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Dear Friends and Supporters.
I do apologize for the lateness of an official update letter. We have tried to keep everyone up to date through facebook, Instagram and emails, but do realize it has missed many of you. I am trusting this fills everyone in on recent and current events, challenges and needs before us.
The High Plateau area has been the scene of ongoing “wars” for the past 9 months. It has been difficult to ascertain who is fighting who at times with various tribal militias as well as rebel groups with Rwandan and Burundian ties. The ongoing instability of the government in DRC has meant the army has had little effect in bringing peace and stability to the region.
In Uvira, we have helped in providing humanitarian aid and education to many individuals and families in desperate need, thanks to the generosity of many of you. Our school in Uvira (Ecole Shalom) has integrated over 150 students into classes, providing educational stability for this school year. In Emmanuel Center we have hosted many fleeing families also, providing security and basic care for the time they are forced to leave their homes and villages. It has stretched our resources considerably both helping to feed these ones as well as the military in our area providing security. In recent weeks, there has been another influx of displaced (over 20,000 in Uvira alone) whose homes have been destroyed in ongoing fighting. Emmanuel Center has been spared the fighting due to the military presence, but getting to and from Emmanuel Center has been challenging at times.
Our children have been doing very well in school and are all healthy. We have had 2 children recently brought down for tests due to unexplained ailments. One has already returned to Emmanuel Center and the other is currently receiving medication and is hoping to return next week. The students in Emmanuel School are writing exams beginning next week. Our 3 university students here in Bujumbura are all doing well. The 2 students in their final year of secondary at Ecole Shalom in Uvira are also well and sitting final national exams as we write. Thank you CC4Africa and our many other sponsors.
Our thanks goes out also to Team Hope Ireland for provision of shoebox gifts to DRC part of which we transported (by foot) to our Center, and for their generosity in provision of a new flour mill. The flour mill in particular is a huge blessing as it is a means of provision for our homes for flour but also a service and outreach to the surrounding community.
We are hoping, security permitting, to travel to Emmanuel Center in July or early August. Thanks again for your prayers and ongoing support.
Blessings from Ray, Mary Anne and Boss David