A print ready bulletin insert is available for you to include in your weekly bulletin so the members of your congregation can have the information they need to make a difference this season.
Notes are available that provide background information on the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo and World Relief’s work there.
Pastors Joe Johns and Gerald Coleman, from Fellowship Missionary Church, reflect on their visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Watch now.
“The wars in the Congo have claimed nearly the same number of lives as having a 9/11 every single day for 360 days, the genocide that struck Rwanda in 1994, the ethnic cleansing that overwhelmed Bosnia in the mid-1990s, the genocide that took place in Darfur, the number of people killed in the great tsunami that struck Asia in 2004, and the number of people who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki — all combined and then doubled.” -CNN, Why the World is Ignoring Congo War
Since 1996, the Democratic Republic of Congo has been engaged in a cycle of conflict and violence that has cost 5 million lives. Children born after 1996 have not experienced peace in their lifetime.
We need to remember those who are suffering in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – considered by many to be the most dangerous place to live and the most dangerous place for women.
The situation has escalated in the last year: rebels have taken over border districts hampering relief efforts; the numbers of both refugees and the displaced rise each day; and the danger to women increases. Through the local church, World Relief is making a difference to move the DRC from crisis to peace.
Today, Stand for the Congo. GIVE NOW
• Recently, the six month long peace talks in Kampala collapsed with some acrimony and no agreement having been reached or signed.
• Several significant activities have taken place over the past several days and intensified over this past weekend. It has been reported that a large military confrontation took place between the national army FARDC and the M23 in Kibati which is about 6-7 miles north of the city.
• Many have begun fleeing from the internally displaced camps into the city. At the same time, it is reported that in Sake, the gateway to the west and to the Masisi territory, is under bombardment and people are fleeing from there as well.
• The town appears reasonably secure, children have gone to school today and the shops are operating normally although in just one day the shopkeepers have raised the cost of essential items by 10-15%.
Praise God! We awoke this morning to the normal sounds of children playing and birds twittering with a bright sun glowing over all. With the arrival of the UN Secretary General this morning – all has been made ready for the visit of this distinguished personage. As a sign of respect, both the M23 and the FARDC have declared a ceasefire for today, children are going to school, staff are back at work, there are cars and trucks on the road, and much of the normal activity of Goma has resumed, at least for 24 hours. Whether it will last until tomorrow no one can predict.
But at least for now our prayers have been answered. The guns are silent and the possibilities of peace are allowed to enter our psyches for the time-being, rather than the normal bearing suffering with fortitude. We thank everyone for their support and their prayers – these have been essential for our comfort these past few days and have given us courage, a rod to lean or and a shield to protect us.
God bless you all!
Charles Franzen, DRC Country Director