God at Work in DR Congo

Posted by Sarah Caughey on Tue, 20 Dec 2011 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

CMS Ireland’s Partnership Coordinator for North and Central Africa, David Gough, recently visited the Society’s Global Partners in the Dioceses of Bukavu, Kindu and North Kivu in DR Congo. Having returned from DR Congo inspired and blessed, David shares some stories of a church that is alive and well and a nation which is looking to the future.

“I first traveled to DR Congo in 2003 but this was my first visit to CMS Ireland’s partner Diocese’s of Bukavu, Kindu and North Kivu.

I am delighted to report that the church in DR Congo is alive and well!

“And after years of war, DR Congo is looking to the future. National and local elections took place on 28th November and in the midst of the hopelessness of the situation, there was a tangible sense of hope for a better future. Indeed, our partners shared how my visit was an example of how things were changing. Visitors returning is a real sign of hope.

“This is a crucial time for the nation. The election results have been controversial, with many questions emerging about the legitimacy of the data, and as a result there has been violence. It is a time for prayer and support for DR Congo.

“I am delighted to report that the church in DR Congo is alive and well! It is so industrious – the church is the social service in Eastern Cong, providing Churches, Health Centres and Schools in many Parishes. I have so many encouraging stories I could share of how God is working in the hearts and minds of the people. The following story is one an example of how the Church is supporting women and orphan children in the Diocese of North Kivu.” (For more, please read the latest edition of inMission)

”Compassion for Infants in Distress”

“During my visit to the Diocese of North Kivu, I was deeply moved when I witnessed the genuine, sacrificial, Christian love of a couple who have opened their home and their hearts to abandoned children in the Diocese since 1996.

“I first met Revd Immanuel prior to the Sunday Service in Butembo Cathedral where he acted as my interpreter. In talking with him before the service, I discovered Revd Immanuel, his wife Dorchas and their three young children share their home with 31 orphans on the outskirts of Butembo in the Diocese of North Kivu.

Would you and your church like to support DR Congo?

“Dorcas explained, “Our vision is to show Christian compassion for infants in distress and we work with orphans from birth to 18 years of age, those who’ve been affected with HIV/AIDS as well as girls, some under 10 years, who have been raped. We also provide trauma and spiritual counselling and encourage others to pray for the ministry. We’ve even had to open an orphan school, because none of the local schools would accept the orphan children.”

“Rebel armies continue to use rape as a weapon of war. Women who are the victims of rape are usually disowned by their husbands and family, and treated as outcasts by the local community. Any children born as a result of the attack are abandoned by their families. It is into this dark situation that Rev Immanuel and Dorchas hope to bring God’s light and love. This work has been recognised as a vital and central ministry of the Church in North Kivu by Bishop Isesomo.”

Would you and your church like to support DR Congo?

Currently, three parishes in Ireland are in partnership with DR Congo through CMS Ireland. It would be wonderful to see more churches in Ireland developing a Partnership Link with one of our Global Partners North Kivu, Kindu and Bukavu Dioceses.

Partnership Links offer opportunities for prayer, friendship and communication. Some 130 churches are currently ‘linked’ to one of our Global Partners. Such partnerships help provide support for the Global Church, but a dynamic relationship can also breathe new life into churches in Ireland and help inspire local mission activities.

For more information, please contact David Gough in our Belfast office.

DR Congo: Key Facts

DR Congo is a vast country with immense mineral resources, including coltan – a vital element used in mobile phones and laptops.

Yet the Congo has been at the centre of what is known as ‘Africa’s World War’. The five-year conflict pitted government forces, supported by Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe, against rebels backed by Uganda and Rwanda. The war claimed an estimated three million lives, either as a direct result of fighting or due to disease and malnutrition.

Despite a peace deal in 2003, people remain in terror of marauding militia like the infamous Mai-Mai and Interhamwe, who today still use rape as a weapon of war.

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