Facebook

I posted a photo on facebook. A picture that I placed on FB in 2012 and I have fond memories of that month. It was when the daughter of friends visited and she worked in the maternity as in The Netherlands she was studying at that time to be a midwife. The picture then only received positive feed-back. What was on there? A woman on the delivery table, face not really visible, but legs and tummy showed. The midwife and the friend’s daughter were waiting for the woman to deliver her baby. The delivery was approaching.

Facebook popped it up as a memory and I posted it again last week. I was bombarded with remarks, and they were all negative. How could I post a picture like that??? This was not to be done!!! I tried to delete the photo, but apparently I failed. More remarks made the picture pop up again and again. I became angry. Frustrated. Not only with the remarks, that were from good friends, but also because I just could not delete the picture.

That evening when I went to bed, I started thinking. What about all those young girls, young people, who place in their innocence a nude picture of themselves and get bombarded with all kinds of negative remarks, and also threats that if they don’t post more of those kinds of pictures, it will be made public, to parents, other friends, and whoever… Girls even committed suicide because they could not turn it back, because they could not delete the one picture they uploaded in good faith on the internet.

I don’t know if my picture still circulates on FB or not. I don’t care. And I don’t care anymore if I will still get all kinds of negative feed-back. However, that said, I like to ask people to think before they post anything on FB (that one is for me) or before you react to a picture or a post. If it is negative, instead of just being negative, try to be positive as well. Or send a private message.

And maybe someone can help me, and all those young people. How can you delete a post from FB, if the delete button doesn’t seem to work???

Workshops cancelled

Yes, I had to cancel the workshops. No, not because of the situation around ebola. That has not arrived in Adi. But malaria is another disease that reaches out its grabbing arms to all and this time it got me. Friday I woke up after a unrestful night, with lots of crazy dreams, and I had a fever. My blood smear was positive for malaria and I started with medication. That day I really felt terrible and I decided to spend the night at the neighbour’s place. Also because of the medication being intravenous. Saturday I already felt better, though very tired. So, together with Ayila (my co-facilitator), we decided to cancel both workshops. The one in Koboko cannot be organised easily again, as that depends on the meetings of the Uganda church leadership of CECA. However, the other one for the school chaplains in Aru, will probably be near the end of this month.

EBOLA Alert

Last year in August an ebola epidemic started near Beni in the North Kivu Province. Since then 2.275 have been confirmed as having ebola, and 1.598 have died (as of July 3). Ebola is spreading because the fight against ebola knows lots of problems. The region where it started is a region that is invested with rebel groups and these groups even have attacked treatment centers and killed aid workers. Also they make people believe that ebola does not exist and that it is a dream of the government to suppress the people.

Since last weekend, the end of June, a woman has been diagnosed with ebola in Ariwara, only 45 km from Adi, and has died since. And it is worse. A team of ISTM, a school to train registered nurses in Aru, has been in Ariwara, to supervise students, before coming to Adi. We are waiting for vaccines.

In the mean time, we take preventative measures. Washing hands has been installed again and the hospital personnel really makes sure that everyone entering the hospital washes his hands!

Washing hands is again obligatory

Channels of Hope

Teaching to be a Channel of Hope

A comprehensive workshop discovering how church leaders can be involved in teaching about HIV and care for those living with HIV. It is a workshop that I have followed in South Africa in 2013 when it was organised by AIDSLink. And I have developed it into a workshop of 2-3 days for DR Congo. I have organised two workshops last year, in the CECA 20 church districts of Aba and Watsa. This year in November I will go to Bunia and teach the new CECA leadership. And…

Next month I will be for a two-day workshop in Koboko, Uganda. CECA has expanded into Uganda and the beginning of July some 12 pastors will meet for their executive council. Following these meetings I have been given the opportunity for this workshop. The teaching will be on Monday 8 and Tuesday 9 July! And of course it will be in English this time, so I have been translating what I translated from English to French back into English again.

July will be busy, as the school chaplains in the church district of Aru have asked for a Channels of Hope workshop also. That will probably follow the one in Koboko.

Lighting candles of commitment

Pray for our Bethsaida project

Bethsaida is our project that assists orphans to go to school. This year we have 28 students we support, both in primary and secondary school. One of the students, Heritier, who is in first year of secondary for the second year because he didn’t do well, was followed more this year and while he didn’t do well in the first semester, after having talked with him, his teachers and his uncle, he is on the way up.

Talking with Heritier and his uncle

However, another boy, who is in fifth year of secondary and was doing well, quit school in May and we are trying to pursue him to talk with him and with his grandfather. A meeting set up for this morning didn’t take place as the grandfather didn’t come.

