Heart rendering visit

Img_4014 Posted by David Gough on Sat, 04 May 2013 | 1 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

Although two of our small team have already arrived home and I have moved on to Kindu Diocese, I have invited Rev Gerald Macartney from St Andrews Parish, Milltown to share his reflections on a busy day of visits in North Kivu Diocese. Over to Gerald…

We have visited a number of locations within the city of Butembo and beyond. While it is called a city it is not like any city I have seen before. It appears to be built over a number of hills. The roads are steep and treacherous and the roughest I have travelled.

Over the past couple of days we have visited schools, hospitals and churches. Today however we visited a school for orphaned children that is run by the Anglican Church here. The welcome was unbelievable with the children singing and dancing as we entered the compound. The classrooms are made of mud and bamboo. At home we would condemn them as unsafe and uninhabitable. But this is where 193 orphans are taught along with over 280 children from local families. There is no support from the government here and everything is supplied by families and the church.

Perhaps the most heart-rendering moment was listening to a lady who had been raped by two rebel soldiers. The lady spoke with such courage and honesty about her experience that only a totally heartless person would not have been moved. As a result of this assault her husband left her with seven children to bring up. She moved into the city of Butembo for safety and help. As is the case here that help came from one place – the church, and in particular the Mothers’ Union. We at home think that the Mothers’ Union only make tea at funerals but here they are counselling traumatised women and girls and helping them to get onto their feet.

During these visits the principals of the schools and the hospitals spoke of their needs and aspirations but always simply asked for prayer. None have directly asked for financial support.

Over the next few days we will be moving out into the bush to sample for ourselves what life is like there and and to see the difference the church is making in the lives of the these people whom the world has forgotten about. In this part of DR Congo there is no ‘Christian Aid’ no ‘Oxfam’ no ‘Save the Children’ – there’s just an under-resourced church who in a very practical way is showing the love of God for all his people.

Comments

Roberta Macartney said Sat, 04 May 2013 10:04PM
Glad to see you have Internet access again. The others are back safely. Hope the rest of the trip is productive with Andrew. You are both in our prayers.

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