Bob Walters of Friendly Planet Missiology has been writing about the outbreak of violence and the work of the church in the North Katanga area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
As always, Bob helps break up the simplistic pictures we in the USA often have about the church in Africa. These are well worth your time to read. They also call for prayer.
And lest you think this is just about church work and has nothing to do with you, allow me to quote from the end of Bob’s third dispatch about the corruption and poverty facing a mining community:
I could appeal to your compassion for a suffering people. I could appeal to your sense of justice. This just isn’t right. But we are not just observing a people in need, or an unjust system that needs challenged. We are a part of this web.
The minerals that come out of these mines become our cell phones and lap tops. The mineral coltan is the coolant in every piece of consumer electronics. Without coltan, our cell phones would heat up and explode in our ears. No coltan, no electronics industry; and the world’s supply of cotan is in the mountains of eastern Congo.
The issues that fuel this war have not been settled. It is clear from recent events that when UN troops are removed, the country will fall back into open warfare. This is not a civil war for freedom or regime change. This is a grab for trillions of dollars worth of minerals that are essential to the global economy. Uganda wants it. Rwanda wants it. The government in Kinshasa wants it. The governor in Lubumbashi wants it. Local war lords want it.
The poor people of Mitwaba want safe drinking water, schools, health care, and a simple, descent life. and a roof for their church.