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Published on 14 December, 2011

Congo president insists election is legitimate

Congo-Kinshasa
(MNN) — The Democratic Republic of Congo is quiet in the wake of election
results, but the feeling is that it's a nervous calm.

The
Carter Center–an election watchdog–issued a report four days ago that
questioned the integrity of the election. According to their research, there
were tens of thousands of missing votes and unrealistically-high percentages
for Kabila. In districts favoring the incumbent, Joseph Kabila, he allegedly
won virtually 100% of the vote.

Kabila,
meanwhile, shot back this week saying there was no reason to doubt that he had been
fairly re-elected. In light of the
questionable results, the leading opponent, Etienne Tshisekedi, has also declared himself president.

"The
credibility of these elections cannot be put in doubt," Kabila said,
adding that he was "definitely not concerned" about findings by the
Carter Center that in some districts he had won virtually 100% of the vote.

There
are growing doubts about the honesty of the November 28 elections, now that the Carter Center says it can't vouch for
"the degree to which they (results) reflect the will of the Congolese
people."

Kabila, in power since 2001, seems undeterred. There are concerns that the sporadic violence
that accompanied the result announcements in Kinshasa could spread. Sam Vinton with Grace Ministries International
says their team has been keeping a close eye on what's been going on. "So
far, at least in the area where Grace Ministries International is working (from Bukavu down into the Kindu, Maniema area), there has not been any kind of
real (what I would call) 'repercussions'–protesting or fighting–although
further north, where one of the candidates was from, there's been trouble."

Still, the Gospel is advancing despite the uncertainties. An evangelism team in the Congo has been going
into villages giving out tracts, witnessing house-to-house, and showing the
'GodMan' video in evening meetings. From
March through June, they saw the Lord work in the hearts of 4,906 people who
trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior.

An outburst of violence would prevent teams from traveling. Vinton can't rule it out. He says, "There's been
a lot of feeling that the majority of people felt they voted against the
President, and yet he has turned out the winner. Fortunately right now, I have
not heard anything from our people that there have been any dangerous
situations, but it remains to be seen."

Because of the uncertainty, the ministry isn't acting on
contingency plans. In fact, now is a good time to present the hope of
Christ. Vinton says that people feel
like their voices have been ignored, which makes them feel powerless. "I sort of sense that that's there to
say: 'Here we are. We're just the common people. We'll never win anyway. They're
the ones that have the guns, and they're the ones with all the lawyers in
charge of making laws.'"

Vinton goes on to say, "Those people are able to live on, in
spite of the problems, and we're able to still share the Gospel and see
churches growing. So that part is something we can pray will continue."

The Kama Pastors School is in session with 14 students. Each
student is a graduate of one of GMI's 14 three-year Bible Schools and has
served in a church for at least three years. Pray for these men and their wives
as they further their studies in this three-year program.

Continue to pray for this ministry in the Congo. "Pray that there will be no
destructive elements coming in and making people live in worse situations than
they're already in," says Vinton, adding that "the big thing for us, of course, is that
the Gospel will still go forward."

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