Peace after Congo elections, hearts are open

By October 31, 2006

DR Congo (MNN) — Counting is underway following the run-off election in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The election pit President Joseph Kabila and Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba against each other in the first free election in 30 years. The men were first and second respectively in the July vote, but neither candidate received 51 percent of the vote. The weekend vote was marred by only a few issues, one of which killed two people.

Many are concerned violence will erupt once the results are announced.

Sam Vinton with Grace Ministries International shares that concern, but precautions have been made. “The United Nations (and) a lot of people are working very hard with the two men trying to get them to keep their people calm.”

However, Vinton is hopeful. “Hopefully after all these years, whoever is chosen, in some way will be able to put together a government that will look at the needs of all the people and the people with arms will be disarmed.”

If this doesn’t work it could be a devastating blow to the country. Vinton is asking Christians to pray. “I think we as Christians need to pray that the freedom to be able to worship, the freedom to be able to move around and evangelize and that of course is the thing that we need to pray.”

While there is still a sense of uncertainty in Congo, Vinton says the country is ready for Christ. “When people have tried everything and nothing seems to have worked, there’s a receptivity the because of all the problems and the troubles and losing everything, as many of these people have. And, then those who are Christians have seen the Lord’s hand upon them, even protecting them, it has caused people to turn to the Lord.”

Funding is needed to help Grace Ministries provide motorcycles for pastors and evangelists, which is about the only way to travel.

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