Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Crisis in Congo and ALARM calls for Prayer

There is a crisis in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo. Another chapter in the long-running humanitarian disaster in that country. A rebel group known as M23 gained control of Goma on November 19th. People are fleeing in fear. 
This post is the first in my series entitled Heroes of Africa. Today I want to alert you to the situation in DRC
and to educate you on the amazing work conducted in 8 African countries by ALARM, Inc.
Much of the world is unaware of this epicenter of human suffering.

DR Congo has been ravaged by conflict including war, murder, rape, exploitation, economic looting, displacement and hunger since 1997, resulting in almost 6 million deaths between 1997-2008.
This is a staggering number, greater than any conflict since WWII.

Why?
Factions have been fighting for control over rich mineral resources including gold, copper, cobalt and cassiterite mined in DR Congo then sold to the U.S.,Canada, Europe and Asia. 

The terror has continued since then end of the 2008 war with violence of unspeakable horror including
mutilations, kidnapping children to serve as child soldiers, sexual slavery and brutal sexual violence including gang rape. 

According to ALARM, Inc which serves in the area, the violence of recent months has resulted in almost 500,000 refugees.
This is a tragedy that seems to be largely ignored by Western media. Where is the responsible journalism?

ALARM which stands for African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministry has called for 
Day of Prayer today for the People of DR Congo.
On their website, ALARM paints a dire and vivid picture of situation.

ALARM staff member meeting with a displaced pastor & distributing potatoes & plastic sheets.
Families using volcano stones to cook their food.

People fleeing from Goma beach to Minova and Indjui
ALARM works in Burundi, DR Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Republic of S.Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda serving pastors, community leaders, women and children.
Their mission "is to empower the African church to impact the African continent by developing & equipping leaders with skills & tools to nurture and deepen the Christian faith for the transformation and reconciliation of the African communities."

They were founded in 1994 as a response to the horrific genocide in Rwanda. I was drawn to this ministry due to my experiences in Africa in 1988 including my joy trekking to find the elusive Mountain Gorillas in then peaceful Rwanda.
A few years ago I had the opportunity to meet Celestin Musekura, their founder and president. 
Her story is amazing. Their work is remarkable.

ALARM, with help from partners & friends, including Watermark Community Church, has trained close to 9,000 leaders across East and Central Africa in Biblical theology, conflict resolution, forgiveness, mediation, leadership skills, and reconciliation. They are involved in other programs as well. In Uganda, our family sponsors an orphan through an ALARM/Watermark program.

The efforts of this fabulous ministry are essential for the development of true peace and progress for these African nations. That is why I feel the people of ALARM Inc are heroes of Africa.

I invite you to learn more by clicking on the link at the end of this post or on the right side of my blog under Links to God's Work.


Please PRAY today for the people and nation of Democratic Republic of Congo and for the ALARM staff in harms way. Pray for peace and protection. Pray for leaders to stand against corruption, violence and exploitation.

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly: defend the rights of the poor and needy". - Proverbs 31:8-9

"Finally,all of you,live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay event with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called." - 1 Peter 3:8-9

"Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. 

If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?" -Proverbs 25:11-12

"There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land" -Deuteronomy 15:11


Click here to learn more about ALARM, Inc and read their latest posts from Congo.

DONATE to DR Congo Emergency Relief by clicking here


Thank you for caring enough to read this post on the plight of those in desperate need.



Blessings,
Julie


Sources-
Alarm,Inc.
NPR News
The Nation

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