As cookfire smoke drifts into the sky, Victor, a father of seven, walks near his home in Matamba village, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Among the mudbrick houses that make his community, he comes to a lean-to building made of branches and thatch for the roof.
From inside, the soft squeal of two new pigs cuts through the quiet evening, and Victor smiles broadly. “I’m so happy to have these pigs,” he says. They mean a little hope in his struggle to provide for his family.
Life can be agonizingly difficult for Victor and millions of others in the DRC. Just putting food on the table each day is never guaranteed—let alone providing clothing, medicine, education, and all the other things a family needs.
“I want my children to have food and go to school,” he told us. But in the DRC, one of the poorest nations on earth, that is much easier said than done.
This is why the two pigs in Victor’s pig pen now fill the hardworking farmer with joy. They are an opportunity for him to help lift his family out of poverty and meet their growing needs. “The pigs will help me put my children in school, get them food, and face the many problems in our lives,” he said.
Victor’s pigs were provided through our local Samaritan’s Purse team but given by someone like you. In addition to delivering the pigs, our team helped Victor construct the pig pen and taught him how to raise and breed the animals to grow into a herd.
When Victor’s pigs produce a new litter, he will give two piglets to another family so they, too, can look toward a brighter future.
George is the father of one of those other families. Just a short walk from Victor’s pig pen, the father of 10 also raises pigs received through the Samaritan’s Purse team. “When the sow gives birth, it will help me save money to put my children in school. I would like my children to go to school,” he said.
Once grown, just one piglet can sell for the equivalent of $160 in the DRC. School fees often amount to $30 to $50 per child per semester—a daunting cost for most rural Congolese families. Yet, selling one pig brings enough to put three to five children through an entire semester.
Victor and George recognize their sons’ and daughters’ best chance of escaping poverty is attending school. Pigs give them a way to provide that opportunity.
The pigs can also act as a type of insurance for the families. If they face a crisis or need medicine to treat a sudden illness, they can always sell a pig to meet the pressing need.
“I’m just happy to have a good future,” George said, standing close to his own proudly constructed pig pen.
The provision of these pigs has opened doors to share the hope of the Gospel in George and Victor’s village. Constructed not far from their homes is a gathering place for a rapidly growing cult in the DRC. Many of the villagers follow its practices. But through the prayers and support of partners like you, the Samaritan’s Purse team is working in the village in the Name of Jesus Christ.
The team is sharing the Good News of the One who brings true hope and life. “And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.’” (John 6:35).
Pastor Taty, who leads our team, is working with a local evangelist to host showings of The JESUS Film in the village and preach the Gospel. “We are praying for many people to know Jesus as Lord and Savior,” he said.
Please be praying for these opportunities to share the hope of Christ while meeting many pressing needs. Please also pray for Victor, George, and other fathers and families as they survive amid very challenging circumstances.
More than a billion people worldwide are suffering from chronic malnutrition. Through your gifts, Samaritan’s Purse is providing lasting solutions through hands-on farming training, home garden projects, and practical education about nutrition, as well as desperately-needed food staples for hungry families in emergency situations.