Missionary pilots continue their work, despite renewed war in Congo.

By October 15, 2003

Congo–Kinshasa (MNN)–Published reports say a wider war in Congo claiming more than three million lives since 1998 has been officially declared over.

But violence grinds on in some areas, prompting the need for a beefed-up United Nations force. The miltary personnel will eventually number 5,000. They took over Bunia from a temporary French-led force that pulled out in September after a three-month deployment. The mission began a week ago, after a massacre took place in the northeast.

Mission Aviation Fellowship’s president, Gary Bishop says the volatile war forced them to take action. They’ve moved their program’s pilot over the border. “We actually do our flying, each day, back and forth from Uganda, into the areas that we can clear with the local military commanders and others. Obviously, as you can imagine, with fighting going on, anything in the air can be a target.”

Bishop says they fly mission teams into the area to support a growing evangelistic work. But the instability complicates what they do and when they can do it. “What we do is arrange on, as frequent a basis as we can, for clearance for our planes to go in and out of the areas where either people groups that we’ve supported in the past are in refugee camps, or have resettled into other areas where we can safely fly planes in and out.” Please pray for the safety of the teams and for the Gospel to take root.

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