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Beyond the Walls

Reverend Tadei Vyaera is an affectionate man.

At age sixty-five, he still cares for those in his church. But high in the hills of the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, it hasn’t come without difficulty.

During his eight years pastoring here, it’s been a struggle to see true transformation. But he presses on, and his passion for shining God’s light is as strong as ever. Thanks to donors like you, the church is starting to reach beyond its walls.

After the Sunday service, we follow Rev. Vyaera down a small path to his home. The elevation makes the region a bit cooler than other parts of the country, but with a tropical jungle all around it’s still quite humid. Sweat beads down our foreheads as we walk down the dirt path. The noise of birds and insects is constant. The smell of charcoal is in the air as families are preparing their Sunday afternoon meals.

As we enter his home, we meet Rev. Vyaera’s wife. After a few moments we realise that she is not well. In fact, she is chronically ill. “One of our main problems here is disease,” Rev. Vyaera tells us. Because of this, many families are leaving the village and move to Butembo, a city nearby.

One of the poorest countries on earth, the DRC lacks a lot of the normal social services we’ve become a custom to in Canada. Public roads, electricity, running water, healthcare—are difficult to come by, especially in rural areas. What healthcare there is usually is private and costs money. Those living in extreme poverty simply can’t afford it.

Pastor Mutsuva Vyahera Tadel, 65, reads from the bible in the church in Kiwata, Democratic Republic of Congo, on 12 December 2021. Tadei has been the pastor in charge of the CBCA parish in the village of KIWATA for eight years now, where Tearfund supports the food security agriculture and community empowerment project through the AVEC programme. He says, 'Before the project started, we were farming just to eat, the crops were not enough to allow us to sell some and consume some. But since the project started, we are able to farm better, the crops are enough to consume and market.' Tearfund Canada continues to support several training and outreach programmes, with the help of CBCA, in the Democratic Republic of Congo in order to assist vulnerable communities out of poverty.
Rev. Vyaera leads a church high in the hills of the DRC.
We follow Rev. Vyaera after church down a small dirt path to his home.
With limited social services provided by the government, churches are at the centre of their communities. They not only provide spiritual instruction, but also act as hubs to create holistic change.
Rev. Vyaera in front of his church.

But thanks to people like you, the situation is slowly changing.

“I used to have trouble paying for her care in the hospital, but now, thanks to the savings group, I can easily borrow a loan and buy my wife some medicine,” Rev. Vyaera says.

Through savings groups, villagers are provided with the opportunity to save micro-amount of money and grow a small amount of savings. Eventually, members save enough to become eligible to take out loans from the communal pot. Run in partnership with agriculture training, the groups are a tremendous tool in helping families climb out of poverty. In addition to being able to buy his wife some medicine, last year the group helped Rev. Vyaera buy some goats which allowed him to pay his children’s school fees.

“In our group there is also a father who bought a plot of land, and he managed to organize his son’s wedding, and another man who bought a field. The success stories are numerous. We hope that more from the community will join us as they see the change in our lives.”

Although all of this would be great on its own, what really has Rev. Vyaera excited is how the church plays a key part. “The program is run through the church.”

For his entire life, Rev. Vyaera has been preaching the Good News of Jesus to all those who entered his doors. He was—and is—passionate about advancing God’s kingdom. Today, his church not only preaches within the walls, but goes out, meeting the immense spiritual and physical needs around it.

 Donors like you have helped this happen.

 “I’d like to thank Tearfund for its support because, thanks to this program, we are fighting poverty in our village.”

You can help transform the lives of families who are living in extreme poverty

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