New Home for Maman Rebecca

Maman Rebecca is an exceptional woman. She has had a very hard life, yet she is selfless and generous to anyone who needs help.  She is a woman of strong faith and always says that God is the Father of orphans and the husband of widows. 

This was taken Jan 1, 2014.
There were 7 people living in here! 

At the age of 14 she was forced to marry a 35 year old man with 5 children, one of which was almost her age! It was terrifying for her.  She had 6 other children with this man and then he was killed when the youngest was very little. At that point, her in-laws took everything away from her, as is the usual custom in the Congo, and she was left on the street with 10 children (one child had died). She had to rummage through garbage piles to find bags to sleep on and broken sandals for her kids to wear.

Maman Rebecca's house when I first met her.
3 boys and a small foam mattress for all to sleep on

This was the first bunk bed
we built them
When we met her in 2012, her children were grown, and she was living in a tiny room with 3 abandoned boys. Even after a difficult life and after her children were grown, she was still willing to take in these little boys who had been rejected by their own parents; even in her absolute poverty, she was willing to share her tiny bed and the little food she had.

The boys were not in school, so we started by putting them in school.  Even Matondo, at the age of 12, had to start school in Grade One with the two younger boys. We got Maman Rebecca a job, acquired a piece of land for her, helped her start a business making and selling manioc, got a bunk bed built for them... 

Matondo, Amour and Beni in their uniforms

Since then, Maman Rebecca and the children have been faithful with what they have been given.  She continues to show her generosity by bringing us to people who need help, very burdened with their suffering.  Many of the other families we have been helping have been because of her. 

Omega, Maman Rebecca's youngest daughter who had to
come live with her mother after being thrown out
with her little children.

In December 2014, her youngest daughter had to come live with her because she was beaten by the father of her two young girls and kicked out with the children in the middle of the night.  Maman Rebecca's household grew from 4 people to 7! Maman Rebecca gave up the bed she was sharing with one of the boys and slept on the floor in that tiny room.

We decided to move her to a bigger place and found a 3 room house.  Mercy Ships volunteers came alongside to make the move a possibility with donations and with their time and efforts.  They have a table and chairs for the first time, a huge beautiful bed as well as the other bed they had.  They also have received a stove to make cakes and chicken to sell and a freezer and cooler to sell cold drinks and yogurt.  The boys are still going to school and doing well. 

Working on the new house in January, cleaning up garbage
Volunteers from Mercy Ships painting
The new bed and shelves in 
one bedroom

Matondo with their old mattress

Maman Rebecca's new home, a safe house 

Since they have moved into this new house in January, they have grown even more, receiving an 18 year old girl, Sara, who was abandoned by her family and without a place to live.  

Sitting in their living room at their new table... can see the freezer in the background
Supplies for the freezer business: ginger for tangawiss
(ginger juice), for example
Omega with Sara with the babies on their backs,
just came back from market trip to buy supplies
Maman Rebecca giving a testimony of God's
goodness to her at church. 

 Unfortunately, the storm on March 4th 2014 flooded their house and they had to evacuate in the night.  They are back there now, but because of what happened, we feel safer moving them to a better area, so we are actively looking for another house for them to live.  It will naturally be a place that always has its door open to those in need.    

This is her house the morning of the flood.  You can see
how high the 
water is--up to the bedroom windows.

After the flood, freezer and stove as well as all their clothes
outside to dry. Thanks to electricians on Mercy Ships
we were able to salvage both!

All the family in a room at Cheryl's house 
when they had to evacuate 
because of the storm
Buckets and buckets of dirty water to
evacuate from the house

Maman Rebecca in front of her house
cleaning up after the flood