Congo Fighting Not in Area of CEUM Ministries

Post a Comment » Written on November 3rd, 2008     
Filed under: News
GOMA, CONGO (November 3, 2008) – The fighting that has erupted in eastern Congo is far removed from the northwest corners of the African nation, where the Covenant Church of Congo (CEUM) is located.

Several people associated with the CEUM have been caught up in the area of the conflict, however. One member of the CEUM, who was in the eastern area giving technical assistance to the hospital operated by HEAL Africa, reported hearing gunshots. Another is serving as an orthopedic officer.

“They are despondent, sitting in lines, waiting for someone to bring them help.”

Judy Anderson, executive director of HEAL Africa and a member of Monroe Covenant Church in Monroe Washington, says that although the city is generally quiet, the cost of the crisis has been high. HEAL Africa operates a hospital in Goma that has treated numerous wounded adults and children since the fighting began. About 50 people remained in the hospital Saturday morning.

Last week, rebels under the command of General Laurent Nkunda routed government soldiers. He said the attacks were necessary to protect the Tutsi minority in the region.

The crisis has drawn international attention, with the leaders of western nations calling for increased involvement by United Nations forces. The reports from the ground detail the human cost.

In an email, one of HEAL Africa’s directors wrote, “The scene in Kanyaruchinya breaks my heart. There must be around 10,000 people crowded round the health centre. They are despondent, sitting in lines, waiting for someone to bring them help. The scenes of yesterday are fresh in their memory. Two children were crushed to death underfoot by adults in their rush to grab a handful of biscuits. These people have been waiting in the torrential rain, and the sun, without shelter, without water, since Tuesday.”

Anderson says she covets the prayers of the people of the CEUM as well as other Covenanters. “The CEUM people know what war is like.”

Although there is a ceasefire, “it still hasn’t resolved the problem,” Anderson says. She warns that fighting could resume at anytime if a settlement isn’t reached.

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