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#CARcrisis: is reconciliation possible?

By October 7, 2015
Syrian children march in the refugee camp in Jordan.  (Photo © 2013 IMB / IMB file photo)

Syrian children march in the refugee camp in Jordan.
(Photo © 2013 IMB / IMB file photo)

Central African Republic (MNN) — On a global scale, the struggle for peace is far from over.

According to figures recently released by the UN, 60 million people worldwide have been displaced by conflict.

Over two-thirds of them are Muslim and have been uprooted by one of 15 conflicts that erupted within the last five years.

“After the dramatic events on the beaches and borders of Europe this summer, nobody is now able to ignore a refugee crisis that had been simmering for so long,” said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, earlier this week in Geneva.

Guterres highlighted the following refugee populations in his speech:

“Tens of thousands–many of them children–are fleeing horrific gang violence and abuse in Central America,” he continued.

In 2013, the radio station was looted by Seleka rebels.  (Image courtesy Water for Good)

In 2013, the radio station was looted by Seleka rebels.
(Image courtesy Water for Good)

“And there has been little or no improvement in the crises affecting the Central African Republic, Nigeria, Ukraine, or the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

Amid such rampant unrest, Water for Good is urging reconciliation — the counter-intuitive message of Christ — in the CAR.

“Questions come in when we talk about reconciliation,” shares Water for Good’s Jim Hocking.

“‘How can we reconcile with people who are killing our kids and raping our girls? How are we really supposed to forgive them?’ Those are difficult questions to answer.”

Reconciliation instead of revenge

It’s hard not to be angry if you live in the Central African Republic.

Water for Good_CAR crisis

(Photo courtesy Water for Good via Facebook)

A recent resurgence of violence took the lives of more than 60 people. Over 30,000 people were displaced yet again.

Upcoming presidential elections–which many hoped would lead to a new start for the CAR–were postponed because of the country’s instability.

And yet, hope remains for the CAR.

Using a radio station started and maintained with the help of Reach Beyond, Water for Good encourages people in the CAR–over half of whom need humanitarian assistance–to be reconciled with those who wish them harm.

“We have been putting reconciliation messages on the radio station,” shares Hocking.

“We’ve had a couple of the men and pastors who have been giving those messages there [at the station] for answering questions.”

Along with orality and Bible storying, the radio ministry is a vital vehicle Water for Good uses to proclaim Christ in the CAR.

(Graphic courtesy Water for Good via Facebook)

(Graphic courtesy Water for Good via Facebook)

However, Water for Good was among the many organizations looted at the end of September. The radio station wasn’t affected, but they’re having to start much of their ministry in Bangui virtually from scratch.

Can you help?

“We’re not leaving,” Hocking vows. “There is still a work to be done.

“There are many villages which still do not have access to clean water, nor access to the Gospel, and we want to give them both.”

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