Joy in a Game of Soccer

February 21, 2017 • Democratic Republic of the Congo

A young man who has faced many hardships finds peace through sports programs.

Baraka Mbakama is a 16-year-old student living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

There has been war here since before I was born. I’m now 16. When I was 9 months old, my father was killed by the rebels because he refused to do unspeakable acts to my sister and mother. Two months after his death, my mother was found dead while working in the field. The rebels had killed her. Later, my two sisters and my brother were killed by the rebels, leaving me alone.

I now live with my grandmother. She lacks the means to pay for my education, but by the grace of God, I’m a student in secondary school. My grandmother and I survive off the crops we harvest from a small field.

Samaritan’s Purse has enriched my life. In my village, they distribute Bibles, food, and sports equipment, including uniforms and balls. I love the sports activities organized by Samaritan’s Purse. During these activities, the Samaritan’s Purse staff members have provided guidance for how to live together in our community. They have discussed what it means to have peace with God, yourself, others, and between communities. These teachings have helped us manage our current conflicts.

Through these activities, I have found joy and, as a result, mental balance, improved health, and even self-confidence. I now dream of becoming a soccer player for my country.