We’re interrupting Matthew Harder’s story this week to send you the following.
News from Congo We’ve received this important information via Jimmy Shafe with Rivers of the World–Congo. He shared a letter from Gwenda Fletcher below. The need is urgent for 23 children in Ditekemena. Please consider how you may help. Prayer and financial suggestions are at the end of the article.
Yesterday (Monday) saw a return to calm and quiet in Kananga and Tshikaji. Many services that had been suspended (hospital employee vehicle, motorcycle taxis, public busses) resumed and shops in Kananga that had been closed since last Thursday reopened. The barriers between town and Tshikaji were removed and it is now possible for us to move about freely. Tshikaji primary and secondary schools will stay closed for the rest of the week and if things remain calm, will reopen next Monday. In Tshikaji, the availability of staple goods is limited and as a result prices have risen sharply. We are told this is because folks aren’t yet ready to believe the calm will last so they are hanging onto what they normally would sell. We just heard this afternoon that passenger flights are scheduled to resume on Thursday.
On Sunday, when the military came through Tshikaji in search of militia and did a lot of shooting of rifles and firing of mortars (Praise the Lord there were no casualties) things were fairly quiet in town and the director of the Ditekemena Centre took advantage of the calm to move the children to various homes closer to the centre of town. The 23 kids are spread among 5 different homes. Unfortunately, the food stores at the Centre were looted and all of the food stolen. That leaves the program in a tough spot because with the arrival in early September of 10 refugee kids the funds they had for 13 children suddenly had to stretch for 23. With various complications related to the CPC treasurer’s absence due to illness, Pastor Mboyamba’s visit to the US, normal processing times and the recent disruptions, the program doesn’t have any funds on hand. Thankfully, some generous folks have sent donations to PC(USA) for the program and we hope the money will arrive in Congo by the middle of October, but for the moment things are rather desperate. There was to have been a meeting of CPC leadership last Thursday to prepare an appeal to CPC churches for help with the costs related to the sudden arrival of the refugee kids but of course the meeting was cancelled when the violence erupted. We hope the leadership will be able to meet this week so an appeal can be made in all area CPC churches this coming Sunday if conditions are stabilized and services are held. The director of the Centre has contacted the pastors of CPC churches in the neighbourhoods where the children are distributed and has asked them to mobilize their congregations to help the host families feed and care for the children they have taken in. Please pray with us that the response will be generous, that like with the loaves and fishes it will be multiplied to meet the need and that these kids who have all experienced significant loss and trauma in their short lives will now experience an outpouring of Christian love and concern.
• Please pray for these children and their caretakers
• Please continue to pray for the political situation in Congo
Opportunity to Bless These Children:
A donor has pledged $1,000 immediately to match the first $1,000 pledged by others.
Your contribution can be sent to:
3640 Hewatt Court
Snellville, GA 30039
We will return to Matthew Harder’s story next week. Thank you for your understanding.