Children of Liberty write of changed lives and new futures

The Children of Liberty Project supports a self-named group of ex-child soldiers who have been rescued from a life of violence, danger and abuse in Goma, D. R. Congo. We are consistently overwhelmed and full of gratitude whenever we read of the incredible transformation that takes place in the lives of these young people, who, once abandoned, abused and alone, now find themselves in family. As one of the letters we received last week says, “me, I am now alone with no family but happy that I found myself in the CoL family where we live together with new brothers and sisters who have been so far an outstanding comfort to me.” Below are some more extraordinary stories of those who have received support through the CoL Sponsorship Scheme and are living in the Village of Hope in Goma. 

Diana* lost her whole family through sickness, tragedy and poverty and found herself in what she called “a life I didn’t really like”. When rebel and government forces clashed in her area, she was convinced to join the armed groups, and initially thought she’d found a better life. However, soon she was forced to take drugs and put on the frontline where people around her were being killed, and she found herself in a hopeless situation. After being released she came to CoL and started a new life. She writes to her sponsor, Marlene: 

“I love singing and reading, so I am happy when I am in deep reading trying to understand the letter you wrote me. I am convinced that you love me and you keep loving me and I wish I had the same words as you in order to write you a loving poem. I am now studying in the sixth form in commercial section and hope I will be putting an end to my secondary school because we passed the State exams in June and now awaiting the result […] The reason I enjoy singing praises and worshipping our loving Heavenly Father is that I rejoice in the Lord when I think of these things and they make me forget all the challenges I went through. At school, the subjects I excel at are commercial courses and history. I also like reading Christian authors. These days I am reading an R.T. Kendal book that I have rented for a short time and will give it back. It speaks about Total Forgiveness. I am assured that you are remembering me in prayer with hope that my aspirations are realised following completion of my studies. I myself will continuously be praying for you.”

Jasper* was abducted while on his school holidays and forced to be a child soldier. When he escaped the armed group he said of his time in the army, I was still very young and disliked to be a soldier and was taken there unwillingly. We were forced to do bad actions and immoral practices. Today he writes,

“Now I am integrated by Comfort Congo into the school and God has become a real answer to me in that, with difficulty, I completed secondary school last year. I am very happy that you accepted to sponsor me after you had read of me and thank you much that you will be praying for and supporting me […] The sponsorship money you send me helps me cover many of my primary needs so I do not fear I will lack soap and some clothes.”

Jacqueline* joined the army after her grandmother died because , “There wasn’t anywhere else to go to survive”. Her life has totally turned around after joining the CoL project. She writes to sponsor Sheena, 

“From the sponsorship money you send me through Comfort Congo, I started selling second-hand clothes which is productive and I find it a good project because through it I found I was able to go do some training which may one day be successful if I happen to get a job. Now I am nearly at the end of a 6 month Computer Science course, with programs like Windows, Word and Excel, and now we are practicing to master them well and then can start with Powerpoint. My wish is to continue this training until I make sure they are in my mind because through this training I may one day find a job in a Cyber Café or when I come into some money create my own job through this and make some income. I actually can’t find the words to express my gratitude to you but continually say to you thank you and let heaven continue to smile on you.”

We hope you are as encouraged and inspired as we are to read the stories of these brave young men and women who, despite the trauma and atrocities they have been through, are allowing their lives to be transformed by the hope of new life, the love of Father God and the care of the incredible Comfort Congo team, without whom this project would be an impossibility. There are still many, many children and young people in DRC who are in awful situations and need support. If you’d like to find out more about how you can sponsor an ex-child soldier, please click the link below. 

a little can change a life

*all names changed to protect identity.