Article by: Barbara Appleby
I was excited to return to Muyinga after not having been there for almost two years. Between the time of my first visit and this one, FAMA had been officially established in the US and launched its program to educate the Pygmies of Muyinga.
FAMA was already in its third year of enabling Pygmy children to attend school and supporting their families. That academic year, we enrolled 125 children in school from 80 different families. For two years, we had provided food and other supplies to the Pygmy families with kids in school. The year before, we had built our first house. During this visit, we were going to cut ribbons for 13 more Pygmy homes! I was beyond thrilled to be returning to Muyinga. Notwithstanding my bursting enthusiasm, as we drove into the village, my heart sank. The devastating poverty and lack overwhelmed me. I felt the weight of responsibility. Though I had been working in FAMA for more than two years, I hadn’t actually made the connection that there were real human beings, made in the image of God, who literally depended on us for their next meal.
The very next day, God encouraged my heart greatly as I witnessed the practical impact FAMA was having. Though there was much more to be accomplished, we dedicated 13 newly built, furnished houses for 13 Pygmy families, we equipped 125 children for school, we provided food to the families with children in school, we distributed clothing to the entire community, and we showed the Jesus film. That day, all the children returning to school were served soda and full meals with rice, vegetables and even meat.