Monday, July 31, 2006

DR Congo election news

The first presidential and parliamentary elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo were held on July 30th. Here are some related news stories (Reuters reports news from several sources):

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Election day observations

It is the 30th of July. A great day for the Congo. It is election day for the first time in over 30 years. We are in Lubumbashi. Walls and trees are covered with posters for the 32 people running for President. On the national level, there are over 5,000 running for the 500 seats in parliament. Everyone is very excited about the whole process. Registration went on for months. It is an exiting and critical time for the country in which most people want an end to the conflict and to settle down and rebuild the country. There are over 16,000 UN troops on the ground to ensure security. Observers from all over the world are present to oversee the fairness of the election. This is the most expensive and logistically complex election ever carried out in Africa. With over 60,000 polling places in the country the size of the US east of the Mississippi River, it is often very difficult to get to them in the interior. Those conducting to polling places and counting the ballets are given satellite phones and their ballet boxes and have to walk to some places where there are no roads and others have to take canoes. Helicopters are also in use. The count will take at least two weeks. We were hoping to cross the border yesterday to go to Zambia and on to the US to visit our churches. However the border was closed early and so we remained for the election. We will try again tomorrow if the border opens. Things have been very quiet here all day and the election seems to have gone well. Keep praying for the Congo.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Information about the DRC

You may find the information linked below of interest in learning more about the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  By the way, the country is also listed as DRC, DR Congo, and Congo-Kinshasa depending on the source.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

July update from David & Lori

We are sorry that we are so slow in checking in with you. We have been living a whirlwind of work, happenings and health issues and trying to make sense what is God's plan and love through this and hanging on to Him!

So many heartaches

We would like to share first, about how hard these last months have been because of the loss of so many special people in our lives. Even, now, it all seems too much! Just before Easter, Lori's cousin, Don Hutton Jr ( Aunt Joan's oldest son) died suddenly from a heart attack. He was good family man and gifted in business. A week and a half later, we lost one of our favorite "missionary uncles", Marvin Wolford, suddenly, again from heart problems. He was a contemporary of our parents and we both grew up knowing him. He was special and had a great sense of humor. Next week, we lost a fellow missionary, Mark Masters, who had a heart attack in Nepal ( had worked in Zambia some years ago) He was only 43. Two weeks latter, just before graduation, we received word that "Uncle" Ken, another missionary contemporary of our folks, and like one of our parents, had died. We had just been down in Zambia in May, with him and Aunt Lorraine, his son John and Kendra. He was 83 and had been failing and he wanted to die in Africa. We went down to Zambia for Uncle Ken's beautiful 'home-going' celebration but again so aware of all our parents passing. Now, this week we are broken again to hear that Mel Downs, Lynnette's husband (our close friend who does some of our emails connections) passed away. He had had a long two years battling CA. We will miss his compassion, wonderful sense of humor and a beautiful voice. Wow! it has been so hard to say goodbye for this earthly while but we really want you to lift all these precious families up in prayer and we can only say how privileged we were to know them ... what a special part of God's family they were and how many people they touched with their lives.

May: Zambia and Congo

It seems that in between these happenings we continued at Mulungwishi then taught for two weeks, in mid May, at the Kafakumba South Pastors School in Zambia, both to the pastors students and their wives. It was a good experience and a time of sharing. During that time, Lori had malaria, not fun and slowed us down a bit!! Back in Congo, our Seminary had public defenses of the Master's Thesis. Always a good to experience the issues our Congolese pastors our wrestling within the tribal traditions meeting with Christianity. the Gospel has to answer everyone's hearts cry and that means many worldviews!! We are happy to see more and more good mixtures and ways of understanding.

June: Graduation

Then on to the Graduation, June 11, of 9 pastors (undergrad level) and 7 with Master's degree and 17 from the Women's School. Always a miracle! Praise the Lord! and a big celebration! When you say Graduation, it brings about thoughts of all the studies of the year, the time and teaching, the discussions, the sharing and prayers to have the Lord's guidance and grace, the relationships with these families. You watch the graduates go receive their diplomas and your heart is full in thanksgiving for their steps forward into the ministry and for the Lord's keeping! ... always present in this chaotic and unstable country! It is a happy-sad time with the goodbyes. Many of you have been there in supporting them and without your faithfulness these graduations would have a harder time happening. Thank you so much! Now, you must continue to pray as they go out into a very difficult arena of ministry.

Danes, Swiss to redo water supply; Lori gets Malaria

After graduation, as we mentioned above, we went quickly to Zambia for Uncle Ken's funeral and then back to buy supplies in Lubumbashi to prepare for a 15 member Danish-Swiss Team, who have come out to redo our water system at Mulungwishi! Yea! Yea! they are hard at work as we write! During that time and the continuing week Lori was not feeling well, and tested positive at our Clinic for malaria and possible Typhoid fever! Help! So after getting preliminary treatment from our great dispensary nurses, we went on with the preparations. When the Team arrived, we were ready and our great women's cooking crews in place and then we headed down to Lubumbashi this past week to see our friend, Dr. Delgado, (7th Adventist missionary Dr.) Not only did he diagnose Lori with Typhoid Fever, but David also! So! Here we rest, taking our meds and getting some time out! We have been blessed to stay in the home of a friend who is traveling at the moment and it is been a place of peace and quiet!

Pray for recovery, DR Congo elections, those who control wealth

Be in prayer with us as we recover. Also, be in prayer as we close up during this last month in order to come back to the States to visit many of you and your churches. prayers are also needed for the upcoming National election in Congo coming up the 30th of July. This will be the first real election in over 40 years. People are excited about it but there is a great uncertainty and tension about the future. We hope that you were able to read the June 5th issue of Time Magazine which is does a fair job of showing the realities which Congo faces in an article titled, "The Deadliest War in the World". [Time magazine cover]. Pray for those who control large amounts of the wealth around the world, coming out of Congo as without this great mineral wealth there would not be this horror and tension? Continue to pray for so many people, especially women and children living a hellish life caught in the crossfires of greed and power! We know that we serve a God who is faithful, present and provides His grace in every situation! As always, we thank the Lord for your faithful standing with us and your encouragement! We always enjoy hearing from you. We treasure your friendship and being in God's wonderful family with you. We love you.