Saturday, June 24, 2006

Congo's Killing Fields

I’m signed up for emails from Christianity Today. What came in my email today was all about Congo.

Africa is a mess? Africa is an opportunity.

Here are some quotes pulled from the article. (source)

"Christians should not run from trouble," says Lusi, now director of HEAL Africa, an indigenous ministry that operates a 156-bed hospital, trains medical professionals, and offers HIV-prevention services and holistic AIDS care.
"We should be where God wants us to be."

Music is another lack that is sorely felt. "Congolese love music," explains pastor Levi Nyamanda. "But all our music instruments were looted."
The most basic supplies are lacking. Not one of the 19 pastors in attendance has a complete Bible. Ten have tattered portions. They borrow Scriptures from each other or from church members.
And financial support? The question triggers a chuckle. Due to deep poverty, local giving peaks at US$10 per month. So how do they survive? More laughter.
"Faith," asserts one pastor. Others nod.

Outside, a teenager with a rusty AK-47 on his shoulder roams the streets. We wonder: How many people has he killed? No one knows. No one dares ask.

"Prayer is the only weapon we have," says pastor Innocent Malemu.

Links to other Congo related articles:

Born Again and Again | 'Jesus gives us strength,' says a Congolese pastor.
From Rape to Rebuilding | Women persevere in the Congo despite daunting obstacles.
Gospel Work in Time of War | Who says evangelism has to stop during conflict?
Glimpses of God in Africa | Reporting from the heart of darkness.

Previous Christianity Today coverage of the Congo includes:
Uncivil War | Missionary tells of horrors in strife-torn Congo. (July 25, 2005)
Roadblocks to Mercy | Congolese Christians won't allow a civil war to curtail outreach, church-planting. (Dec. 22, 2000)

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