Please pray for these two boys and their families. The other children, who are doing well, would appreciate your prayers also.

General Assembly of CECA, part 2

It has been quite an adventure to go to Bunia with all the delegates of the two church districts of Adi and Aru. They had hired a bus only for us. And yes, I was the only woman. And no, it didn’t bother me. I was well looked after. The first start we had on Easter Sunday, when we went by motorbike to Ariwara, where a youth concert took place and the place of CECA 20 Ariwara was packed.

Youth concert in Ariwara on Easter Sunday

Easter Monday we had an early start at 6am and a stop was made in Aru where we picked up more delegates (and had a meal). Until around 4.15pm we had smooth going, but then we got stuck behind trucks. And were not able to make any more progress. A truck packed with wood (planks and the like) had capsized and had touched two trucks in its fall. All three wouldn’t move. A fourth truck was blocking the only part of the road that was kind of okay, but too muddy for the truck to go on. And we had to pass the night there, together with about forty or fifty other trucks. That is called ‘Congo roads hazards’.

Four trucks are blocking the road

The next day it took another two hours before we finally got on the way, and got stuck again about 10 km further down the road. That took all morning. It was the middle of the afternoon that we finally arrived in Bunia and were welcomed with a meal at the church.

Delegates of the General Assembly, we were totalling 165 voting members

General Assembly took four days and were intens and hard work. But also, revisiting with old friends and making new friends. It was an Assembly in which we were to vote for another church president, and we did that on Saturday, April 27. And all the candidates that were chosen in leadership were chosen with unanimous votes. It was great to see that the Lord brought unity among so many voting members.

Agupio, Amanio, on the left, is the new church president for CECA. Pilo Guna, on the right, has another term as vice-president. They will make a good team.

It has been a good time to make new friends, as I mentioned earlier. One new friend works as a pastor in Uganda, and with him I have made plans to organise the workshop ‘Channels of Hope’ in Uganda after they have had their board meetings in Koboko. Because Koboko is not far at all from Adi, we have opted for that time somewhere in June. I started translating the participant syllabus back into English. I will go to teach with Ayila, who helped me in Durba in October. The only thing is that Ayila doesn’t speak English and has to do the teaching in Swahili. It will be another workshop with several languages!

Newsletter/Nieuwsbrief April 2019

It took a while, but I can now post my first newsletter of 2019 for you to read and pray for. Thank you. Here is the link: https://www.annemarieboks.com/from-summer-to-winter-to-summer/

General Assembly of CECA

CECA is the church denomination AIM, and several other mission organisations work with here in the DR Congo. It has its office in Bunia and works in three regions, 11 church districts and around 60 church sections. Adi, where I am based, is the seat of the church district of Adi and of the section of Adi.

Next week CECA organises its General Assembly and as a missionary in Adi District I am one of its delegates. We will leave for Aru after Easter service and continue to Bunia by bus on Easter Monday.

It is an important assembly as we will choose a new Church President. Reverend Kokole Idring’i Jean-Pierre has been president since 2004. He was voted in during the first assembly I attended as a listener (I was one of the people counting the votes then).

Please pray for travel mercies, and that the General Assembly will be led not by men but by God’s Holy Spirit and that the man of God’s choosing will be chosen to succeed Reverend Kokole as church president.

AIMSITES

AIM has decided to gradually remove the blog site called AIM Sites, where I have been blogging more frequent than posting things here. That will change from now on. I will see how to move things from there to this site, but will see first which posts have not been written on the two blogs. So bear with me.
This month I am pretty busy. I will have to finish my report over the year 2018, and quickly at that, as the end of this month I will go to Bunia for the General Assembly of CECA 20. I want my report in well before that so they will be able to read and comment.
Also I will see to get at least a link from AIMsites to this one, so that you who go there will be send to this site instead.

Many greetings,
Annemarie

Our Bethsaida project

Bethsaida is our orphan project. AIDS is still rampant in Congo, and at the hospital at least 450 people living with HIV are being treated with ARV’s. But regularly we hear that one of them dies. Mostly this is because they don’t take these ARV’s every day. When they feel good, they think they don’t need them anymore and they quit the treatment.

Bethsaida helps orphans, who lost their parents because of HIV related illnesses, to go to school. We cannot help everybody, and this school year 2017-2018 we are supporting 25 children to go to school. Fifteen of them are in primary school, ten are in secondary school.

Dhata Yeka is the chairman of our board, and is also the director of the primary school in Adi. He is a man of integrity and a big help for me. Together with Bhayo Leku and Atiye Likiso he is following the children at school.

Dhata Yeka with Esther Anyadru, one of the orphans we support

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