I received an e-mail from World Relief, one of the finest Christian relief and development agencies, about the unfolding crisis in Congo:
The situation in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is critical. Thousands were fleeing as rebel forces advanced on the city of Goma in eastern DRC. Rebel soldiers were on the edge of the city as a fragile ceasefire held.
The crisis is rapidly unfolding into a humanitarian disaster on a huge scale. Reports of random killings, rape and other atrocities are widespread.
Right now, the situation in Goma is incredibly tense, with many Congolese upset at the inability of the United Nations peacekeeping force to protect them. The 17,000-strong force has been unable to halt the violence in a region that has been devastated by two civil wars.
The conflict in the Congo is one of the world’s most under-reported catastrophes. In the past 12 years, an estimated 5 million people have died from malnutrition and disease spurred on by the conflict.
“I don’t know what is going to happen,” said one aid worker, “but I think that Goma is going to fall.”
At EPM we just sent $10,000 in book royalties to help with this crisis. If you can possibly join us in partnering in this cause, I'd encourage you to ask God what He would have you and your family do. Please consider passing this on to your church, for this weekend or the next, in conjunction with Thanksgiving.
The following message is from Lynne Hybels. You can listen to her in the video posted beneath her words:
As you may have heard, the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo is in dire need of our attention. Violence has forced more than 250,000 to flee their homes in the last two months alone.
The question that we as the church asked after the Rwandan Genocide in 1994 was, "Will we care enough next time?"
My friends, the "next time" is now upon us.
I am asking you to present a short video in which I am alerting the church to respond with action. The purpose is NOT just to hear about devastation in our world, but to hear how the Body of Christ can reach out together in the name of Christ!
Our Congolese brothers and sisters are real people—who are in real need of our response. How does God want the Church to respond in the face of this crisis in Congo?
Join with me in sharing this urgent message with your church either on Sunday, November 23 or 30.
Thank you and God bless you.
Advocate for Global Engagement
Willow Creek Community Church
For more information on how you can be an advocate for the people of Congo, visit the World Relief website.