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The exterior of the bakery as seen from the street.

Grand Opening of the Daily Bread Bakery

In the summer of 2022, Theresa visited Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo for two months to build the bakery building. Most of the funds were raised last year with the help of a grant from Kingdom Capital and matching funds from donors in Sioux Falls. Thank you to all who helped contribute to this cause.

The girls at Theresa’s House have been baking since last summer with the help of a few volunteers who came in to show them how to bake various baked goods and pizzas in the kitchen in the walkout basement of the bakery. The bakery will give them the opportunity to learn new skills and get a job there and raise money for college, or give them a start in life after leaving the orphanage.

Theresa and I left for Kinshasa on April 6. The bakery had not been opened yet and there were still some details to be done before opening day. We returned to finish the outdoor patio, half wall, metal fencing, landscaping, and finishing touches such as: furniture, display case, drink refrigerator, shelving for displaying books, purchasing start-up items of dishes and inventory, and cleaning the windows and glass of display case. We spent Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of the next week on these things.

The street level opens up to the corner, with an inviting patio with tables and umbrellas, a sitting wall with a palm tree that will eventually grow to full-size and provide shade from the sun.

We spent three days teaching a business planning class from Partners Worldwide to 20 people (including the older girls from the orphanage). Theresa led the class and I added business expertise on income statements and other business advice, with Theresa translating into French.

We hired one of the students in the class, Phina, to manage the bakery. She had restaurant experience and was always willing to help out. She lives within walking distance of the bakery, which is a big plus as transportation can take a long time to get from place to place.

The bakery is named Daily Bread which is a reference to the Lord’s Prayer and a reminder that we not only need bread for our physical needs, but also our spiritual need of connection with our Lord, Jesus Christ. Daily devotionals are available for customers to read while they are there, along with English dictionaries. French Bibles will be coming soon.

The orphanage raises chickens and has eggs every day. Daily Bread buys eggs from the orphanage as well as vegetables from the gardens that our girls planted. Bananas and mango are also on the orphanage property, so the bakery will buy those when they are in-season.

Customers line up at the bakery counter during opening day.

People from the church were invited for the first afternoon of the bakery’s opening on Friday, April 14. All of the older girls from the bakery and many volunteers came to help bake in the morning. Chairs, tables, and a tent were rented for the orphanage area. About 70 guests came. Some members of the church choir came to sing, the pastor gave a prayer of blessing, and the smaller children gave a little program.

The bakery was also open Saturday and Monday to the public while we were still there. We flew out on Tuesday after the bakery was open and felt like we accomplished what we came there to do.

Theresa will return in June and see how things are going.  Theresa communicates with Phina every day and she has said that the people in the community are coming in to check things out!

Fingers holding a heart

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