Lull comes to fighting in East Congo; ministry largely unaffected

By September 6, 2007

Congo-Kinshasa (MNN) — There's been a lull in the eastern
Democratic Republic of Congo fighting. Government forces and rebel forces dug in, as the skin of an uneasy calm
threatens to tear. 

According to the United Nations, renegade troops loyal to a
dissident general engaged as they tried to bypass Kimoka in eastern Democratic
Republic of Congo. General Laurent
Nkunda's forces appeared to be entrenching their control around the border to
secure their supply lines.

The latest clashes have driven thousands from their homes
across the border into Uganda.
Grace Ministries International's Sam
Vinton reports: "The United Nation troops
along with the Congolese troops have been going north toward the Uganda border
and trying to find some of these rebels. Most of the fighting right now is deeper into the areas where the heavy
population is not located. It (the
fighting) is not affecting any of the ministries of Grace Ministries
International." 

Vinton says the violence could spread, although the distance
between the battles and their projects provides some safety. However, "Anything like this disrupts
transportation. The pastor said, 'I was just going to take a trip to do some
evangelistic work in the Goma area. The ships that go back and forth on the
lake were not traveling today.' So it
does hinder transportation. It hinders people going around living their normal
lives. And it hinders the Gospel."

International leaders are now calling for peace talks
between the army and Nkunda's soldiers before the violence reignites the whole
volatile region. Many fear a return to
all-out war in eastern Congo,
which bore the brunt of a 1998-2003 civil war. 

Leaders for GMI's over 500 churches are trained in their
fully accredited Theological
College, Pastors' School,
and 16 Bible institutes. A large medical center with two Congolese doctors is
functioning in a Muslim area where there is a focus on planting churches in the
surrounding unreached people groups. One teacher training college, 75 high
schools, and 145 grade schools are run by the national church.

Pray for men who will be willing to become pastors and
church planters. Pray for their safety as they respond to God's call on their
lives.

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