UPDATE AS OF AUGUST 1, 2021
Pastor Alphonse has returned home, as many other members of his church, where rebuilding and cleaning has started. He has requested materials for trauma healing that Bibiana was able to provide in French, hoping that Alphonse will be translating to the local language as he studies the material.
MAY – JUNE 2021 NEWS
The Mt. Nyiragongo volcano is one of the most active in the world. It overlooks Goma, a city in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo that is home to 2 million people. When the volcano erupted on May 22, tens of thousands of survivors fled to neighboring Rwanda and other parts of Congo as lava flowed toward the city, taking with them only what they could carry on their backs.
MAI has received the following request for assistance from a local pastor in Goma:
When the Congolese government ordered the mandatory evacuation due to a fear of secondary eruption, Pastor Alphonse left Goma with his family to reach Bukavu, where a friend could host them. Unsure if they could ever be returning, they gathered everything they could from their home, including some food and clothing, documents, cash and few other valuables. Unfortunately, they were robbed on the way and arrived at their friend’s place empty-handed. Pastor Alphonse’s congregation of 80 people are scattered in the region, in similar conditions.
MAI has been asked to help provide food for the coming weeks. Our goal is to provide $200 per family, which is a total financial need of $16,000. Would you help alleviate the burden of this crisis?
After the initial response, we are offering to train CHE facilitators in Psychological First Aid to help those families displaced cope with the loss. This is our part in responding to God’s call to feed the poor and dress the naked. What is your part?
MAI will continue to post updates here as they become available. Prayers appreciated!
Translation: I am Alphonse Kisubi Kassa, servant of God, 4th community of menonite churches in Congo, Betsaida in the province Norkivu, in Goma. I am launching a cry to the humanitarians, the people of God, people of good will to come to our aid. We are in a difficult, precarious situation due to the eruption of the Mt Nyiragongo. We have spent nights under the stars. To those that are listening this message, I will ask you to come to our help, I thank you. Amen.