Microcredit becomes part of a package aimed at helping the indigenous church in Congo become self-sufficient.

By August 26, 2004

Congo-Kinshasa (MNN)–Former rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo have pulled out of the power-sharing government Monday.

Their move could threaten the carefully crafted peace process and plunge the country back into war. The transitional government was set up to end the five-year conflict. But a massacre earlier this month of 160 Congolese refugees in Burundi prompted renewed warnings.

However, HOPE International’s Peter Greer says they decided to give major attention to Congo to help the church body rebuild. “The difference with Hope is that we’re trying to do it in a post-conflict setting, so, obviously, all of the trouble that Congo has been through, we’re trying to show that there are groups of believers who are ready to start rebuilding their own country, and they’re not just waiting for external aid to help get them out of poverty.”

Greer says their micro-credit program just began in June, and there are a lot of needs that correspond with their growth. HOPE has two expatriate staff in Kinshasa, the country’s capital, has hired a Congolese staff and has begun distributing loans. He urges prayer. “The challenge is always just continued peace and stability in the Congo. It is a land that has known so much pain and suffering over the past number of years through war, and so, just keeping the environment stable so that the work can continue.”

Teams are hoping to have approximately 1,500 active clients by the end of this year, 4,000 a year after, and 8,500 by the end of 2006.

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