Last Thursday we learned more about Rita. She is from the Congo. She has only been in the US for about 3 weeks now. She was educated in her country up to about the 6th grade. She speaks French, Kiswahili and Kinyarwanda. She likes to sew. She used to work selling produce. Rita is a widow. Her husband was taken from her home and killed during all the fighting in the Congo in 1996. She remembers trying to stop the “bad men” who came to take her husband away. They pushed her away. Later, her husbands body was located.
Her children and her ran for their safety. During their escape from the Congo, Rita was separated from three of her five children. They were 16, 12 and 10 at that time. They are now adults. Rita wonders if they would recognize her today and if she would recognize them. She believes that she would. Rita is sad and has been sad for many years. Rita’s two girls miss their siblings too.
Rita’s story touches my heart as a mother. It is about to be Mother’s Day. I want to do something to help her. How could Asha’s Refuge possibly help to locate her missing children? I wondered if they were still using their same names. She wonders too. I wonder which country they are now in. She wonders too. I wonder if they are alive. Rita wonders too. I thought about what I would do if my children were small again and they turned up missing. I would post signs everywhere asking people if they had seen my children and plead with others to be looking for them. I would post their pictures on the poster so others would know who they are looking for. Rita, however, has no pictures of her children. All she has are the pictures of the memories of them in her heart.
The least we can do is help spread the word about Rita’s children. Most Americans would not have the slightest idea about how to help. There are many refugees and other legal immigrants in the US and other countries from the Congo. Our plan is to post these missing person flyers all over social media. Perhaps someone from the Congo (or the children themselves) will locate the flyer and connect to us!! It seems impossible, but we believe nothing is impossible with God!
After praying with Rita that God would draw her children towards her, we cried. In my Spirit, I felt that what I was supposed to do was get in this with Rita and help her in the search. I wondered if anyone had actually gotten to her hearts level to help her search. Does she feel like no one cares if they are lost? We want to acknowledge the heart breaking family situations that occur because of war and persecutions in our world today. We want Rita to know “We Care”.
Our “We Care” project with Culture of Refuge for Rita is to get her children’s names on a flyer/poster and help her spread the word that she is looking for her children. Rita has already listed her children’s names with the resettlement agency just in case a person entering into the US, via refugee status, is a match. Rita has requested for everyone to please help us help her by posting this flyer everywhere and spread the word. If you have any leads: Contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org). We are believing for a miracle and when Rita left our office today she too had a spirit of joy and anticipation! She will go focusing on Jesus and prepare her new home for her children’s arrival.
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