Saturday, April 20, 2013

Still, Flowers Will Bloom.

Our eyes have definitely been in the papers this week. Our prayers are with the communities in the US which have seen violence and tragedy this month. This includes Mayflower. We are hoping that the community can recover from the oil spill will as little damage to human and environmental health as possible.

Here is the view from the missionary house today.

It is a cold and rainy spring day, but still full of color.

It has been a simple week here. My shoulders are sore from turning earth with a hoe all week. I tried to get the flu once but my body kicked it out after one day of rest. Jenny has been cooking lunch and transplanting lots of seedlings for our spring and summer vegetables.

Jenny and the rest of the kitchen staff went out for a picnic in the spring flowers on Saturday!

This is Shibazakura Park, where the shibazakura flowers bring many visitors each spring!
Sang Ah (Korea), Nishi (Japan), Acivo (India), Me (USA)--Our diverse kitchen crew
The participants are starting to settle into their Foodlife work and have completed their first full week of classes. Andy (Ecuador), Mbuche (Kenya), Martin (Malawi), Cem Bel (Myanmar).

News of violence and instability have not just come from the US. We recently received the following report from Kaniki, a graduate of 2012 from the DRC. We were so lucky to have met and lived beside such a beautiful spirit. Our prayers are with her. Read her report below to get an idea of the work that ARI graduates set out to do and the challenges that they met in doing so.

Kaniki at HTC 2012, selling her fish bread!
The Oneness Development INstitute (ODI) is an ecumenical institution founded by Rev. Katembo Masimango Tshuma in 2005, located in two towns of DRC, Goma and Beni, Mavivi village near the Mavivi airport. this organanization's mission is to help empower women to transform their lives in society by working in partnership with churches, NGOs, other stakeholders to train and support people who are among the most vulnerable. ODI also makes Lishe Bora, or Nutritious Food in English, which is a mixture of 7 cereals: Finger millet, Maize, Rice, Wheat, Simsim, Groundnuts, Soya beans. This product is needed by children, women old people, youth the sick persons the displaced people and refugees as a result of war and those affected and infected by HIV and AIDS.

Before my training at ARI, ODI was involved in growing vegetable, cabbage and other crops, using chemical pesticides without any protection because negative effects of chemical pesticides on people, animals, soils, insects, water, and air were not known in the community. After my training, I decided to pass on the knowledge received at ARI by organizing two day training courses. The main topics were: 1. The danger of Chemicals Fertilizer and Pesticide in Agriculture, and 2. The Use of Compost, Rice Husk Charcoal, and mulching in Agriculture. Participants' expectation through training in DRC was to produce nutritious and safe food, free from chemicals and to fight the use of chemical pesticide in agriculture. The method used in the training was the balance between practical work in our farm and the theoretical approach. The demand for training is higher but we do not have money to support the training session and the transport expenses. 

Due to insecurity, I was requested by ODI staffs to live in Kampala, Uganda. But on 12 February 2013, my husband and I were attacked, tortured, and dehumanized by people of Uganda at Indis Corner Kampala, Makindie Street, Shua zone at 4am. All the money, clothes, and my digital camera were taken inside the office of the chairman. We were wrongly accused of selling counterfeit goods in Uganda by this people and were not allowed to talk. As my husband was trying to explain, concerning the problem, he was directly and firstly slapped by the chairman inside his office. We were surrounded by more than 200 robbers having sticks and stones. These people brought car tires, which were put on the neck of my husband. Plastics of water were brought and poured on him, including Kerosene so that he can be fired. Through the police intervention of Uganda, we were free from death. We thank God to be alive today. We have been realized that DRC and Uganda are not safe places for people, especially for my family. This situation affected our ministry. We need your prayers four our organization to help us to fulfill our vision and mission of serving and helping people of DRC affected by war, and HIV and AIDS. We would like to buy 5 hectares of land for 5000 dollars Your prayer is needed. 

For those interested in knowing, we've finalized our travels plans home. We will finish our time here at ARI early August and leave for Korea on August 4. Jenny's cousin, John, is currently living near Daegu teaching English. So we will hop on over for about 9 days and I'll meet John for the first time and we'll see this country where some of our ARI family is from. We'll fly home from Korea and arrive at the familiar Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport on August 13, 7:something-pm. It's hard to believe we're making these plans already, we're quickly approaching our 9-month mark. And of course, we wouldn't have made it here in the first place without all of you. Thank you again and again for all of your love and support.

Jenny and Doug

Ps. Here are some photos of our day in Tokyo with David, Katie, Mike and Natalie. We'll let the smiles speak for themselves:

1 comment:

  1. Hi Doug and Jenny,

    My name is Seth Raymond and I'm a priest in Milwaukee (and former YASCer in Taiwan). My middle school sunday school class wrote letters to the YASCers today and I would love to send you one. Please send your snail mail address to