When missionary Don Foster first partnered with In Touch to distribute Messengers in Congo, he made a personal commitment to keep track of how they were being used. Below is an extract from the journal he used to track distribution:
- Messengers are in extreme demand. I wait and wait to give them to the people who are most desirous, so that these devices will be valued, respected, and cared for.
- The Congo customs officials “arrested” the Messengers at the airport. We couldn’t get away without paying $30. They also demanded one in order to release the remaining 499. So, the first Messenger went to corrupt customs officials (who probably needed it most).
- The next 100 Messengers went with a missionary friend to a very remote region, which can only be reached by motorcycles over a torturous three-day trip—and then by dug-out canoe to where Mbuti Pygmies live along the Avacubi River.
- I gave 150 Messengers to Congolese missionaries who live with Mbuti Pygmies in their villages. These are among my favorite people. To me, they are “real missionaries.”
- The next 40 or so Messengers will go to some of the Mbuti Pygmy adults I can trust not to sell them.
- The final 200 or so Messengers are dedicated to the oldest Mbuti Pygmy women who spend their days in the villages. They can watch the children and protect the Messengers charging in the sun.
- I will give Messengers to the five Pygmy men in prison here. But I have little hope that they will be able to hold on to them for very long in the hell of a prison to which they are confined. Mbuti Pygmies are so terribly abused in prison!
- We plan to loan Messengers to the hospitalized Mbuti Pygmies who live with us while they are here and to send with them when they recover.
- I also couldn’t resist giving one to a soldier in the hospital yesterday. He lost a hand in the war against the terrorists who slaughtered and enslaved many innocent people.