A Minute of Prayer
Above, some pictures of the Flame of Love orphanage in Goma
The Flame of Love orphanage in Goma, Democratic Republic of
the Congo, was founded by Sister Alvera Gahunyuza, Teresian
This is the report that Sister Alvera sent us in May 2010:
We have 25 children who remain internally with us in the orphanage. We feed them, school them and dress them. For schooling, the Pallottine Fathers help us by supporting eight children. For the others, we make an effort to pay for them ourselves. As to food, we eat poorly: Every afternoon we eat beans with bananas or with potatoes or rice; in the evening, we eat pasta with vegetables (cabbage, cassava leaves, bean leaves, etc.) We eat meat once every month or two, the fry once a week if there were many. The morning we have porridge and milk that we buy for the younger child who is a year and a half old.
Regarding health care, we can manage too, but for the 8 children supported by the Pallottine Fathers, the health care is provided for free. We also have a Carmelite Father who has sought the adoption of three children. Each year, he sends $540 per child. There is an Italian mother who also helps me, and a friend staying in Italy gives me at times a small financial contribution.
In order to help the children, some people of goodwill in the United States send us $100 per mont and they also gave us six little pigs to raise. The barn is well built and we have enough money to feed them well. We have met benefactors from Canada through the non-profit organization "Gorilla" of Goma which has its headquarters in Bukavu. There is also "Handicap International" which helps us care for our children who have physical disabilities. At home, we have four children who are cared for disability. We also work with "Docs" (this is the hospital that deals with treating raped women and children). We have two children who have been raped and who are orphans.
We rented the house where we stay until January 2011 and I think that the owner does not look to sell it anymore. We have already bought a one hectare field where we want to raise chickens, cows, rabbits, goats and pigs. We simply lack the means to fence the plot of land and put two single sheds for the guards.
There is a small plot of 30 meters by 15 which is close to the house and for which I still have to pay 100 dollars. For this plot, I paid $ 450 because it is a bit far from the city of Goma. We also have two hutches of 12 cages each with rabbits.
We are seven in the community and I am the only religious, others are being trained. We just welcomed two young persons coming from Rwanda. The diocese knows that there is a new community of the Flame of Love which is being born. The Bishop has not yet given his approval, but he knows we're here. They told us that we must evolve and we will be evaluated according to the way we live and we move forward. The approval may not come immediately for it takes time. The Movement is already known in the diocese and the parishes. The Pastor of our parish helps us a lot and he agrees with the proposal that Gerard Picard from Canada has made to build a Marian Shrine of the Flame of Love in Goma, and specifically in our parish Blessed Anuarite. The priest is Father Claude Rujari. In short, we are in good relationship with the diocese. We also have four brothers who are still in their families.
We live the spirituality of the Flame of Love: we get up at three o'clock in the morning for the prayer vigil, we participate at Holy Mass every day, we adore the Blessed Sacrament on Thursdays and Fridays; prayers of atonement; we participate in all the cenacles; we make the sacrifices recommended by Jesus Himself, etc.
We are in contact with the Sisters of the Flame of Love of Canada because once they are accepted, the diocese here will accept us without problem. The assessment is not for now, the important thing is to live the message of Jesus and Mary and the rest will be when God wills it because it is His Work.