Miriam and I have returned from our three weeks in Congo!

Hello everyone!  Miriam and I have returned from our three weeks in Congo!  God is continuing to unfold His plan for Miriam's Table.  Our site is located in one of the most beautiful spots in the Mpasa I region.  It sits on the side of a hill where a small river runs below.  The river is where all the area families wash their clothes, carry their water from, and bathe.  I noticed while visiting our site, the laughing and happiness that came from those at the water.  Many children play there staying cool from the hot sun. Across the small valley are many palm trees and other green bushes and trees.  There is always a breeze coming over the hill. Because it sits on the side of a hill, you have to go by motorcycle or by 4-wheel drive and then walk down.  We rode motorcycles!  I still am amazed at the resilience of the people and their ability to figure out how to "make it work"!

The site already has a small building on it that will hold all our needed supplies. It is the perfect size and is secure with window openings that have metal coverings for security.  As we realized that the rainy season is soon coming, our new building will be a complete building and not just a floor with a roof.  Each brick is made in a metal mold and then set out to dry.  Over 600 were made in just two days!  When we left, they were placing the final row of bricks on the top.  Then it would need to sit for several days for everything to dry before starting the roof.  A cement floor will also be added.  We had three tables and four benches made.  The tables will hold the food and the benches are for the mothers who come with their children.  They are made with the heaviest wood and will last forever!  The carpenter does everything by hand-quite impressive!

Building costs are running a bit higher than thought, but God continues to provide.  With the advice of Dr. Yohadi, we decided to choose a supervisor for the staff. He will oversee the daily feeding, keep records, order food. etc.  He will be in contact with Dr. Yohadi on a regular basis.  She will continue to guide the project and also care for medical needs of the children. Water will need to be carried each day by barrels to prepare the food, drinking, and clean up.  We have asked for a bid on gutter (not something they normally do) to set up rain barrels during rainy season.  It rains daily, so lots of time and money could be saved.  (Water barrels are $2.00 each and we will need two each day.)

When they started screening children for the program, they found the need to be great.  We will start with 150 children, as planned, but once underway, more children will need to be added.  Some children will require a more intense program that includes a special food called "Plumpy Nut"( used by World Vision and other organizations providing food). It is our hope now that the feeding will start in about two weeks. Jonathan Baker (Congo Partnership member) will be visiting there on Monday prior to his leaving to come home, and may be able to do a "symbolic" feeding and blessing. If so, new photos will be sent!
I spent my last evening there sitting inside our "in progress" Miriam's Table home meeting and greeting our newly hired staff. I sat there looking at six beautifully smiling faces as we shared the vision of the Miriam's Table nutrition program. I shared, that because of the Mpasa nutrition program, our Miriam is here today. The daily feeding she received made her strong and able to live and grow. We want to be able to give that gift to many more children. We shared a prayer and hugs as I bid them good bye. God makes me smile.

Here are the names of our staff so you can pray for them by name:  Masi Mbaya, Oyaka Adiyo, Therese Nzola Katshayi, Retronie Maswaku, Gerard Mbwase Ngarbolo, and Alphonse Luhahe.  Please also pray for Dr. Yohadi and her staff at our Mpasa medical/nutritional facility.



Thank you so very much for your prayers and support! 
In Christ,
Susie, Ed, and Miriam
"EMPATHY - We only know another when we understand the inner workings of their soul."
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