Refugees leave Congo following election

By December 19, 2011

Democratic Republic of Congo (MNN) — Peacekeeping mission leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo are calling for a review of the election process. International observers noted "significant irregularities" in the recent DRC presidential and parliamentary polls. According to, post- election violence and casualties continue.

Medical Teams International is working with refugees in neighboring Uganda. The ministry's president Bas Vanderzalm says, "We are starting to see more refugees coming into the country, which means that there is a growing instability, insecurity and persecution. Almost every day now we have 20 to 50 refugees coming into this camp."

Vanderzalm says this could be an indication that there are difficult times ahead for Congo.

Being a refugee is a familiar theme at Christmas. Vanderzalm says, "After Jesus was born, almost immediately Herod tried to kill Him, and He and Joseph and Mary had to flee to Egypt. So, Jesus and His family were refugees. It's so appropriate this time of year, then, that we think of what we can do to help others who are refugees as well."

Vanderzalm describes how they're helping. "Primarily we're providing medical care to them. They come in–many of them have walked for hours and days. They may not have had much food, and they probably got sick along the way. So our volunteer teams are there working with local believers on the ground to help people recover."

Medical Teams works through Christians in the camp. Vanderzalm says, "There are a number of Churches in the refugee camp and church leaders who themselves have fled. So, many of the people who are coming are brothers and sisters in Christ. And, those who aren't are open for the first time, perhaps, to consider the opportunity to make a commitment to Christ."

An important need is medical care. Vanderzalm says you can help refugees this Christmas. "For a gift of $25, we can provide the medicines needed for 10 children. These medicines will helping the recover from infections, malaria, and keep them healthy."

If you'd like to help Medical Teams International as they assist Congo refugees in Uganda, click here.

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