Repairing and rebuilding the clinic is an urgent need.

Our exploration trip in March 2010 helped us decide that Matende mission is where we want to begin the work of Congo Open Heart.

We hope that some of the people living in Kinshasa, crowded with garbage and noise and pollution, can come back and live in this beautiful countryside and rebuild this Christian oasis and conference center. It can become an educational and health center as well as a training center with a farming operation to help cover the operating costs of the mission.

Much work needs to be done.

Buildings put up before the rebellion of 1963 had all been looted and robbed of anything of value, the corrugated tin on the roofs, doors, windows and frames and any lumber and fixtures. Only a few columns are still standing of the house the Kroeker family lived in. Blocks have been used to patch up elsewhere. Only one corner of the church is still standing with a grass roof. The garage workshop is gone. The roof has been replaced very roughly on the long school building and the two missionary houses. Student housing was destroyed and abandoned. Two buildings of the medical center are standing with roofs but no medical equipment or beds.

We promised the local staff to try to bring in some work teams to help rebuild and find funds for materials. Our job on this trip will be to discuss with the Congolese leaders to see just what can be done.

The following plan of action, depending on how things work out, is what I visualize at this point:

  • Fix doors and windows on a few rooms where we can lock up tools, computers and important items.
  • Dig up the sewage system and drains at one house and see if it can be fixed or completely replaced.
  • Install at least one inside toilet.
  • Fix up a kitchen for cooking and eating.
  • Clean out one of the rain water cisterns, find storage for clean water.
  • Find small electric generator and fuel.
  • Fix shed to store the tractor that we hope to get from the government, and find fuel in Kikwit and transport it to Matende.

Three important steps include:

  1. Completely evaluate the situation for budgets and plans.
  2. Prepare the logistics for teams to come.
  3. Encourage the Christians to have a new and enlarged vision of what God wants them to do.

We will keep you informed during this 2011 trip as plans continue to solidify and we are launching the work. We want to help people live healthy, productive lives in the heart of Congo.