Bob, Dawn and Elizabeth Baird – Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Yatima (Orphan) School Ministry
Bob (LCU ‘79’), Dawn (LCU ‘04’, ISU ‘06’) and daughter Elizabeth (called EB) minister in Bukavu, Congo. In 1982, the Baird family ministry started in a remote village in the rain forest of northern Congo. Bob and Dawn believe they learned to live and serve in Central Africa by engaging in the everyday lives of these villagers. Bob’s tasks involved support work for Pioneer Bible Translators, preaching the Word, and teaching in the Theological Education by Extension. Dawn participated in women’s Bible studies, prayed for the sick, and home-schooled the three Baird children: EB aged 10, Rachel aged 7, and Joshua aged 2.
Much has changed in the Democratic Republic (DR) of the Congo. After years of war and rebellion set off by the Hutu / Tutsi genocide in neighboring Rwanda, many congregations are spiritually destroyed. One “weapon of war” used by military and rebel forces is the raping and killing of the innocent. Two million Congolese sought refuge in Bukavu from these terrors of war. While this move initially saved families from death, many now choose to leave the city for lack of water, housing, and food. Parents, out of desperation to save most of their children, leave some behind. To meet these needs, Bob currently preaches and spiritually encourages ministers, elders, and lay leaders. He also writes plays from Scripture for a “Ministry in Music” with his co-worker Sopo. Dawn teaches English and administrates the Yatima School Ministry. EB teaches Bible lessons and crafts to children of rape survivors at Tracy’s Heart.
Please pray the Congolese will rally to God’s love and justice while standing against the forces of evil. And, pray for the Baird family as they bring the light of Christ to the poor and hurting of DR Congo. You may contact Bob and Dawn at firstname.lastname@example.org.