A statue remembering the impact of war in Africa
Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo
It is Christmas Eve and our family is getting ready for a time of worship at our church and making final preparations for tomorrows Christmas dinner with friends. It is a joyful day of anticipation as gifts are being wrapped and good friends drop by with Christmas greetings. Tonight we will sing carols, listen to the words of the Christmas story, and we will pray for healing and peace on earth.
In our prayers this Christmas will be our friends in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Since beginning our as CBM Africa team leaders in 2013, we have had time each year to visit with the Community of Baptist Churches of Central Africa (CBCA). An important part of the ministry of the CBCA is the medical work it is leading in 4 regional hospitals and the Bethesda hospital that treats victims of war and civil violence in Eastern DRC. Each time we have visited Bethesda, we have met dozens of casualties from the fighting that has taken place in and around Kivu. On this trip we visited survivors from a resent massacre near the town of Beni. One of the hardest visits was with a family where father, mother and all four children were being treated for gun shot wounds. We held hands and whispered prayers.
Survivors of conflict need more than medical help. The CBCA church is also very involved in emotional and spiritual support for 3,949 survivors of rape and violence. In churches and schools throughout Eastern DRC churches are forming support groups for people both in the church and in the community. An important part of this ministry are the "listening rooms" that provide a confidential and safe space for people to come and have someone who cares listen to their story and offer counselling and prayer.
Listening Room Ministry
Erica with the leader of the survivors group at the Vigrungu CBCA church.
Patty Card with members of the CBCA women's group
"Jesus Saves and Heals"
Malcolm Card speaking with the CBCA pastor of the Virungu Church
Meeting with leaders of the Bethesda Hospital, Goma
The head doctor showing Erica the overflow tents used for trauma patients
Kavira, director of the CBCA Women's Department
Please pray with us this Christmas for the people of Eastern DRC. We especially remember the leaders of the CBCA's community outreach ministries among individuals and families affected by war. We pray for peace in DRC and throughout the world.