Sep 07, 2021

The Congo Partnership & The Eastern PA Conference

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The Eastern Pennsylvania Conference is a vital part of the Congo Partnership, an exciting relationship with the Central Congo Episcopal Area and several U.S. Annual Conferences.

Learn about the Congo Partnership History & Covenant Agreement:  Congo-Mission – Congo Partnership Covenant Agreement.

While financial support is given to all the Partnership Projects  from individuals, churches, and districts in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, several specific projects have caught the imagination and passion of our Annual Conference in recent years. (Click here for video of projects.) 

In 2015, the staff of the Mpasa Medical and Nutrition Center in Kinshasa requested assistance from the Congo Partnership to expand care opportunities for the large pediatric population in the area. This project, designated as a Capital Improvement Project, would require additional support from the participating annual conferences and the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, and the South District led the way, undertaking this project with passion and raising the funds for construction, architecture costs and the finishing work inside! (Click here for video of Mpasa Building Project)

A second phase provided funds to install solar panels and batteries to provide electricity and refrigeration. The refrigeration allowed the medical center to function as a government-support blood bank and vaccination center. With these generous contributions, the pediatric building opened in June 2017 with a dedication by Bishop Lunge on June 26. The building was designed to meet the standards of multiple organizations including the World Health Organization and the Association of Operating Room Nurses. Not only does the structure provide a safe workflow for patients to not be exposed to microorganisms carried from outside the facility into the Operating Room, but also a designated space to isolate children from adults, as well as other children with communicable diseases.

After multiple cataract surgery missions in Congo, the Partnership determined that an ongoing, self-sustaining ophthalmology program should come to fruition. Once again, the Eastern PA Conference stepped up and raised adequate funds for the purchase of equipment, supplies and salaries for nurses and doctors to establish an Ophthalmology Clinic at Mpasa. The clinic also serves the more remote villages with its equipment and medical staff.

Moreover, the New Life Skills ministry at Mpasa provides training for many area residents to learn such skills as sewing, tie-dying, soap making and sandal making. The students receive training in finances and micro-loans, again supported by Eastern PA. These micro-loans make it possible for parents to start businesses to become self-sustaining and care for their extended families.

Especially during this pandemic, the Nutrition Program has required much funding to provide a nutritious meal, as well as supplements and medical care, for vulnerable children. Due to incredible leadership of so many in the Eastern PA Conference, this program continues to care for these children and hunger has been decreased.

Fresh Water Wells do not sufficiently exist in Congo, especially in isolated areas. As the Congolese chant, “Water is life!” Without fresh water, thousands of citizens die from such diseases as dysentery and malaria. Several  fresh water wells have been supported by generous contributions from individuals and churches  in Eastern PA resulting in the dramatic reduction of these diseases.

Bishop Peggy Johnson has been an amazing supporter of the Peter D. Weaver Congo Partnership throughout her time as Bishop of the Philadelphia Episcopal Area. Her passion for the Congo was once again evident when she requested donations in honor of her retirement be given for the mission of the Partnership!

Words cannot adequately express our gratitude for her legacy of care and compassion and the extreme and extravagant generosity of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.  With your ongoing support, mortality rates would decrease, students will receive sufficient training to begin their own businesses, children will be fed and learn to grow their own food, and blindness from cataracts and other ophthalmological issues will be reduced.  Praise God! (Click here to see our video tribute to Bishop Peggy Johnson.)

View and download this update as a PDF.