Deep in the heart of the Democratic Republic of Congo is a Catholic mission. It is located in Ngondi about 200 kilometers east of the capital, Kinshasa. Divine Word Missionaries has been active in this mission since 1984. Currently the mission community is made up of four Brothers and a priest.
Our mission is well known for the professional training center we operate for the local people. Our mission is also a spiritual center that seeks to bring the Divine Word closer to the community. Today the center has the capacity to accommodate 30 people; we plan to expand once our various projects begin to bring in revenue.
A variety of training activities already are available, including workshops in a garage, a carpentry shop and a livestock farm. Most of the students who come for the training are currently unemployed. The training center benefits local farmers by teaching much-needed skills to improve and grow their livestock. We organize a free monthly cattle breeder and farmer training program. This program was the first step in proper training for the locals. The second step was to provide a much-needed veterinary laboratory right here in Ngondi. With a veterinary laboratory, important tests such as blood and urine could be run for the farm animals.
All of these projects are aimed to improve the skills of the people in Ngondi. Our goal is to help the students and the farmers become responsible and independent workers. As a qualified veterinarian and a technician in rural development, it is my job to oversee this project. In order to improve the learning standards, certain things had to be in place: an updated reference library, basic materials and supplies for the veterinary laboratory, veterinary medicines and a pathology plant for a vet pharmacy.
Many things as simple as repairing the tractor also were needed. Once we had our project plan together, proposals were submitted and we waited for a positive response. God being so great, within no time our dreams were fulfilled! Through the generous gift of a benefactor (and a Divine Word Missionaries Mission Update magazine reader!), funds were sent to the Congo Province and the projects were under way.
Our first priority was to acquire essential laboratory equipment, such as a binocular microscope, a centrifuge, tube holsters and tube racks, Schmidt hemostatic forceps and tungsten carbide scissors. I am happy to say the lab equipment has gone a long way to help the students learn veterinary medicine. We also have acquired the needed veterinary products and supplies, and our tractor has been repaired.
This is our mission—our effort, our goal—to reach out to those living in the peripheries of our province. Just as the first Christian community brought food and care for the immediate needs of the local people, our mission will provide hope for their future. We are very grateful to all those who read our mission stories and are moved to come to our aid.
We are especially grateful that in this crucial moment, one most generous person helped us to set in motion the actualization of our dream and the dreams of those students yet to come. We pledge to work hard to fully realize and attain our goal with your continued support, kindness and prayers.