The road to peace is long in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

By March 5, 2004

Congo-Kinshasa (MNN)–Six rebel factions in the Congo’s northeast have agreed to demobilize their fighters and give up their weapons. This follows a rough transition from wartime to peace for the thousands of soldiers.

A similar transition is taking place in Congo’s churches. Baptist World Aid’s Paul Montecute explains his observations from a recent visit. “Somebody who is a child soldier needs so much from us as well as the Gospel of Jesus Christ. People who are hungry, people who have been abused in all kinds of ways need a great deal of help. So it was encouraging to see the way the churches and the church leaders were reaching out to people.”

Church leaders issued a challenge to Baptist churches to reach and evangelize each resident in Central Africa who has not yet found Jesus Christ and to make disciples. It
s among three key areas of growth for African churches according to Andre Bokundoa, president of All Africa Baptist Fellowship.

Bokundoa went on to encourage African Baptists to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a holistic way to include both salvation from sin and “liberation of all aspects of the human being.” Baptists also need to integrate that Christian faith in the culture of each of the nation, “so that each member of the Body of Christ in central Africa may internalize the Word of God and live it in authentic way.”

Montecute says Christian leaders were warned that the price of peace in Africa will be high. “The price of war was high, but the price of peace is going to be high as well because there’s a lot of uncertainty which has got to be resolved there, and that is obviously going to take time. There’s going to be a lot of effort, a lot of energy put to bringing about peace in that country.”

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