How do you recover from inter-tribal violence and turmoil when friends and family are injured or killed, homes burned, cattle stolen, and you have had to flee to a refugee camp? Many East Congolese refugees touched by such trauma have arrived in the communities here in Bellevue, WA and across the nation. They are an integral part of the diverse Christian worshipping community and offer an amazing testimony to the power of God’s love.

In response to the enduring crisis in their homeland, Pastor Alexis Ruhumuriza has a vision for the future for this area – one of reconciliation, forgiveness, peace, and a sustainable future. The New Hope Revival worshipping community of Bellevue was formed in Bellevue Presbyterian Church (BelPres) in 2016. From these humble beginnings, along with the ongoing support of many dedicated and passionate volunteers, Congo Peace was born. In 2022 we became an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We are a grant-making organization partnering with New Hope Reconciliation Center (NHRC) in South Kivu – a separate non-governmental organization in the DRC. NHRC is a multi-tribal team focusing on reconciling warring tribes.

Congo Peace is dedicated to addressing the decades-long devastation inflicted by conflict in the Minembwe region of South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). We are focused on healing the wounds caused by intertribal conflict and working with all peoples of that area to bring reconciliation between tribes. 

While we have provided and stand ready to provide relief in emergency situations, we are not a relief ministry. We are a transformation ministry, dedicated to fundamentally transforming the Minembwe region and, ultimately, South Kivu and the DRC through the love of Jesus Christ. This transformation will include reconciliation, vocational and entrepreneurial training of young people of the disputing tribes at New Hope Academy - a residential school we are building outside of Bukavu, DRC. There, young people will live, learn and work together, becoming the future leaders of a peaceful, prosperous area.

For those who have witnessed their loved ones being massacred and have barely survived with their own lives, forgiveness and reconciliation are hard. But in the words of Pastor Alexis, nothing is impossible with God. Where others see roadblocks, he sees possibilities. “God’s way is to bring people together, creating a new way, transforming a traumatized community into a new community of love, forgiveness, healing and hope,” says Pastor Alexis. He reminds us – it is God’s plan, not his.

Congo Peace is led by a dedicated and passionate team of volunteers.

Alexis Ruhumuriza, Founder and President

Alexis Ruhumuriza is a visionary. Still in his 30s, he has founded four thriving initiatives to date. Born in DR Congo and educated in Kigali, Rwanda, he emigrated as a refugee to the US in 2015. Before leaving Rwanda, he founded Rwanda Faith Academy, which serves over 1500 children. After arriving in the US, he founded a worshipping community for refugees and asylum seekers at Bellevue Presbyterian Church, called New Hope Revival, and became a lay pastor. Seeing the need for employment among immigrants, Pastor Alexis co-founded Agape In Home Care in 2018. In the fall of 2020 Pastor Alexis had another vision to bring reconciliation and healing to the people living in his birthplace – Minembwe – a place where he still has family and where members of New Hope Revival are closely connected. This ministry grew and became an independent 501c3 nonprofit – Congo Peace - in 2022.

Mark Phelps, Chair of Board and Vice President

Mark Phelps is a semi-retired corporate trial attorney with long experience in nonprofit volunteer work, including leading volunteers at the International Justice Mission, Board of Directors at the Bellevue Schools Foundation, tutoring & mentoring youth at Jubilee Reach Center/Eastside Academy and pro bono work through the WSBA and Open Door Legal Services Center. In addition to his law degree, he has a Certificate Degree in Non-Profit Management received from the University of Washington.

Board of Directors and Advisory Team

Other members of the Board of Directors include volunteers with expertise and experience in health care and medicine, communications, education, military, nonprofit outreach, music/worship, and international missions, including Africa. In addition, community members with a heart for the Congo serve on the advisory team.