Following a significant increase in insecurity, violence and mass displacements in Eastern DR Congo, the Church Mission Society Ireland (CMSI) has launched an appeal in support of its partners in the region.
Over the past two weeks, CMSI has received updates from a number of its friends and partners in DR Congo, including Bishop Isesomo of North Kivu Diocese. They each shared heart breaking stories of an upsurge in brutal attacks, killings and kidnappings: unspeakable cruelty unseen by the outside world.
These events have seen thousands of people fleeing from their homes in fear. Many have arrived in Butembo town and have come to the Anglican Cathedral for help.
Bishop Isesomo has organised his people to help manage emergency support of food and shelter. Almost 2,000 people have already registered, having arrived footsore in Butembo with nothing. The Church’s resources are limited and there has been precious little assistance from aid agencies or government, so CMSI’s partners have asked for help from the Church of Ireland.
In launching the DRC Appeal, CMSI’s Mission Director, Jenny Smyth said:
“Here is an opportunity to respond in support of the local church as it provides for those seeking help in desperation. As their willing hands work, we can give the funds needed to supply food, pots and pans, blankets, shelter and jerrycans.”
In endorsing the CMSI Appeal, The Rt Rev Ferran Glenfield – Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin & Ardagh and a member of the Church of Ireland Council for Mission – said: “The eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the most unstable geopolitical regions on earth. CMS Ireland has learned through their partners on the ground of an appalling flare up of violence which is consuming people and property. They have launched an emergency appeal to help those affected by the recent contagion and I commend this response for your prayers and generosity.”
You can support the DR Congo Appeal via the CMSI website or by sending a cheque to CMSI’s offices, made payable to ‘CMS Ireland’ and marked ‘DRC Appeal’ on the back.