Last month’ we shared with you about the catastrophe that devastated the village of Kalehe near our ICC Patmos Children’s Village in the DR Congo. Torrential rains fell on market day. Massive flooding collapsed buildings. Mudslides covered those who couldn’t get out of the way. Many parents had left their children at home to go to the market, never suspecting that by the end of the day their children would be orphaned.
Thanks to the generous and faithful support of ICC family members like YOU, ICC’s director in the DR Congo was able to answer the call to assist 43 children that were orphaned as a result of this tragedy. When these children arrived at the Patmos Children’s Village, they were greeted enthusiastically by the Patmos family.
The Journey of Healing
Because of the poor health condition of many of the children and the extreme trauma they experienced, they have been separated from the general population of the children’s village and placed in a temporary shelter. Here they receive special meals and medical attention suitable for their needs.
As the children begin to trust their ICC family of caregivers, they share what they experienced.
An Image of that Fearful Day
Imagine how you would feel if you were left in the care of a responsible adult or older sibling on the day of the tragedy. You saw your parents leave with a goat, or maybe a turkey or hen and some cassava. You expected them to return with food and supplies and maybe even a treat for everyone. Market day was special. But the heavy rains that day kept you inside.
Time passes and you expected that at any moment there would be the sound of footsteps, the familiar greetings, warm hugs and laughter, and a recounting of the day’s activities. But all you heard was the constant rain.
As evening came you began to panic. Were the heavy rains that forced you to stay inside an indication that something dreadful had happened? You didn’t eat anything. You didn’t have an appetite. Fear grips you and your siblings. Together you sobbed and waited, waited and sobbed. But there was no comforting sound of your parents at the door. And you began to realize with horror that your parents were not returning…
Transformation Takes Time
The process of healing from such a tragedy takes time. That’s the nature of transformation within the lives of orphan children. Our Patmos director recently sent an update saying that some of the children are doing well and have regained their physical, mental, and psychosocial health. However, there are many who continue to suffer. What a blessing for all these children that they have caring ICC family members like you who take an interest in them and who help to provide for their care. Healing is happening, thanks to you!
Your Help is Needed
Eventually, these children can be assigned sponsors to become a part of their life within the ICC family. Until then, they need your prayers and a special outpouring of financial support. This was an unexpected tragedy. Extra resources are needed above and beyond what it costs to provide for the care of the existing children. Thank you for your generous support for the children!