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The Difference Five Cents Can Make

January 30, 2012 by Angela Vincent

Hillside pre-schoolers giving their offering.

As the Community Engagement Coordinator for ELI, I have the privilege of encouraging others to play a part of God’s Kingdom work around the world. It is so beautiful to see the body of Christ at work, sharing each other’s burdens, and working to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  This past Fall I was able to share the story of a child at our ELI school in the Democratic Republic of Congo with the preschoolers at Hillside Community Church in Rancho Cucamonga.

With pictures and stories, the kids and I journeyed through a day-in-the-life of Aganze Babike, as he walked to the ELI school, ate his lunch, played during PE, did his chores at home, and helped take care of his siblings. The Hillside kids learned that Aganze, like many children in the slum community in Bukavu, DR Congo, often suffer from malnutrition, as their parents have a hard time providing consistent food. A majority of them receive their only meal of the day at the ELI school.  According to our ELI DR Congo director, it costs five cents for each meal we serve to the kids. I encouraged these precious preschool children to know that even though they live far away from Africa, they can still make a genuine difference in the lives of children in DR Congo! I passed out cups, and invited them to collect change to support their friends like Aganze. Three months later, I was blown away to find that the preschool children at Hillside raised almost $1,000! Wow!

Below, Hillside’s Preschool Director, Shelly Majors, shares about the experience they had raising change to feed the children in DR Congo:

“This past year the preschool ministry of Hillside Community Church focused their efforts on hunger believing it to be a “graspable” concept for a 2 year old to Kindergarten age child.  In the final months we focused on helping to feed the children in DR Congo.  In an attempt to talk to kids in a concrete way we focused on how many plates of food we were able to buy with the money they brought.  Kids were given cups provided by ELI and were very intent upon filling their cups so they could bring them back to church and give their offering.  Even children as young as 2 years old were focused on getting change that they could put in their cup to provide plates of food for kids.  In the 3 months that money was collected, the kids raised just under a thousand dollars, which at the price of food in DR Congo, provides 18,651 plates of food.  The greatest challenge was trying to communicate the magnitude of the number to kids of that age.  We finally settled on explaining that the campaign’s result was a number bigger than they could possibly imagine.  In retrospect that was actually an appropriately teachable concept.  Isn’t it true that God’s goodness is hard to quantify – but definitely bigger than we can possibly imagine.”

If you would like to engage and encourage your community (big or small) to play a part in what God is doing in Africa, please contact ELI’s Community Engagement Coordinator Katie Cook at katiecook@empoweringlives.org.

ELI Sponsorship Coordinator Diana Hom feeding the children in Congo.

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Categories: DR Congo Empowering Lives Uncategorized USA Office Vulnerable Children