How people like you are making a difference in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
By: Jennifer Wolf
You may have read our FlightWatch story, or seen us post about how our team in eastern DRC is helping to address a nearby crisis. Nearly 100,000 people recently fled terrible violence and are living in makeshift camps, in Bunia—driving distance from the MAF base in the town of Nyankunde. MAF staff are the only ones currently managing the purchasing and distribution of food, firewood for cooking, and other essentials for one of the Bunia-area camps. MAF’s donors provided the funds to make this possible, and Congolese Christians are volunteering their time to prepare two meals a day for the people in the camps.
Bisoke, the Congolese MAF chaplain, has shown the “JESUS” film four times in the camp—and many have accepted Jesus as their Savior. Now they are asking for Bibles. So MAF purchased 150 Swahili-language Bibles, and Jon Cadd, the MAF program manager, and Bisoke are distributing them.
“How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news…”
-Isaiah 52:7a (NASB)
Bisoke and his wife are organizing sewing classes to help women—including many recent widows—earn incomes and begin the process of rebuilding their lives after the traumatic events they endured. MAF purchased sewing materials, like needles and thread, scissors, and cloth to start. A teacher/counselor is working with the women, and so far about 150 women are participating.
There was good news in another corner of the DRC this MAF team serves. Samaite and his wife, Ruta, graduated from the Bible school in Nyankunde—they’re the first Mbuti (Pygmies) to do so.
“They returned to minister among their own people in their own language with Biblical training. We are very excited to be a small part of what God is doing here in Congo—through MAF—to get to the remotest places with the Gospel,” said Jon Cadd, after flying Samaite, Ruta, and their five children back to the Ituri rainforest, where their village is.
Their flight was made possible by people like you who partner with us to share the love of Christ. And now your prayers are needed. Samaite will become a hunter-gatherer again to provide for his family. He is a powerful preacher, and God will no doubt use him and his wife to impact the hearts of others in their village.
Pray for Samaite and Ruta, and for the people they will be reaching with the gospel.
Another Crisis Looming
Just as the Ebola outbreak on the west side of the country was officially declared over, a new threat appeared on the opposite side of the country, 60 miles from the MAF base. In fact, there were three suspected cases at the hospital in Nyankunde. But thankfully, the tests came back negative for Ebola.
MAF’s involvement has been minimal so far. To date staff there have done seven related flights, carrying samples, and flying medical teams who are doing assessments and training. MAF has decades of experience responding to Ebola outbreaks. Nevertheless, our staff are reviewing protocols and procedures to make sure all staff members are ready to respond. The MAF team is repairing one of the staff homes that was damaged in the war so it can be used as an isolation area for infected patients, should it be needed.
Please pray for the people affected and the MAF team that are serving them.