An Excerpt from An Indigenous Garden in DRC

In my last post, I told you about my Associates Kim Haxton and Meaghan Farquharson and their journey (physical, spiritual, emotional) to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

I am sharing with you a post from Kim on her gofundme page. If you haven’t done so already, I invite you to learn more and consider making a donation.

1084px-Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo_in_Africa_(-mini_map_-rivers).svgKim Sunday Funday DRC

What a whirlwind. Imagine less than 20 years ago over 5 million people were killed. The effects of chaos ringing through the land are huge. We just drove down a street that in its hey-day must of been something special (1950’s) with buildings whose ghostly carcasses sit mostly empty, shadows of their former purposes. The streets are vibrant with people, noticeably are the children, working selling plastic bags for pennies trying to help their families… Sounds echoing of horns, and scratchy stereos pumping out sounds from the past and what is in now. It is amazing how big Congolese music is and has been in the world. There is a lot of creative inspiration from this madness.

I sat with an Belgian man who is here providing training to the Panzi hospital, as a career soldier, his words hit clear about the immense challenges and difficulties in a place where there is no infrastructure, many people in survival mode. He said this was second to Kabul in places where it was so overwhelming. I asked him what kept him in this line of work. He looked at me with his crystal blue eyes and said “I believe in Humanity” , well put. When he asked what kind of missionary work we were doing I replied, “Decolonization”, he looked at me and said “Yes, that is a gift for all of this mess”. When you see me there is more to this conversation about the outside influences that contribute to the oppression of the people besides the current government. It remains to be seen if there will be an election this year as there is no money to make it happen. I wonder why none of the mining companies will contribute to make this happen. I guess they do benefit from this government.

We taught our first day of our women’s classes today. Listening to how the women talk about the relearning traditional knowledge was more than I expected. One of the women said she was shown in dreams which medicine to use for her sick Baby………this makes me extremely excited.

Who knows what will come of the seeds we are sowing here, so far there has been a great response into people sharing about plant medicine. Each person seems to have one little piece of information. Every conversation I have, the response is the same about need to know this information, and remembering to ask about it.

Yesterday was Sunday, {funday} at Church. We climbed a hill in through the slums to a congregation of about 1000 people. The singing was glorious. This alone would be the reason I would attend faithfully every week. Its the biggest part of the fabric in this land that holds people thru all the hardship, I remember a story where a woman suffered extreme sexual trauma along with witnessing the death of her children, and she said “God was with me thru all of it”

Amen.

 

 

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An Indigenous Garden in DCR

Two of my Associates, Kim Haxton and Meaghan Farqurharson have just arrived in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  They will be there for the rest of January 2016.

For those of you who are not familiar with the DRC I have included a Wikipedia link for your reference.

Gofundme Jan 13

Kim has been organizing the trauma recovery training in Bukovu with Peace and Conflict Resolution from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and has run programs on her own with the help of Pastor Samuel and his wife Faida.  This year Meaghan is joining her in the work.

As Kim so concisely puts it in her blog post, “The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the poorest countries in the world. With a GDP listing of 324$ per year, many people live on less than a dollar a day. It is one of the most underreported countries continuing to live in civil unrest – with political turmoil resulting from resource exploitation. This situation has created the deadliest conflict in the world since WWII, and the highest rates of sexual violence. According to a recent study (American Public Health Association, 2011), “four women are raped every five minutes”. Under constant threat of violence, displacement and hunger, it is a dangerous place to be a woman or a girl.”

Over the past couple of years, Kim has received donations that allowed her to buy two sewing machines which has created a small income for widowed women living in Bukavu.  She trained 45 women in trauma recovery, and like a pebble in a pond, these women have extended their learning and touched over 500 women in the province of South Kivu – with requests for more training.  This is a drop in the bucket, in a vast ocean of needs. That is why Kim and her team is so committed to creating sustainable support by training trainers and starting social enterprise projects, instead of only offering charitable aid.

As some of you know Kim and Meaghan have been teaching trauma training through an Indigenous lens the past couple of years.  One of the teachings that has emerged has been around health and reconnecting to traditional medicines that come from the plant world.  This time, Kim and Meaghan are going to the DRC with the intent to create sustainable community support that includes purchasing land as a foundation for food, security and revitalization of medicinal plants.

Schools without Borders have given Kim and Meaghan two return plane tickets.  While they are ‘on the ground’, Kim will be sharing their experiences through her blog.  I in turn will be sharing this with you here on my blog.

 

If you would like to read more about Kim and Meaghan Visit their gofundme website.

Details and information on Peace and Conflict Resolution from the Democratic Republic of Congo are attached.

A Happy New Year Gift

 

One of my colleagues from Indonesia, Elizabeth Santosa, just tweeted a uTube video on a program I did called WomenTalk.

In it I talk about the changes that are happening in our world today.  I also share how life seems to have guided me every step of the way . . . to be part of the changes that are happening.

Feel free to enjoy the video. . .and. . .I invite you to reflect on how everything in your life–challenges and gifts–have all been part of LIFE GUIDING YOU. . .

Ask yourself . . . What does Life want for me this coming year?  How can I step into Life even more?

I look forward to your sharing here on this blog. . .and in life.

Happy 2016!

With Gratitude

Dr. Beth Hedva