Always giving 100 per cent: Judy receives her certificate
(Photo: Judy Acheson/CMS)
By mission partner Judy Acheson, who is returning to the UK after 30 years of working with youth in DR Congo
In June we had the joy and privilege of receiving the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, in Bunia.
People were amazed at his humility – he arrived wearing a black clergy shirt, not the full bishop’s attire.
He visited a poor widow in her home.
Whatever group he met with, he adapted his message accordingly.
Ex-militia shine for Jesus
A group of young ex-militia, both Ngiti and Hema, shared their testimonies with him, describing how after seeing their families murdered, they joined the local militia to enact revenge.
However, the church, the pastor and Agape (our youth movement) followed them, loved them, never gave up on them and drew them back into the fold and some even back into studies.
Even though one young man lost both his parents, he has just finished a law degree in Bunia. What an achievement!
The Archbishop was very touched by their testimonies. The young people went away thrilled because they had been listened to, respected and appreciated.
To me it highlighted how our youth work has continued right through the war to help young people who have suffered so much and also caused much suffering.
Now they shine for Jesus, knowing that they are truly forgiven.
Capable team in place
On 15 June, during the closing ceremony of a youth leaders’ training course, God showed me that he has put into place a capable team to continue the work here and that once I leave, the centre will grow even more. What a promise and what reassurance.
I was presented with a certificate of 100 per cent as the best trainer for children, young people and adults! Only God deserves 100 per cent but it was a fun moment that everyone enjoyed.
Yesterday we had a gathering of local chiefs, officials and our first year students as they had been working practically with different neighbourhood groups. They had the opportunity to report back.
One group had helped the local population understand the importance of having outside long drop toilets and 282 were built in two months!
Others helped build a bridge so the local people could travel to town more easily. Another group helped improve the water sources in the area.
Many different practical jobs were done, and local people were empowered to verbalise their needs, some of which were passed on to government offices here in town.
The neighbourhood chiefs were thrilled.
Great things God has done
To me it showed another reason why God has brought us here to Mahagi. Through the students, Mahagi will be challenged to bring about change and development.
From September to mid October, I will be in the Diocese of Boga, enjoying time with friends, visiting churches to say goodbye and attending Bishop William’s first synod.
On 16 October is our big thanksgiving service for all the great things God has done over the past 30 years for so many of us.
On 23 October I fly back to the UK.
Pray please that I finish well and leave everyone encouraged and enthused to move forward in the power of the Lord and to fulfill the vision he has given us over the years.
Please consider supporting CMS work around the world