We asked our friend Paul to reflect on Father's Day and share his perspective as a Congolese father. He leads the efforts at Emmanuel Training Center in Kinshasa, acting as a father and mentor to many young people. We are honored to partner with him!
The family for Congolese people is not understood as a nuclear one but an extended. Congolese families are very big families. It is rare to see Congolese families living as nuclear ones. I mean we do not only live as father, mother and children. It is more than that. Even nuclear families have many people. A nuclear family can have more than 10 children. In my family we are 11 children born from the same father and mother. But we were not living alone. We had to include cousins, nieces and our parents other relatives.
Africans in general and Congolese in particular consider their children as great wealth or riches. Sometimes parents make a lots of efforts in order to raise their kids. Even the poorest parents think that their kids can change their life in the future and/or take care of them when they are old.
Every parent who love their kids does everything possible to raise and help them but sometimes things do not turn out as expected. Life conditions are not that easy sometimes.
I have five children but I have to take care of other people too such my nephews, nieces, cousins, my mother, sisters, brothers, friends, church members...
Among responsibilities as parents can be mentioned feeding kids, sending them to school but it is not easy sometimes.
As a parent I love my kids and I have big ambition for them such as providing the a good education. But the most important that I received from my parents that I am offering to my kids as well is to raise them in The Lord. To teach the word of God.
So, every night we sing, pray and read the word of God together.