Report warns unrest could spread in Congo

By December 28, 2011

Congo-Kinshasa (MNN) — The electoral commission in the
Democratic Republic of Congo has called for backup.

In the chaos following the presidential and parliamentary vote,
they're waiting for help from the United States and Britain before resuming
the  ballot count in the parliamentary

Accusations of ballot-rigging have plagued the presidential
election, and with roughly 19 000 candidates vying for one of the 500 seats in
the National Assembly, the commission is taking no chances. The
results of the parliamentary polls are due to be announced on January 13.

A cloud of doubt remains over the announced results from the
presidential election. Both the European
Union and the U.S. State Department have also expressed severe reservations about
the vote's legitimacy, although the country's Supreme Court validated the

With that green light, Joseph Kabila was sworn in for
another term in office as president of DR Congo eight days ago. In his first week in office, he's faced a
public relations nightmare. A Human
Rights Watch report lays blame for the deaths of at least 24 people on Congolese
security forces. 

Even as he reportedly promised to safeguard national
unity, tanks were to prevent protests. Meanwhile, Opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi
maintains he won the poll and had himself sworn in December 23. As a result, there were concerns that
post-election violence could spread.

Although the region is one of the biggest and oldest fields
for Grace Ministries International, Sam
Vinton says so far, they've not been disrupted. "I think that in the
Eastern Congo area, where we work from the main cities, I've heard of no real
conflict. We've had no communications of
any adverse effect on our ministries."

As for the warning of spreading violence, Vinton says it's
unlikely to spread to the area where they're working. "A lot of the people in the area where
most of our churches are located were probably pro-president (Kabila). But I
think in the area of central Congo, where the main opposition is located, I can
see that area being in torment and a lot of trouble."

The upheaval has had very little negative impact on
their latest evangelistic outreach. In fact, 
"It's just amazing how the response continues. We've run out of the 'Book of Hope,' and yet
we're showing the DVD of the 'GodMan' and also working in the actual schools. The
last report is that close to 4000 students have trusted
Christ as their Savior."

4,000 more students coming to Christ, needing discipleship,
and a local church body. The GMI team is
scrambling to keep up with the demand, because they've run out of everything,
and they're trying to get the local churches ready for the onslaught of new

God's hand is all over this project which started with a
goal of hoping to see 1000 accept Christ. A year down the road, God has answered beyond
their wildest imaginations. "The
responsiveness of the students is a remarkable thing when we look back a number
of years when it wasn't there. We're pushing forward. We have a team of nine
men who are doing this work, and we're just trying to get more funding so that
we can keep them going."

It's clear that despite the bullhorns of the rallies and the
political jockeying going on, that the voice being heard loudest is the Still
Small One.   

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