Q & A with Patmos Director, Désiré Murhima
Editor’s Note: The September 6, 2022 blog post featured ICC president, Rick Fleck, asking some questions of Patmos director, Désiré Murhima, regarding the imapct of ICC’s ministry for children there. Following is part two of an edited excerpt of what Désiré shared.
Q: How important is education in the lives of the children?
A: First and foremost, education brings self-discipline, a sense of responsibility, and teamwork among children and prevents children from feeling social insecurity. It helps a child become self-confident and a good decision-maker.
Hence, every child should be educated so that they can lead a happy life and /or face life challenges. In our experience, Patmos children who graduate from advanced education are more successful than those who are limited to vocational training or a state diploma as well as those who drop out from school for personal reasons.
Education sets a person free and increases one’s confidence. We have drawn a conclusion that education constitutes the first inheritance that a parent should leave to their children because it goes with us throughout our lives. Educating a child is the best way to make their future bright and help them fulfill their dreams so that they live their ideal life.
We thank ICC for emphasizing the children’s education.
Q: What is happening in the D.R. Congo that causes you concerns?
A: Generally, growing insecurity is what matters most. The outcomes of recurrent wars result in high prices of items like food, clothes, and construction materials, and ends up in mass killings, disharmony in the society, high rates of taxes, etc.
People living on islands, like in the Patmos Children’s Village, face a lot of challenges since prices for the fuel for our boats have increased, and we are obliged to travel since we cannot get everything we need for the children’s survival on Idjwi Island.
On the other hand, the salaries of employees have increased only slightly (compared to costs). The prices of items have tripled, and the employees can no longer afford to buy what they need.
The current situation is generalized to all the inhabitants of the D.R. Congo because they live and face the same life context.
Q: How important are ICC donors to the children?
A: ICC donors remain very important for both the children and the personnel. They help the children to be healthy, study, and have food to eat. They help provide the children with a place to live and clothe them.
They treat them fairly to such an extent that even though they are orphans by the law of nature, they are treated better than many children whose parents are still alive.
Our children are the healthiest in the village and the best clothed. They live in the most beautiful houses, and they are spiritually nourished and live in the safest family environment.
Q: Is there anything else that you would like to share with the donors?
A: Honestly and truly speaking, we, first of all, praise the donors’ efforts and sacrifices so that children are given a new chance to survive. They are saviors to children as Jesus Christ is a savior to the world.
We can’t forget to plead in favor of the children to the project donors. We pray that they continue helping children because their reward in Heaven will be great.
Children from Patmos Village always like to be told about their sponsors. They also like to receive their letters, postcards, their photos, and to learn that the sponsor has sent money for school supplies, food, construction, school fees, clothes, etc.
In short, the children from Patmos Village know that their sponsors live abroad and that they provide for their needs.
We request that this connection goes on until God Himself decides that we meet in Heaven where we will be crowned for a seed we sowed on Earth, a gift we gave to the needy and the child’s life we completely changed.