Violence erupts in DRC, Christians are prepared

By August 23, 2006

DR Congo (MNN) — UN and European peacekeepers evacuated a group of foreign diplomats this week after they were trapped by gunfire in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. They were mediating a dispute between former warlord Jean-Pierre Bemda and President Joseph Kabila who were the top two candidates in the presidential election.

Grace Ministries International has work all over the country. GMI’s Sam Vinton says the violence broke out when election officials made the announcement. “Bemba and Kabila did not receive over 50 percent (of the vote), so there’s going to be a run-off (election). That night when the announcement was made, the soldiers who were for Bemba and the soldiers who are for the president now began fighting and shooting.”

This isn’t a surprise. Vinton expected this would happen. While the violence is limited to the capital, Kinshasa, Vinton says, it’s affecting their team. “We have passports over there. My son and his family (are waiting) to have visas put in them and now they are blocked there and they’re waiting to leave the country. So, it’s one of those things that whatever happens in Kinshasa affects everybody else.”

Missionaries are reviewing their evacuation plans, if the situation gets worse. Vinton says in uncertain times, Christians can have a profound impact. “We know the Lord is still in control. This is His world. And that can be a force of encouragement and courage to be given to people who are not a part of the church.”

In the mean time, horrible roads make traveling to and from their ministry locations difficult, and that’s why they need motorcycles. “That’s about the only way you can travel out there. The roads are really completely destroyed. Motorcycles can still get through.” Which would allow for evangelism, discipleship, school inspections, and other ministry outreach.

$1,300 can help Grace Ministries purchase a motorcycle. Your financial assistance can put ‘feet’ to the Gospel and impact the spiritual lives of thousands.

Pray that the need will be met and that God will bring peace to the Congo so the word of the Gospel can go forward.

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