We serve in the city of Goma, in the province of North Kivu. Goma borders Rwanda to its east, an active volcano (that erupted last summer) to the north, Lake Kivu to the south, and Africa's oldest national park to the west. It is plagued by rebel activity, general insecurity, and poverty. It is also an incredibly beautiful place full of exciting young people who are eager to bring change and growth to their country.
One way to summarize our work
is that we want to create opportunities for dynamic young Congolese people to live out the gospel by transforming broken systems, in the city of Goma, in all domains of life. We do this in renewable energy, education, agriculture, the church, and entrepreneurship. We also support UWM missionaries in eastern Congo as well.
We try to identify the innate talent and capacity God has given an individual from eastern Congo and link their capacity, passion, and creativity to a problem that is negatively affecting people’s lives. We then work with them to provide solutions that lead to systems change. The specific way this plays out is as unique as the person and the problem. We believe that the Gospel changes everything and we love linking the transformation of individual lives in community (including our own!) with the transformation of broken and destructive systems. In the end, inspired by our partnership with Congo Initiative, we believe in the process. The how and why we do what we do is as important as the outcomes.
One of our closest friends, colleagues and partners is a young man named Archip Lobo Ngumba.
We’ve known Archip for almost a decade now, from when he was a junior in university still seeking God’s plan for his life. As a boy, his family was deeply and permanently affected by violent ethnic conflict in his home city of Bunia, in eastern Congo. Archip’s life purpose became finding a way to use the tragedy of these experiences to inspire him to bring transformation in eastern Congo.
At 22 years old, Archip led an initiative called, “Sharing the Land,” that sought to bring Congo’s first digital database of land registrations, seeking to address that over 80% of all court cases in eastern Congo were due to land conflict. He then worked with Jon to found Nuru, a renewable energy utility dedicated to bringing reliable, affordable, renewable energy to 5 million people in Congo by 2024.
Archip is an amazing example of a brilliant, super high potential person who we have the blessing of helping support, encourage, challenge, and facilitate the amazing impact he is having in Congo.
Life and work in Congo is an absolute emotional and spiritual rollercoaster. I’ve never felt more lament, anger with God and sadness. I’ve also never felt so reliant on Christ for just living! Congolese brothers and sisters in Christ have been some of the most important spiritual mentors for me in my life.
So grateful for UWM’s ongoing support and commitment to this work!