Partnership Grows as DR Congo Bishop Prays For Healing in Ireland

Posted by Colin Corbridge on Tue, 03 Feb 2009 | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

“This has been a unique visit”, claimed Bishop Enoch Kayeeye from North Kivu Diocese, following his time in Ireland earlier this month.

Reflecting on a five-day programme that had enabled him to spend time with groups working on the ‘peace-line’ in Belfast, address a gathering of CMS Ireland members in the Society’s offices, speak in churches in Crossmagalen and Killyman and meet with members of the Northern Ireland Assembly in Stormont, Bishop Enoch said that his time in Ireland had been “very useful in developing the partnership between DR Congo and Ireland”.

Alan Dunn, a CMS Ireland volunteer who coordinated Bishop Enoch’s visit explained, “CMS Ireland has worked alongside the church in DR Congo for many years – and this was a chance to take our relationship with North Kivu Diocese, in particular, to a new level.”

“The eastern part of DR Congo has been plagued by violence and instability for many years”, continued Alan. “Before Christmas we heard reports of rebel activity around Goma but the stories disappeared from our news as quickly as they had arrived. Today very few people are telling the stories of the hundreds of thousands of people who were forced from their homes during these weeks of fighting. Bishop Enoch gave us a very personal insight to the challenges facing the church as it responds to this situation.”

CMS Ireland is committed to standing alongside our partners for the long-haul and we’ve been privileged to be in a position to send some financial support to the local church as it tries to reach out to those in need – demonstrating the love of Christ in action.”

During his visit Bishop Enoch was keen to explore opportunities for clergy training, explaining, “the training of our leaders is the most important thing if we are to build for the future.” Visits to Belfast Bible College and time spent with Keith Scott – a CMS Ireland Mission Partner who has recently returned from 7 years training clergy in neighbouring Zambia – were both felt to be “very helpful” and provided a clear practical focus for future work in North Kivu.

While he was in Ireland Bishop Enoch also took some time to pray with CMS Ireland’s Director of Mission, Ian Smith, who is currently on leave as he begins treatment for a brain tumour. The moving meeting between the two men was a great encouragement to both of them as Ian had been praying for the bishop and DR Congo from his sickbed.

“Bishop Enoch’s visit is a good example of partnership in action”, claimed CMS Ireland’s Communications Manager, Colin Corbridge. “Often we think that mission is just about what we do on behalf of our partners around the world but this shows how we can be blessed and upheld by those same partners – it’s the two-way nature of the relationships that we seek to foster. We know that Ian has been greatly encouraged by the messages of support from our global partners this is a perfect example of what makes CMS Ireland the organisation that it is – personal, relational, with people who are committed to each other…all across the world.”

Following Bishop Enoch’s visit CMS Ireland is keen to encourage churches in Ireland to engage more deeply with our work in DR Congo. If you would like to learn more then please contact Alan Dunn for further information.