Mave Grace and her sister, Racahele-Ngabausi, survived an attack in their village of Tchee in the Ituri province of the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Photo credit: Goran Tomasevic/ReutersPlease join us in praying for three areas of urgent need with Canadian Baptist Ministries' African partners. We pray for these situations, but we also pray for the courageous men and women of faith who are responding to the needs of their neighbours.
We remember the words of Jesus, "Peace I leave you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27). The turmoil of our world is real and present, but so is the power of Christ in us.
The DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Ituri Province in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo is being torn apart by the ethnic conflict between Hema herders and Lendu farmers. Since the outbreak of violence earlier this year, tens of thousands of people have fled their land and are seeking help in Uganda and from churches in other parts of the country. These survivors are telling stories of an untold number of family members and friends that have been murdered in this brutal conflict.
The UNHCR expects 200,000 refugees will reach Uganda from Ituri before the end of this year. This is in addition to the tens of thousands already seeking refuge in internal camps within the Congo, like the camp in Bunia. The breakdown of the government authority is sparking conflict in other parts of the country as well. DRC desperately needs peace and stability.
Eleven-year-old Mave Grace and her two-year-old sister, Racahele-Ngabausi, walking to their home in the Bunia Internally Displaced Persons Camp (IDP). Both sisters carrying deep scars from the attack that killed their mother and left them both disfigured.
Photo credit: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters
Our local partner, the Community of Baptist Churches of Central Africa (CBCA) is engaged in primary health care and trauma support for victims of violence throughout the country. Please join us in praying for these churches as they demonstrate faith and hope in such dark times. We pray for stability in DRC, for reconciliation, and for lasting peace. We especially remember the survivors of this conflict and the caregivers serving this community.
To read more about the stories of survivors from this region, we recommend you use this link to a recent article by Reuters. Be warned that the content is very disturbing. "Horror and fear grip survivors of Congo's hidden war" (Thomson Reuters Foundation News, April 15, 2018).
Children playing in the ruins of Malakal, South Sudan
Photo Credit: Stefanie Glinski/IRIN
Malakal is the home area of our South Sudanese partner the Faith Evangelical Baptist Churches (FEBAC). This use to be the second largest city in all of South Sudan, but after four years of conflict, it has been largely deserted.
More than a thousand kilometers to the south, tens of thousands of former residents are living in makeshift camps in and around the capital city of Juba. They are praying for peace and for the opportunity to return and rebuild their homes and farmers in the North.
In two weeks time, Canadian Baptist Ministries and FEBAC will be providing food assistance in Mengaten, an IDP camp that is supporting 3000 families waiting to return. Please remember our colleague William who will be traveling from Kenya to participate in the food distribution. We also pray for the local FEBAC churches and relief team who are implementing this project.
We also pray for peace talks that will be happening next week on April 26 in Addis, Ethiopia. May this civil war come to an end!
The AEBR Nyangahinika Church
Photo Credit: Jonathan and Janice Mills/CBMApril is the annual month of mourning and commemoration of the Rwandan Genocide. It is a sober and tender period for the people of Rwanda. We pray for the Lord's healing and for the ongoing need of peace and reconciliation for Rwanda and this region of the world.
We also ask you to join us in prayer for the Association of Rwandan Baptists Churches (AEBR), who CBM partners with in Rwanda. The denomination will be electing new leadership tomorrow, April 19th, during a general assembly.
We pray for this crucial time of decision and for wisdom as the Church seeks to reopen over a hundred churches which still remained chained and locked after last month's government closure of 714 churches and a mosque for being "noisy" and not meeting a list "modest standards" of building requirements. The AEBR is trying to develop a church rehabilitation plan that will address their government's new expectations and allow for the reopening of these churches.
To learn more about the work of CBM in Africa and around the world, please visit our website at www.cbmin.org