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Deep in the DRC

In the Democratic Republic of Congo a sadly typical African scenario is being played out.  The incumbent President is clinging to power beyond his democratic mandate.  Elections had been delayed and then agreed for later this year, but it is now being suggested that they cannot be held until next year.  Opposition groups are outraged and tensions are mounting.  Peaceful demonstrations can be violently repressed, and from the eastern provinces we hear sinister reports that some armed militias are regrouping and beginning once again to threaten pillage and rape in remote areas.

Against this background, the ministry of Christian radio remains invaluable. We have recently received encouraging reports from two radio stations in the eastern provinces that increase our awareness of their wider ministry in this demanding context.

Kamituga (South Kivu province)

The director of the radio station ‘The Voice of Calvary’, Jean de Dieu, has been inviting listeners to attend Bible reading groups, in order to help them to get to grips with its message in a deeper way.  Alongside the Bible, these groups are reading the booklets we provide, in order to help believers and enquirers to better understand the gospel message and to apply it to their lives in a practical way.  We have heard that some of the first meetings were attended by around fifty people, but this was projected to grow as those attending are encouraged to go away and share what they have learnt with their family and in their neighbourhood.

As in so many situations we are aware of, the need and demand for our Bible teaching booklets outstrips our ability to supply them. Nevertheless, we are confident that the Lord can multiply their usefulness just as he multiplied a small offering of loaves and fish in order to feed a crowd.

Nyakunde (North Kivu province)

Four years ago Gilbert was living in a remote village and knew little of Christianity.  He nevertheless began listening to Radio Reconciliation, broadcasting from the village of Nyakunde.  Our Espérance Aujourd’hui programmes were most likely amongst those he heard, and as he grew in his understanding of the gospel he became convinced of his need to place his faith in Christ. He was subsequently baptised and discipled by a local church. Today he is studying in the Bible school in Nyakunde, where our booklets are available. Once he has finished his training for ministry he will take up a position in Radio Reconciliation and we trust that others will come to faith through his testimony and teaching.

Luc is also studying at the same Bible school.  He hosts a programme at Radio Reconciliation where listeners are encouraged to phone in to request prayer, and intercession is made for them. People frequently ask for prayer for health problems and economic difficulties.  In a region traumatised by war, atrocities and tribal and political tensions, prayer is commonly made for forgiveness and reconciliation.  Sometimes pastoral visits are made to those who phone about their problems.  This can involve travelling up to sixty miles along impracticable routes.

Testimonies are received of how helpful this ministry is proving. One lady recently spoke of how such intercession had saved her marriage and how the pastoral advice given had brought a lasting reconciliation and improved relationship with her husband. As an expression of their gratitude, this couple gave the radio station sixty litres of diesel for their electricity generator.

We trust that these reports give some insight into the usefulness of the audio and printed resources that we send to radio stations scattered throughout francophone Africa.

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