Dear Praying friends,
The situation is critical in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This is the region where most of our 13-year partners and By His Wounds’ trainers are focused. They are asking us to pray for them and with them that God will choose to intervene and stop the bloodshed. It’s in moments like this that they need to know that their brothers and sisters in America know and pray and fast on their behalf.
Mending the Soul’s east African partners and trainers bear witness to the power of God in the way that they stand their ground in faith, staying to care for the grieving families who need them. Their work is dangerous and difficult, yet they are full of more joy than we’ve ever seen. They embody the power of the Spirit. This is the place where the gospel through Mending the Soul is flourishing, spreading across the DRC and with such power. These trainers go to the wounded and broken, often risking their lives, to carry the good news of the gospel through trauma care. Often these leaders don’t even have a complete Bible or enough resources or transport money and yet they go to the suffering ones in Jesus’ name.
One of our Congolese partners sent us the following heart-breaking message this morning:
It is a critical moment in eastern DRC. The MONUSCO (the United Nations Peace Keeping force) has been summoned to leave DRC in a week due to its proven complicity with the enemy and failure to protect the civilians -a role that constitutes the focus of its mission. For instance, tens are being killed near UCBC (the Christian university Mending the Soul has partnered with from our first trip to Africa) under the beard of Blue Helmets (UN troops). In South Kivu, MONUSCO has dared to attack the local defense militia—which is treason against its mandate and an attempt to support the invaders. As a result, a dozen UN troops were killed by local Congolese. Now in view of all the resistance from local defense forces extra troops are being recruited from Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, and South Africa to be sent on the 2 active frontlines to kill local defenses and civilians.
This week alone, more than 50 civilians have been killed in Beni area. North DRC is also being invaded by 17 countries of Central Africa, west Africa and North Africa. They come in as pastoralists but armed with guns and kill civilians who must often leave the area running for their lives. The time is serious. The whole world is conspiring against us.
No wonder they feel the whole world is against them. For 25 years Congo has repeatedly been invaded by foreign armies. The west has often been complicit, benefitting from Congo’s rich natural resources at the expense of the local population. Congo has had more conflict related deaths (over 6 million in 20 years) than any country since World War 2. The causes for this are very complex and opaque. We aren’t able to independently verify our partner’s assessment of the political situation but what is crystal clear is that the situation has become dire.
Our hearts are full of compassion, sorrow, and faith as we begin our day this Thursday morning, knowing they are soon to end theirs. May they know we’re with them and will continue to stand by their sides: in prayer, love, generosity, and faith.
If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long;we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Thank you for your support and prayers,
Steve and Celestia