Can we expect spiritual fruit from preaching and teaching forgiveness and reconciliation while the body remains hungry and malnourished?
Our answer is ‘NO, it would be like sowing seed upon rocks’. Congo Peace addresses both the spiritual and the physical needs at the same time.
The Belllevue Presbyterian (BelPres) congregation, based in Belleuve, WA, generously donated $307,000 in May 2021 for this ministry. This amount was divided equally between reconciliation work and hunger relief. The half for food relief - $153,000 - was fully expended in June 2022 and has accomplished much in providing food relief for young children, pregnant and nursing women, vulnerable and displaced adults, and two seasons of expanded agricultural crops.
Food distribution in Minembwe continues in the new year, assisting the vulnerable people affected by ongoing conflicts and regular displacements. Distribution is done in an equitable way among all the tribes. This work continues to foster reconciliation and unity that is contributing to the prevention of tribal divisions and violence. The local communities are very thankful to the donors and Congo-based team and local authorities for the assistance.
A near-famine crisis level of hunger-severe malnutrition exists in East Congo.
According to the UN's World Food Program, decades of armed conflict are causing the crisis. Crops are burned, livestock stolen, homes are burned displacing many persons. Congo Peace has the vision that God's shalom of healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation will bring future peace. However, our reconciliation efforts by our in-Congo team are impacted until hunger and severe malnutrition are mitigated. Physical and spiritual needs are being addressed simultaneously.