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Partners In Prayer Newsletter

Epiphany 2003

Crisis in the Congo
By Ms. Susan Broaddus
Ms. Broaddus was an Episcopal missionary to Africa for many years,
and now lives in Virginia.

Dr. Nigel Pearson wonders why the small terrorist attack in Mombasa, Kenya last month received so much press when the largest war in the world occurring in the Congo is received with a polite yawn or shrugged shoulders. The Congo is the third largest country in Africa. The Anglican Diocese of Lubumbashi is larger than France! Until the end of the Cold War, the Congo (ex-Zare), was a close ally of the USA.

Dr. Pearson works with the International Rescue Committee which with other aid agencies is supplying aspirin, blankets, and some food to multitudes of displaced persons. He recently had to operate with inadequate equipment under a 40 watt light. At present he is working in the southeastern part of this huge country, on the Congolese side of Lake Tanganika. This is a part of the Diocese of Bukavu. In February, he will begin working out of Bunia, Congo in the Ituri region near the Ugandan border. When I knew Nigel, he was the chief medical officer for the Anglican Church in the Congo based in the village of Boga, not far from Bunia, so he is returning `home'.

The Ituri region could hardly celebrate the coming of the Prince of Peace because during the week of Christmas, various warlords were bearing down upon the region. One group boasts of having the name of "Blackboard Erasers" because they literally wipe out everyone and everything in their path.

In the northeast (Ituri and North Kivu regions), life is very fragile. This is where the bulk of the Anglican population lives. Church leaders of targeted tribes are in exile. The remaining leaders and seminary students try to keep a normal pace of life when not imminently threatened. The Province's youth director, Judy Acheson, has had to leave Boga Diocese, but is traveling around to the other dioceses holding seminars, training youth leaders, gathering information on how to set up future Girls' and Boys' Brigades for the pre-teens.

Please pray for this country, for the Church to lead people to reconciliation, for the end to the slaughter of the innocents. A year ago it was said that 2 million Congolese had died largely from lack of medical care and starvation. What is the real figure after the madness of these past six months?

Please pray for Archbishop Njojo, Archbishop-elect Dirokpa, and for all who are working to relieve the suffering of the Congolese.

Please pray for world leaders to help bring a lasting and just peace to the Congo.

On reconciliation

Jesus, Reconciler;
be the encourager and sustainer
of those who strive for human reconciliation now.
Through all doubts and difficulties
keep alive in them

A better way

God of peace, overturn our warring;
God of mercy, awaken our forgiveness;
God of healing, guide us to a better way.

from the website:

AFP Prayers for Peace

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