Child Soldier Reintegration Process

5/14/2013 03:12:00 AM sendtheroths 2 Comments

The child soldier reintegration program is officially underway. Actually, it was underway last year-- but now we are finally seeing fruit. 

Can you imagine what it's like to gather more than 50 traumatized boys (and some girls) in one building who've recently left the militia?

A juvenile detention center on steroids. It was not pretty. Actually, sometimes it felt like a complete nightmare.

We quickly realized that these boys need caretakers who know what they are doing and who, most of all, LOVE them. But who in a village that is reeling from war and is torn to pieces by ethnic and religious divisions would do this?

A group of 12 (no joke!) men and women stepped up to the plate. Honestly, it's felt like David in scripture when he's running around in the wilderness with all the unwanted and degenerates for his army. These twelve consist of other former soldiers, pigmies and just random outcasts from the village. Six of them are completely illiterate themselves.

We left two qualified Congolese directors in charge of training "caretakers" and helping them to learn how to interact with the boys. This training has been going on for a few months now. Our return to the village was the most sane and enjoyable we've ever had. We were met with the caretakers, witnessed their trainings and stood to see their practicum.

What a change!

We saw some definite changes in the boys since last year. They are dressing differently, they have better attention spans, they don't scream vile things at missionary Andrew Roth's wife anymore (me!) and lastly, I can tell by talking to them that they are sobering up a bit.

We still have such a long way to go.

But that's the progress that we've seen with just over 60 boy former child soldiers.

Pray that we can see these children of war become children of peace. Pray for their caretakers. Pray that this seemingly random group of 12 Congolese with our organization would come up with wise and clever ideas on how to impart their knowledge about caring for these children.


  1. I am so grateful for the work you are doing in the DRC. The people who work with you are answers to prayer. They are brave Congolese who put themselves at risk to serve a living God. It is a privilege to read your blog

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