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Turmoil in Congo underscores desire for hope.

By January 2, 2019
Photo by Michelen Studios on Unsplash

Congo-Kinshasa (MNN) –  After more than two years’ delay, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is finally voting for a president.  This could be the country’s first transfer of power via ballot, since 1960.

Counting is under way, but provisional results are not expected until January 6; final results are expected nine days later and the inauguration is slated for January 18.   An uneasy peace feels like the calm before the storm, and there’s precedent for that.   Since 1960, the DRC has never had a peaceful transition of leader.   The specter of violence raised its head in 2016 when President Joseph Kabila refused to quit after his two-term limit expired.  That was followed by delays that put off the election process by two years and a week.

A combination of technical issues, the Ebola crisis in the East and violence clouded the process and pushed the original 2018 election date back another week.   Now, after the polls closed, both sides are claiming victory as the counting continues.   ‘Doubt’, ‘fear’, and ‘despair’ are terms used in the description of this political cycle, and they’re being used by a growing chorus of people who want to be heard.

What it signals is a desire for change; a cry for hope.  That’s been evident to World Missionary Press, which has partnerships throughout the country that are supplying Scripture booklets.

For nearly 60 years, World Missionary Press has been providing valuable Scripture materials for mission organizations and individuals wanting to share the Gospel with others. Over the decades, they’ve come up against many different challenges, but they’ve seen God work miraculously time and again. What’s happened in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been no different.

Aside from the politics at hand, Helen Williams of World Missionary Press explains that getting their materials to the DRC is no problem. But after that, the distribution becomes tricky.

“The country is so big and so vast and has so many different languages and when you go up into the northeast, you go all the way up to Goma and the city that kind of grew out of the refugee camp there,” she says.

Unlike in many countries, it’s not the existing religion that’s the major challenge. In fact, the country is primarily Christian, at least by name. Rather, it’s a lack of unity that presents the challenge. Multiple languages and people groups mean they have to be intentional about which translations of Scripture booklets they send. Once inside, there has to be a team dedicated to traveling across the country to get the books where they belong.

But that’s about to change.

“Recently our major partner in DRC which is Every Home for Christ, they have set up four regional points—a south, an east, a west, and a central, to kind of make it easier to get material out. And so, we’ve been asked for shipments for each of these individual sub-directors, if you will.”

(Photo courtesy of World Missionary Press)

Each of these distributor points has requested three million Scripture booklets. This means that World Missionary Press has to print 12 million booklets, in French, Swahili, and so on. However, having these distribution points mean that once the materials arrive in the DRC, overall transportation costs will be less.

“That’s a lot of literature for us to send. But we’re going to. And we’re working on the logistics and the printing schedule to do that. Because DRC has been a country that we’ve had limited exposure, if you will. We’ve had material there, but it’s hard to get it out. And there are so many ministries that ask us for material and getting it to them has been a real challenge so this is a great opportunity for us.”

Given the context of what’s about to happen and the change that could come with it, will you ask God to bless World Missionary Press as they work on this order? Pray for swift production. Ask God to bless each booklet and direct it into the hands of those who are seeking to know more of Him.

And, will you consider walking alongside World Missionary Press so they can resource more countries like the DRC? To do so, click here.

 

(Header photo by Michelen Studios on Unsplash)

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