Bringing the hope of Jesus Christ to the city of Kinshasa through the giving of our time, our energy, and our resources.
To go and tell/show others about the gospel of Jesus Christ through a partnership with ReachGlobal Africa.
Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is a city of nearly 12 million people, estimated by the UN to reach nearly 15 million by 2020. Each one of these people has a backstory of how they ended up where they are. One common story is that of the “street kids”. These children are but a small sector of those impacted by the 5 nightmares of most major African cities: 1) a large influx of unskilled workers; 2) poorly run but expensive educational options; 3) an import mentality that caters to the comparatively rich; 4) a relatively non-existent middle class and blue-collar jobs; 5) a self-serving government. Across the city, children are “thrown away” or aborted for fear of a predictable future.
Though people move to the cities to look for a better life, they are confronted with hopelessness. Young girls provide for themselves by making a game out of prostitution. The more one has sex, the more valuable they become. The greater the value they attain, the more they can ask for a trick. All the guys prefer the girls with a higher-value. This is how many tens of thousands of girls around the city buy clothing and food, have a place to stay, and sometimes even afford schooling. According to NGO’s, about one-third of these children are girls, and around 80% of these girls on the street make a living from sex.
In other cases, the young women may not be overtly selling their bodies, but instead they might have a string of “boyfriends” who will provide for them financially. Or they might make a hasty marriage to someone they barely know, just for the security.
The Tabitha Center gives young women in DR Congo an option to selling themselves or engaging in illegal activities for their livelihood. Teen-aged girls gather under the direction of women from their local church to discuss life’s realities and to understand the Bible’s answers to questions about life that are often left unanswered by parents. In this safe context, girls are taught skills like sewing, cooking, hair dressing, cosmetics and others that offer them an alternative to the assumption that they must sell themselves or rush into a relationship with a man in order to find financial security. The vision is to see the Tabitha ministry continue to expand to provide healthy alternatives for young women throughout the city of Kinshasa.
First Free Rockford will be spending a year starting April 23rd, 2017 in a partnership with ReachGlobal Africa to help bring the hope of Jesus Christ to the city of Kinshasa through the giving of our time, our energy, and our resources. We will focus each quarter on a different specific need. After meeting several times with ReachGlobal Africa and the leadership of Tabitha Centers we have landed on the following for initiatives: