Hope in the Midst of Chaos
The DR Congo has been wrought with violence and war for decades; it permeates every aspect of life there. Citizens continue to protest their corrupt President, and are met with brutality in return. There is so much violence happening on the streets that people are afraid to risk going outside, even to go to church, for fear they might be caught up in police conflict. In an attempt to keep the rest of the world from seeing the truth, the government has gone so far as to silence the people from reaching out on social media, shutting down internet and mobile phone connections for days and sometimes weeks at a time.
Fellowship International missionaries Apollo and Lois Midigo serve in Goma, DR Congo, helping church leaders preach the Gospel, teaching reconciliation and forgiveness, and training pastors in evangelism and missions. The long history of violence in the Congo has left its citizens battered, disillusioned, and in desperate need of the healing power of the Gospel. Many pastors who come to the Midigos for help ask for teaching from the Bible on forgiveness and reconciliation, so that they can in turn teach their congregations how to deal with their wounds from the past and fear in the present. Their next training session focusses on training in war trauma counselling as well as basic counselling skills to help victims of rape and torture. They also provide training to chaplains who serve in the military, prisons, schools, and universities that deal with survivors of war.
Recently Apollo and Lois were approached by a pastor from an area outside of Goma where violence is pervasive; he had heard that they were distributing Bibles, which were supplied through our recent Sowing the Seed appeal. He and two other pastors from the area had only parts of select books of the Bible— one had part of Mark, one had Job, and the other had Deuteronomy — and were thrilled to have a copy of the entire Bible to preach from!
The Midigos need our prayer support as they continue in their ministry in Goma. Please pray for God to continue to keep them safe in the midst of ongoing violence, and for a peaceful resolution to the political situation there. Pray for their upcoming training sessions, and that God would provide safety during their meetings. Pray also that God would provide more Bibles for them to distribute to pastors throughout the Congo.
Through the act of discipling and teaching pastors and chaplains who then go on to disciple and teach others in their congregations and communities, the Midigos are helping to build God’s Kingdom in Congo — one life at a time.
— Valerie Heaton is Managing Editor of Thrive Magazine and Communications Administrative Assistant for the Fellowship National office.