Since I don't follow MMA (mixed martial arts) closely, I didn't know who he was at first. As it turns out, he had starred on the Ultimate Fighter reality TV show and fought in (and won most of) a bunch of UFC fights.
Why was he in the Congo? He was picking a fight (as fighters do). Only this time, he was fighting slavery, water-borne disease and malnutrition. Justin has partnered with the Shalom University in Bunia, DRC and a couple of other organizations to free pygmy slaves by buying them land, drilling clean water wells and assisting them with agricultural development. During our team's 10 or so days there, Justin showed us their process for digging and installing wells (see the above picture - Justin and the students are joining PVC pipe sections for a well) and helped us dig holes for percolation testing (see the below picture - Justin with our intern Wes).
Our eMi team completed a design for the expansion of Shalom University. The school is growing at an impressive rate, as they now offer multiple development programs in addition to their well-established bible school.
I urge you to watch the amazing video below. It shows the incredible impact that the "Shalom Drillers" (water drilling experts trained by Shalom University) are having in the Congo rainforest.
We spent hours of our trip talking with Justin, Benjamin and "Papa Way" (Way Alege, the Dean of the Development school at Shalom and a member of the committee responsible for campus expansion) to come up with a design that most effectively helps them accomplish their goals to improve the lives of their students and those they serve in the Congo, including the Mbuti pygmies. It's such a blessing to see all three of them share their passion and their amazing work in this video.
This is exactly what we want to see at eMi - the ministries we're serving bringing hope, in the name of Jesus, to the physically and spiritually poor. I hope that makes you as excited as it makes me!
"Freedom in the Congo"
More stories like this to come! Please continue to share this with your friends and family.