Last May 22 the Nyriagongo volcano in the Goma region of Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo erupted suddenly. A local organization, the Center for Intercultural Missions and Research led by LWCCN member Eraston Kighoma was on the scene. They have sent us a detailed report of their response. The full document can be read or downloaded here in PDF.
Here’s a brief glimpse:
To the Levites sons of Korah who were responsible to offer worship in the temple Asaph tells that “As they (those whose strength are in the Lord) pass through the Valley of Baka (valley of bitterness or suffering and pain), they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools” (Psalms 84:4-6)
If there have been opportunities to call the church to action, the sudden eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano on May 22th, 2021 was one of them. Its lava suddenly covered Mutaho villages and a major part of Buhene neighborhood leaving families homeless and in urgent need of basic livelihoods, care and shelter. Because the Buhene community had experienced an ethnic clash few months before the eruption, there are people who had not benefited from humanitarian help as they were hindered to live in established camp. CIMR ministry response , therefore, bore a holistic character as, in addition to feeding and accommodating families and individuals at the center and in Eraston’s home during the two weeks –eruption and earthquakes, the team provided a food kit and a blanket to a group of people which were found still left out (the elderly peoples and widows), provided pastoral care session to all beneficiaries, equipped 73 Christian leaders on the Christian response to the crisis in the midst of a conflict context and lastly, having pointed families to IGA as sustainable way to own their family livelihoods, is accompanying three most affected homeless family toward restoration.
Keep in mind that this is a region already torn by war for decades. Let’s keep Eraston and his community in our prayers.