Is it possible that a year can start more difficult than this year? In January everything still went fine. New Year’s Eve in The Netherlands, AIM conference in Rwanda, rest in Kampala. After that, the storm began to rise, and still has not finished.
Abraham, consultant of Help a Child in our program, went to Bunia in February for meetings with the coordinators of the Health and Education Departments of CECA and two men from Help a Child. When he came back he called Drudra, our director, Reverend Kana, president of our board and me for a meeting. In this meeting he communicated to us the decisions taken in Bunia. Because Help a Child has not yet received the money to be able to continue to support their projects in Africa, all projects had to be closed down. Also, they do not want to continue in the Territory of Aru because they want to start up a project where CECA Health, Education and AIDS program will closely collaborate together. CECA decided upon the Church District of Djugu as the place to continue, this is midway between Bunia and Adi.
This meant to us that we had to fire all personnel on a temporary basis and emotions flared high up. It was difficult.
The end of February Abraham and I went to Bunia (by road…long and dusty) to organize a workshop about community development for the church leaders in all nine of CECA Church Districts. It went very well.
After this Abraham went through Uganda on to Kenya for the wedding of his son. I went back to Adi on Wednesday March 9 with a team of CECA, two members of the Health Department and the accountant of CECA. That Thursday and Friday they took time with our team. Explaining and listening and to settle business. Again two difficult days.
Now everyone is asking if this is the end of the AIDS Program. This is not the case. How is it possible that a church program stops when an outside donor, who is giving money, stops giving? It is not possible. The AIDS Program still exists, albeit without money. Which doesn’t mean that there are no activities going on/ The weekend of 19-20 March Moyindo (driver), Reverend Kana and I went to Keri where the church had organized an event for youth choirs. On Saturday evening we showed a documentary about sexual transmitted diseases which provoked a lot of discussion. During the church service on Sunday I was asked to share something about AIDS.
What I am doing now, is to search for organizations where I can ask for funding for the AIDS Program here in Aru Territory. Difficult, because there needs to be a call for proposals. And although there are enough of them, I didn’t find any yet that apply to the situation in Congo. I will go on searching because I have seen that possibilities to finally receive funding are endless.
In memoriam: AKUMA TANDE FAUSTIN, 22 November 1966-27 March 2011
The whole of Adi and surrounding areas were shocked when they received news that the hospital administrator had died in Kampala on Sunday 27 March, only 44 years of age. He died after a short illness because of hepatitis B that was complicated by liver and renal failure. He meant a lot for the hospital. He was a go-getter and the center of the well functioning of the hospital. Through him, his commitment and love for God and fellow men the hospital had a good name in the area of Adi but also in Uganda and Sudan. It was Akuma who applied for funding for the hospital with Samaritan’s Purse. Everyone is asking himself how the hospital will continue.
After all the adversity in the program, together with its stress, the search for funding of the program here in Adi, and last but not least the death of Akuma, I am wondering what God is planning here in Adi, with the program here and with my contribution in the program. And I only can answer: I do not know.
I only know that God allows storms in the lives of his children. David talked about it, experienced it and put it into words in the Psalms (for example in Ps 107:23-32). David Jeremiah (a pastor who presents Turning Point on the radio and a writer of many books) once said: “We are far more secure in the storm with Jesus in our boat than we will ever be on the shore without Him.” (From: A bend in the road). Just like king David the prophet Jeremiah also know adversity and problems in his life. Just like I know now. However, like him I choose to praise my Lord King Jesus. I do not understand the why of all that is happening, but I am praying that it will pull me closer to Him.
Lamentations 3: 18; 21-26
“I cry out, ‘My splendor is gone! Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!’”
“Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. GREAT IS HIS FAITHFULNESS; His mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him!’ The Lord is good to those who depend on Him, to those who search for Him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.”