A Note from the President
Four years ago, on my first trip to DRCongo, we traveled to a remote town in the far northeast, close to the border with Central African Republic (CAR) and what was then Sudan. At that time, the town of Dungu's population had swelled with people escaping the murder and mayhem caused by Joseph Kony's LRA militia. Staying overnight wasn't possible. Though the church leaders we met and ate and prayed with were overjoyed to know someone from outside cared, they insisted we leave before nightfall.
Earlier this month, I returned to the same place. Four years later, peace seems possible. The widows and orphans and church members who didn't have enough to eat made sure that they planted some of what we sent to eat. Today, they have three 20 acre farm plots. They are feeding themselves and their neighbors too. Did I mention they also started several churches? Once displaced, this group of women who had nothing are now the core of a new community.
The eastern part of Congo still smolders in a 20-year old war. And through much of this troubled region, Denis Hangi nurtures his teachers and students, leaving behind men and women of the Bible who speak truth and love into towns and villages. Truth and love are needed here - many homes in the town of Kitchanga were burned in a firefight. Some of our teachers lost their homes and lives of church members. These words from the Psalms mean more to me after each visit to Congo: "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1 NIV)
Common Grounds with Congo will begin in 2014. Let me know if you'd like to be part of helping us teach truth so love spills out into the streets and towns of the region.