Prayer for Congo - A Message from Ray & Mary Anne Bale
This is a plea for prayer and support for our agents and friends in Democratic Republic of Congo, East Africa at the Emmanuel Center Children’s Village and other affected areas.
There have been a number of attacks on villages in the High Plateau of Congo near Marungu. Twenty six villages in the High Plateau area south of Marungu, where Emmanuel Center Children’s Village is located, have been burned by various tribal and rebel groups. Many people have been killed and the rest have fled into the forest and to neighboring villages. Our country director has spent time in two of these villages, Rubibi and Masongo, as well as many of the other surrounding villages and knows many of the people there. Emmanuel Center is okay for now but there is, naturally, much fear. We are currently waiting to hear more from one of our associates as soon as he descends to the market, part way down the mountain, where there is cell service.
One old Pastor who Ray knows has been carried down the mountain to Uvira with his wife, and is being transferred to Rwanda to be with his son. Nineteen other families have made it down to Uvira where they are currently staying while many thousands more people are camped in the forest or have found shelter in other villages part way down the mountain. Some have made it to our center where we are helping to care for them. They have little choice but to remain there until there is some stability and they are able to return to begin the daunting task of rebuilding. Most have lost their homes as well as all their possessions.
Congo is experiencing much unrest and insecurity, yet again, with a political solution not in sight. It seems, in this vacuum, various rebel factions are trying to strengthen their position, hoping to be included in a future government.
This terrible situation comes on the heels of a successful baptism, and the beginning of our new church at Najenga this past weekend. In the past two weeks we were also able to transport 50 new mattresses to our children’s home in Emmanuel Center along with “Christmas Shoeboxes” sent from Team Hope in Ireland. This in itself was a challenge, with us having to transport them half way by truck and then use porters to get them up the mountain, where the vehicles could not travel due to heavy rains, wash outs, and a lot of fear on the part of truck drivers. We give thanks that they were able to be transported prior to this latest outbreak.
Please pray for peace; for Congo, for the many families affected by these latest attacks, and for protection for our Children’s Center and surrounding villages near Marungu.
If you’d like to lend your support to HOPE’s work in Congo, you can learn more on the project page here . <INSERT PROJECT PAGE LINK>.