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Published on 28 December, 2010

Congolese to help Haitians

Haiti (MNN) — As Haiti awaits the final results of its disputed presidential election, uncertainty continues to be the problem facing many outreach organizations. Last month's elections caused many Haitians to flood the streets in protest, claiming the elections were rigged. Unrest and violence in the streets of that beleaguered nation caused many people to stay home and organizations to halt relief and ministry efforts in the aftermath of last year's devastating earthquake.

EFCA's Touch Global was just one organization that had to put a new Congolese initiative on hold. Director of Touch Global Jim Snyder says Congolese Christians had planned to do work in Haiti. "Congo shares a real strong interest in the events that have taken place there. As a result, the Evangelical Free Church of Congo has expressed a desire to send missionaries to Haiti to respond to the needs of the people there and to engage in a church planting work there."

The election violence has affected that effort, says Snyder. "All of that was canned because of the post-election violence that occurred earlier this month. So right now, things are on delay until sometime in March."

According to Snyder, this effort will be historic. "It's actually the very first effort on their part to send missionaries outside the continent. So it's a huge step of faith."

Touch Global workers are excited about this initiative because of the Haitian and Congolese cultures. Snyder says, "It's almost identical to the life and the situation and the circumstances in the culture. There are so many similarities that we assume that it'll be a better platform for ministry for the Congolese than it could ever be for westerners."

Once the election results are official, they expect more violence. Snyder says that uncertainty impacts existing work. "It puts pretty much everything on hold. It stalemates travel. Bible school students can't get to school. It's hard for people to get out and get food. It's kind of a situation in turmoil right now."

Pray for wisdom, peace, safety and support for the workers. Pray also that they'll be effective in their outreach efforts as they begin their work in March.

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