Week 1 - Serving the Most Vulnerable
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, war has devastated the country. Years of rebel attacks have left children as refugees in their own country. Recently peace has returned, and the first light of hope is breaking through in a very dark place. Pray that this peace will remain. Pray that all the children who have been displaced are able to return to their homes. Pray for the work of our local Care Workers to flourish in this time of peace.
Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo:
Erick Rukang leads our work in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He travelled to Goma in August 2013, when the area was occupied by the rebels. He personally took on the risk and sacrifice to find our Care Workers and our children.
Erick with Care Workers in Goma
From the moment he arrived, there was bombing overhead. He was able to contact some of our Care Workers. As he headed to Luhonga where many of the Care Workers and children were in refugee camps, he saw families of 12 people staying in very small tents. There was no food. Many children were starving. Their rounded bellies and swollen bodies were a sign of deep malnutrition. Children were scouring the fields around the refugee camps for various grasses to eat. Water was extremely limited. Families were crying in desperation for what to do. They had fled their homes due to attacks and bombing and had nowhere left to run. Erick knew that with the Care Workers themselves in the refugee camps, there was no one in our communities to feed or visit any remaining children.
When people were able to return to their homes, they found everything destroyed. The rebels had flattened homes, stolen livestock, and destroyed all crops. The Care Point run by our Care Workers was ruined. The greatest challenge came in reaching out to the children. Many had developed a deep hatred. They believed people came to kill, not to help. But the Care Workers persisted and began purchasing supplies for food. Due to the mass malnutrition, they bought specific nutrients for porridge to increase vitality in the bodies of the children. Many children were able to receive food and support in this time.
Good news came in November as peace was declared in the area. Though peace is declared, we know the rebels are still moving. They are forming new groups. This is the time we must pray. We must stand together and pray for the rebels to remain disbanded, and for peace to endure.