PROVIDING HOPE ON NKOMBO ISLAND
BY SUFFRAGAN BISHOP QUIGG LAWRENCE
MARCH 31ST, 2017
“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers…You did for me.” Matthew 25:40
Rwanda…the land of a thousand hills…beautiful yet utterly poor. Many of us have seen this poverty first hand during our visits there. The needs throughout the country are great, but I would like to take you to one island in particular where the Spirit of God is clearly at work. This somewhat primitive 20 mile long island is Nkombo, and it lies in Lake Kivu between the Congo and Cyangugu, Rwanda.
Just three years ago the people of this island were without hope. Most children were suffering from malnutrition, some severely so. There were only a couple of schools for the entire island, so most children did not attend school. Parents struggled to feed their families on earnings of less than $1/day. Churches and Christianity were scarce.
Due to a growing friendship with Rwandan Bishop Nathan Amooti of the Cyangugu diocese, Church of the Holy Spirit and Orchard Hills Church became aware of the tremendous needs on Nkombo. In collaboration with the Bishop and the Anglican Mother’s Union, Orchard Hills Church members began a feeding program for 500 of the youngest children on one end of the island. Church of the Holy Spirit joined in. These children are fed a nutritious porridge 2 mornings a week. CHS provided funds for the building of a large Anglican church and offices for Compassion International’s project. Compassion International then began partnering with the new church, and now 265 children are being sponsored. The members of CHS sponsor 215 of these children. Now sponsoring 630+ children all throughout Rwanda, it is one of the most meaningful ministries CHS participates in as a church body.
One critical thing, however, was still lacking . . . a school! Without an education the cycle of poverty would only continue. In the words of Bishop Nathan:
“I am convinced beyond doubt that the best gift for Nkombo kids and the general population there is to give them a future… Education is a powerful key that unlocks this world’s opportunities… Education is the only compass that can help the Nkombo people to navigate the deep unleveled waters of this world where they can have equal rights with everybody else… Education allowed me to go from tending my father's flock to become God's prince in His Church.”
With the promise of the government providing teachers if there was a large enough school, Orchard Hills and CHS members provided funds for the building of a new school.
August 14, 2016 was a day of great rejoicing on Nkombo!!
The whole community along with the church, government officials and dignitaries gathered to celebrate the opening and dedication of the new school. With a total of 8 classrooms for over 750 children, the school still needs more classrooms, but this is a tremendous start.
Now with a church, feeding program, new school and Compassion International, this community is being transformed and MOST importantly, now has what it did not before…HOPE!!!
But at the far end of the 20 mile long island, the story is very different for the community of Bugamira . . .
Like Nkombo 3 years ago, families are struggling to survive and the children are malnourished and often left alone. The good news is that an Anglican church has recently been built. This allows 300 of the youngest children a place to gather 2 mornings a week for a mug of porridge. But… so much more is still needed. For the past 2 years, Pastor Michael of this humble church has been praying for a school and a Compassion Project to come to his community. Once a school is in place, Compassion International can begin partnering with this church, which will greatly help transform Bugamira. To build a 6-room school and 2 Compassion Offices will cost…
This is where you come in. We need you to help provide HOPE!!
I hope you will prayerfully consider including yourself in the work God is doing on this island with your financial support for a new school. With a Compassion International partnership with the new church, it will also need sponsors for the children. If you would like to find out more about how to get involved with Compassion International child sponsorships, you can contact CHS member and Compassion Advocate, Kim Motley at email@example.com.
Visit www.nkomboisland.org to make your donation and to learn more about the Nkombo Island Project.