“Children of Liberty” is a title which denotes freedom, future, purpose, love, family and joy. This is the name chosen by the ex-child soldiers sponsored and supported by Comfort International and Comfort Congo in Democratic Republic of Congo. This is the name they have given themselves, having experienced indescribable pain and difficulty, now in a place of dignity and love. We recently received an update from the Children of Liberty and are excited to share their progress with you.
At the end of last year we shared with you the testimonies of a number of the Children of Liberty who were “graduating” from the sponsorship program, having been enabled to move onto independent living. Following this, we have a new intake of project members and are again reminded of the great transformation taking place in these young people’s lives. The new group are bonding well and there is a community of respect and friendship fostered within the group.
Shown on the right are some of the boys working together to repair some broken beds. Below (clockwise from left): Boys doing community work together at new land of CoL extension; very happy to receive new six mattresses to replace those robbed; new land purchased by Comfort International to extend the “Village of Hope” which houses the Children of Liberty; perimeter wall being built around the new extension of the Village of Hope.
Comfort International was able, through the generosity of supporters, to purchase land adjacent to the current Village of Hope for extension of the Village. A wall has been built to secure a perimeter for the safety of the inhabitants and further work is to be carried out. There are three houses present on the land but much work is needed to make these habitable for the members. We estimate that to build solid stone foundations and improved facilities will cost a further $5000.
One of the biggest challenges currently faced by our partners is the vast increase in school fees. About 45% of sponsorship costs are being poured into education fees and the rest is left to cover food, clothing and other needs. Coupled with rising costs, this presents a daily challenge to our team.
On the other hand it was a wonderful blessing to hear of an emotional and unexpected reunion for some of the Children of Liberty with family who had once thought their children lost. These individuals have now been restored to their biological families but will continue to receive the support of the project.
In the report we received a wonderful testimony from one of our graduated beneficiaries, Oscar*, who writes as follows:
“After my time at Hope Village during four years, today I became responsible for myself thanks to sustenance that I received from Comfort Congo and Comfort International. To be one of the COL project was an important marker in my life because today in date of April 15, 2022 I have been baptized for being 100% Christian. Today I have a fiancée. I paid half of the dowry to her family and on July 2022, we are going to get married and all this was possible because of the big support of my sponsor and Comfort International in my life. Many thanks for everything you made in my life for helping me to be a normal person in our society and may God bless you abundantly.”
It is a joy and a privilege to hear Oscar’s testimony and see the transformative power of the love of God at work in his life. However, there are many in D R Congo who have not yet been reached and are in desperate conditions. One of the young people awaiting sponsorship is Ibrahim*. Speaking of his past life in the army, he says,
“We were strongly beaten up to master the rules, no one was being released because he failed but mistreated more and more until you learn or if not, beaten to death. We had torn clothes even when it was so cold and we avoided to say or show that we were feeling cold. We learned to do bad things and did them with no choice and we regretted to have joined and we could ask for a rescue or help but it was in vain at that time.”
(Since coming to Children of Liberty) “I have met some of friends that had gone through the same life and this helped me, and today I discovered there is nothing better than singing praises to God who delivered me from the pit of sorrow.”
“I hope God is going to make a new way for me and wipe my tears.”
We would love to help as many as we possibly can through sponsorship. If you would be interested in sponsoring an ex-child soldier to become a children of liberty, please get in touch with us by following the link below or by contacting us through any of the conventional ways – we would love to make that a reality for you.
We thank you for your continued support and are deeply grateful to God for this wonderful and encouraging update from our partners at Comfort Congo working in the Village of Hope.
*Names changed to protect privacy