk together, help one another and obviously feel at home and know they are loved and remembered. They notice when someone doesn’t come and know the “why” of one another’s absence. The day starts with singing, and then I or one of the volunteers lead Bible memory time and tell a Bible story. This is followed by coloring and skits—and more good singing. Afterward, each child is given a bag of food worth approximately USD$15. With this food coming into the household, the child now has value and the discrimination lessens.
I like the basic way that this ministry is setup
- They provide food.
- They provide dignity – the child brings the food home for the family, which increases his status in the home.
- They provide friendship and love.
- They let them know about Jesus.
This is what the gospel is all about, meeting physical needs, emotional needs and spiritual needs as they are all interconnected!