Looking ahead to the beginning of a New Year, we are praying for our Canadian Baptist Ministries team and partners, and for the countries where we serve. 2016 has been a year of great conflict and humanitarian disaster in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan. Together we are praying for change and healing in the coming year.
For the past year and a half, since President Pierre Nkurunziza's controversial decision to run for a third term of office, hundreds of people have died and thousands have been imprisoned in protests. Since Burundi has recently broken off relations with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, all human rights observers have been pushed out of the country.
Please join us in praying for the people of Burundi, for an end to the conflict, and for our Baptist brethren working and serving in this country. Our CBM colleagues and partner in neighbouring Rwanda have been developing relationship and bonds of support with the Danish Baptist Union and their Burundian partner church. Over the past year, they have offered hospitality and encouragement to refugees that have fled the conflict.
Jonathan and Aaron with CBM National Field Staff
Rev. Andre Sibomana, earlier this month in Kigali, Rwanda
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Just days before Christmas, we heard news of another twenty-two civilians massacred near the community of Beni in Northern Kivu, where our partners of the Central African Baptists Churches (CBCA) are ministering. This attack is being linked to Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a radical group from Uganda that has been terrorising this region in Northern Kivu.
We join our Christian sisters and brothers in praying for an end to this violence and for the families of the over 700 people who have been killed in ADF attacks over the past two years.
We also pray for the entire country of the Democratic Republic of Congo as unrest has been spreading over president Joseph Kabila's desire to remain in power after this his second term in office. Tensions are mounting through the country. We pray for calm and transparent elections in 2017 and an end to violence in DRC.
Dr. Kakule Molo with CBCA leaders graduating from the
CBM Certificate of Integral Mission Program
earlier this December in Kigali, Rwanda
The complex civil conflict in South Sudan has continued to fracture the young country throughout 2016. Hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese are now living as refugees in Kenya, Uganda Ethiopia and Sudan, but the plight of millions more internally displaced people still living within the country is far worse.
The failure of the UN Security Council to pass an arms embargo on this past Friday, December 23, is another blow to the people of South Sudan as the opposing political powers battle for control of the country.
As Human Rights Watch deputy director Akshaya Kumar put it, "The Security Council had an opportunity to show that it stands with the civilian vicitims of this conflict. Instead, this failure gives the warring parties in South Sudan a green light to buy more weapons and material that will end up being used against civilians" (Amnesty report, December 24, 2016).
Please join us in praying the people of South Sudan and for our local partner, the Faith Evangelical Baptist Churches, that is on the front lines ministering to the displaced families in their communities.
Our friend Pastor Jeremiah Deng, one of the leaders of the FEBAC churches
and humanitarians responses in Juba, South Sudan
This is one of the most moving news stories that we've seen this year reporting on the conflict in South Sudan. If you are interested in learning more about the complexity of the conflicts along the Nile River where our Church partner ministers, Click Here
OUR CBM AFRICA TEAM
Finally, we are so thankful for the amazing team of colleagues and friends that we have the privilege of serving with here in Africa. As we pray for a New Year of peace and healing in areas of brokenness and division, we also pray for leaders in the Church who walk with their local communities.
CBM Kenya Team Members
Ruth, Andai, Laura, William, Pauline, Geofrey, Erica and Aaron
Laura Lee and Darrell Bustin serving in Rwanda
Jonathan and Janice Mills serving in Rwanda
Ken and Wendy Derksen serving in Rwanda
Thank you for joining us in prayer!