Newly commissioned Global Ministries missionaries the Rev. Jonathan and Donna Baker will leave June 29 for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to spend six months there. Then they will return to spend six months in the U.S. itinerating to share stories and raise funds for the Congo Partnership projects. Other members of the Partnership will travel to Congo this summer also to participate in the feeding programs at the Mpasa Medical Clinic, Miriam’s Table and the farm in Diengenga.
The Eastern PA Conference joins the Peninsula-Delaware and Western North Carolina conferences and the Central Congo Episcopal Area as members of this supportive and successful vital mission partnership. Here is Donna Baker’s latest letter, adapted for our media.
Greetings from the Congo Partnership! Although no one from the Partnership has been in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since late March, we have some exciting news! Our resources and partners there, especially Mission Coordinator Dr. Adolphe Yamba Yamba, have been working very diligently!
In our last report on the Partnership’s projects, it was mentioned that a well was being dug in a tiny village called Diengenga. Praise God! Water gushes from the earth and the people of the village are dancing with joy. After several months of preparation, including the shipping of materials to the remote village of Diengenga, God has brought forth clean water. Thank you so much, Lord!
We are very grateful that multiple persons provided donations, the drilling company provided diligence and excellence, and many of the local residents made this all possible. That includes pastors who led prayer time each morning during the drilling process to ask God for safety.
Although the local river appears clean, it has been known to include microorganisms that cause typhus, cholera, even malaria. Therefore, it’s important that everyone have access to clean water pumped from deep within the earth.
Another concern relates to the care of eyes. A disease called Onchocerciasis is also known as River Blindness because the cause derives from infected water. A huge risk to the residents of tiny villages, where their only source of water is from a dirty river, is also the physical drudgery of carrying 20-liter cans of water up a steep slope from the river to their home. That’s 44 pounds!
Although the well has been dug and fresh water is available to the people in the village, additional piping to the cistern is still in progress. Instead of crouching under the huge well-drilling truck to access the water, very soon the people will be able to walk to the cistern (about 100 yards from the pump) and turn the spigot to access the fresh, clean, safe water! They are excited about the future of improved health and lesser burdens related to the long trek to the river to fetch the dirty, infected water.
But this is just ONE village! There are hundreds of villages in Democratic Republic of Congo that still do not have access to clean water, the lack of which contributes to infections and disadvantaged health.
If your heart is touched then you can contribute to funding efforts for additional well-drilling there by giving to the Congo Partnership—Well Drilling Project through your local church.
Also, on behalf of the Congo Partnership we graciously thank the Southeast District of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference for their amazingly generous contributions! The Mpasa Medical Clinic and Nutrition Center in a suburb of Kinshasa, an area of destitution and poverty populated by refugees from war-torn countries, is in need of expansion. So this district discovered a passion for the caring of the Congolese in this area, especially related to healthcare.
We are hopeful that construction will begin by the end of 2015 to make a new building for ophthalmologic and pediatric care, as well as other areas of clinical practice. Thank you so much! You are such a blessing to us and to the people of Kinshasa!
Of course, a building is just not a physical structure. Much furnishing and equipment will be needed to provide the resources necessary to complete this awesome new wing of the Mpasa Clinic. The Southeast District has agreed to launch Phase II, but it will take everyone’s help to make it a success.
Thank you so much for your interest in the projects underway in Congo through the United Methodist Church. We are a Connectional church. So, when someone is “on the ground” in DRC, you and your church are there too, well represented in this mission partnership. Thank you!
Please visit our website www.Congo-Mission.org for much more information.
Donna and Jonathan Baker
As Coordinator of the Congo Partnership, the Rev. Jonathan Baker will facilitate, organize and oversee ongoing and new projects in DRC. Projects such as feeding programs, medical clinics, farms, sewing projects, social programs for young mothers will fill his time. He will work closely with the area episcopal leader, Bishop David Yemba, to plan mission outreach and services in a region where the UMC is growing rapidly. The partnership puts strong emphasis on the physical, emotional, and spiritual welfare of the people. Learn more at: http://www.umcmission.org/explore-our-work/missionaries-in-service/missionary-profiles/baker-jonathan.
Donna Baker’s role is titled Nurse in Mission. The spiritual, emotional, and physical health of the Congolese people form a priority for Bishop David Yemba’s episcopal area. Health services through the partnership have so far included three cataract surgery missions. The partnership conducts three feeding programs for undernourished children and adults and supports multiple medical centers throughout the episcopal area. Dental needs and HIV/AIDS education are being explored. There is no way to count the actual number of patients that have been medically assisted over the past 11 years.
Donna Baker works with church leaders and indigenous health personnel to assess the most urgent health challenges and develop responses. Particular attention is being given to more remote areas, where limited health services are available. Learn more at: http://www.umcmission.org/explore-our-work/missionaries-in-service/missionary-profiles/baker-donna.
After three weeks of missionary training in Nashville with 10 other new missionaries from around the world, the Bakers were commissioned with a Service of Blessing that included a foot washing ceremony to empower the new missionaries to serve God’s people in the name of Christ.
Donations can be made online donation to: Donna L. Baker #3022054 or Jonathan E. Baker #3022050 to support their ministries. Global Ministries’ missionaries are responsible for raising support for missionary salaries. Funds received for missionary support do not go directly to the designated missionary, but supports the entire missionary community.
The well been very successful and we are so grateful for all those who supported this effort through their and prayers.
But this is just ONE village! There are hundreds of villages in Democratic Republic of Congo that still do not have access to clean water, which leads and contributes to infections and disadvantaged health.
Was your heart touched? If so, you may contribute to funding efforts for additional well drilling in DRC by giving to your local United Methodist Church designated to the Congo Partnership—Well Drilling.