Calls for peace go out after Congo’s election results.

By November 17, 2006

Congo-Kinshasa (MNN)–The loser in Congo’s landmark presidential elections, Jean-Pierre Bemba, rejected the results this week, vowing he would contest them.

Meanwhile, the incumbent president, Joseph Kabila, is trying to unite fractured parties to begin repairs to the infrastructure.

It’s a move that will be the hallmark of what kind of administration Kabila wants to run. The infrastructure eroded under Mobutu Sese Seko’s regime until electricity, communications, hospitals, schools and decent roads were regarded as luxuries.

Wages for state workers have gone unpaid for months, sometimes stretching out into years. That includes teachers, which, in turn, has seen a severe decline of education.

Although Kabila has already been in power for six years and not fixed these problems, the people are hopeful. Peace has been a newcomer to the region, and while it isn’t absolute, it’s not a full-blown civil war anymore.

The threat of violence still hangs, like the residue from a kitchen fire. In the wake of the election announcements, Grace Ministries International’s Sam Vinton talked to their team members.

Their report is encouraging. “The East, of course, is very jubilant, everybody’s happy with the results. Everything is peaceful and calm. The Western part of the Congo, where the majority of the people there favored the one who lost…so far, there’s been no troubles. Everything is calm, but there’s always that possibility of something happening there.”

Vinton says Kabila has not shown hostility to evangelism in the past. “I don’t see that changing. In fact, that has never changed, really, from the attitude of the people. It’s just a fact of lack of security. You’re out there trying to travel and you get shot at, or the fact that the roads in such terrible conditions that it’s difficult to travel.”

One team member, just prior to the election, started studying the Life of Christ with a group of Muslim men to whom he had previously taught the Old Testament. Pray that the Holy Spirit will convict these men that Christ is truly the Son of God who is the only way of salvation.

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