In July I visited the Democratic Republic of Congo. We have a great team there, working on implementing the TCT program amongst more than 1000 churches. As I was leaving, they told me that I wouldn’t be able to come again until February, because from November to January they would be having riots. While one of the things that I admire about the Congolese is their fantastic strategic planning skills, I was slightly amused that they had already blocked calendar dates for a riot.
It turns out there are supposed to be elections in December but the current President (who has completed his maximum of two terms) is refusing to step down or organize elections. As a result, people are expecting violence. As we drove through the city to the airport, our leaders pointed out areas where there were likely to be lives lost. It was a strange and sobering reality.
Sadly, it turns out they weren’t wrong. Riots started in September. More than 50 people have died already, and many, many more are expected to die by the time the election season is over. According to news reports, the President has been buying an arsenal and preparing for a war against his own people. The US has already evacuated its citizens.
There has never been a peaceful change of leadership in DR Congo.
I had a similar experience with a church leader from Liberia. He wants to start TCT there, but asked if we could postpone and start in 2018 because they would be having a war next year. The country is having elections, and, with elections, inevitably comes war.
Elections are a tricky thing even in the US. This election season seems especially polarizing and demoralizing for my American friends. Many are approaching Tuesday, November 8th with nothing short of anguish.
This month, please take time to pray with us for elections and for peace in DR Congo.
As you pray, we encourage you to be still before the Lord and center yourself in these truths:
The LORD is the King of kings, the Lord of lords. His Kingdom has no end.
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior.” (1 Timothy 2:1-3)
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.” (Jeremiah 17:7)
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. (Romans 13:1)
Elections around the world (including Liberia and the US)
- For God’s will to be done, that He would establish authorities according to His plans and purposes.
- For calm in every nation. That elections would not result in violence or distress.
- For the hearts of leaders to be turned to God, that they would seek His wisdom to lead. Pray for leaders with servant hearts and a vision for the good of all in their nation.
- That President Joseph Kabila would allow elections to take place.
- For peace—that no more lives would be lost and that people would strive for a peaceful solution.
- That the church would step out as peacemakers—the nation is estimated to be 70 percent Christian.
- For women and girls—DR Congo has the highest rate of rape in the world, and it’s always worse at times of conflict. Pray for God’s protection on the women and girls of that nation.
From the Program Director for TCT in DR Congo:
“Political tension now is so high. We are on the edge of civil war, with catastrophic damage. Riots can arise anytime, anywhere. This situation is affecting our work with churches and the economy. Life has become so expensive; the Congolese Franc has hit its lowest exchange rate compared to US Dollar. We need prayer for all these issues.”