Local Care Workers have committed their lives to caring for vulnerable and traumatised children, but many of them have suffered their own traumatic experiences of abuse and abandonment. As they are set free from the inner wounds of their trauma, they offer hope to the children that the same is possible for them. Here is one child’s story of the transformative love that a Care Worker gave to a vulnerable young girl in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Kasongo’s story could have ended with her wandering the streets of Kikula with her siblings, desperately trying to survive. After Kasongo’s father’s death three years ago, her mother was unable to bear the responsibility of caring for the family alone so she abandoned Kasongo and her siblings. With no means of supporting herself, Kasongo began to suffer physically from a lack of food. Kasongo’s grandmother took the children into her home to try and care for them but, sick herself with heart disease, was unable to provide for them. The trauma of her father dying and the rejection of her mother abandoning her have left deep scars in this young girl. It is easy to see the hurt in 12-year-old Kasongo’s eyes.
But Kasongo’s story does not end alone on the streets on Kikula. Things began to change for Kasongo when Mbuyu came to visit the family’s home one day. Mbuyu, a Care Worker, has committed her life to answering God’s call to care for the most vulnerable children. She seeks out the most broken children in Kikula and gives whatever she can to help them. When Mbuyu found Kasongo and her siblings, she knew she had found children in need.
Together with other volunteers from the local church in Kikula, Mbuyu is able to provide necessities to Kasongo as a mother would. Kasongo is now receiving one healthy meal each day and access to education and basic health care. But the true hope for transformation in Kasongo’s life is found in the relationship Mbuyu is building with her. The emotional bond between them is not found in the food Mbuyu can provide Kasongo, but in the act of giving her time and her life to love a young girl whom many would disregard as perhaps too wounded to love. Small signs of hope are reflecting the change taking place in Kasongo’s heart. She is attending grade 4 and says her dream is to become a tailor. We pray Kasongo will one day be able to tell the story of her life with contentment, having experienced more love than loss.