FFM Crusade In Goma, Congo
Mag.
Claudia R. Wintoch/Todd Bentley (FFM)
March 16, 2003

 

 

Dear friends,

Todd Bentley has just come back from Goma, Congo, where he did a crusade. One of his team members was my good friend Cliff Pash (read his reports on his website
www.advancingthekingdom.org ), who has been to Africa with Todd before.

The report below gives you a little insight into what Fresh Fire Ministries is doing, in light of my own trip with them to Malawi June 1-12. If you would like to enable me to go by contributing financially to the $2300 still needed ($1100 needed now), please find the details on my website
www.healing2thenations.net

All for HIM,

Claudia

 

Congo Report #1

 

I have never been so overwhelmed. We have just arrived in the city of Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, a border town of about 500,000 on the Rwanda border. In 2001 a volcanic disaster destroyed and damaged more than 50% of an entire city. Twisted metal wreckage, buried vehicles and volcanic rock and ash some 10 feet high buried and crushed churches, schools, homes and businesses. Hundreds died and still tens of thousands are homeless.

 

 

 



One young woman shared her story of how her father who is a pastor, cannot enter Congo to be home with his family. The rebel government here calls him an exile. Her home was half destroyed in the volcano and she has now taken 50 other people into her home because their homes were completely destroyed. They have nowhere to live and nothing to eat. Another story I will never forgot is, how 75-100 Christians gathered into a catholic church when the volcano first erupted, to pray for God to have mercy. They were all buried alive in the church. People here are totally desperate. After years of civil war the country is split into three pieces. A natural disaster destroyed what is already desperate lives coping with hunger and third world conditions. Thousands of children are without education. They can not afford the 5 dollars a month for school and thousands more are without the basic school supplies for an education.

 



As we crossed the Rwanda, Congo border we were welcomed with a band and Jesus parade. As we traveled through the ruined city, in the midst of volcanic boulders, ash and destruction the city stopped. There were traffic jams and shouting and dancing in the streets. Jesus came to town! I knew in my heart God would give Goma, city beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for mourning.

 



Isaiah 61:4 and they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall rise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations.

 





Since the devastation in 2001, promise after promise of humanitarian aid and relief efforts have been pledged. The people have seen very little relief. I was asked to meet with the president of this region of Congo and pray. There are now three governments and they are still trying to sign a peace process and build one unified government. Fresh Fire Ministries said "we will help". Even today we will take food to 2,500 families in a refugee camp for those left homeless after the volcano eruption. There are more than 12,000 people hungry and living in conditions so inhumane our animals live in better conditions. I saw homes that were nothing more than plastic tarps, sticks and mud. We told the president Fresh Fire wants to build an orphanage, put roofs on churches, feed the poor and send a 40 foot by forty foot container of cranberries and school supplies for the children.

 



Shonnah, the FFM team of 16 and myself were broken. I have never wept so much. I am weeping even now. As our team and 7 truck loads of food made our way towards the refugee camp, the children ran to the roads with their buckets in their hands or whatever they could to hold food. It was heard among the hungry crowd, "We arenít going to get the food and eat tonight even though we see the trucks of food!" Corrupt pastors and thieves have taken the food from the people so many times before, these people wept saying "will we really eat?". The FFM team, Shonnah and I distributed the food to the families.

 

 

 



James 1:27

 



Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.



Years of civil war, the Rwanda genocide of the 90's has left thousands of children without families. Those who lost their homes and families in the volcanic disaster of 2001, have left thousands more without families, education, and even in some desperate cases, food. Shonnah, the Fresh Fire team and I, were taken to an orphanage where over 325 children are expected to eat there. Over 125 children are housed there. One woman, named Jane and her husband, have such a heart for theses children to feed them, clothe them and house them She has opened up her home to receive the children.



The facilities are terrible, the boys sleep in no more than what I would call a rented old barn. Some without windows or insulation. The beds are so full, they sleep sometimes 8 to a bed. I saw faces of these children broken and many maimed. Children without hands, arms, or fingers. I saw children with scars across their foreheads hacked open by machetes.

 





I said, "How do we feed these people?" And the woman said, "There are times when we can't even get food from the city to the rural orphanage. One, the roads are buried in molten rock, and two, we have no truck to transport food." I saw the kitchen in nothing more than a 6ft by 6ft shed. One huge cooking cauldron (pot) and the firewood stacked in the corner. As I walked through the orphanage I saw no toys, and when we took biscuits, the children were so desperate, they stepped on, pushed and screamed to each other.



Today, Fresh Fire bought one truckload of corn, rice, beans; a 3 week supply. There is no government aid, no ministry support, nothing. We need to do more. Fresh Fire Ministries has committed to building 1 new orphanage facility and food for the orphans. We can also purchase 1 boys dormitory, that they rent right now, and the money they save on rent can help to feed the children. We can do this now for $3000.00.

 




God has given us tremendous opportunity in Congo. We were asked to meet with general of the entire rebel army and pray. There are more than 80,000 soldiers. They have asked us to train evangelists in the military so they can better evangelize the army. They have also asked us to build a church on the military base. The crusade begins tomorrow.

 



FFM has opened a pilot office in Goma and taken staff from our office in Uganda, Africa to work with the government in Congo. The advisor to the president, a born again spirit filled Colonel, aids and administrates leadership of each project.

 

 



Psalms 41:1

 

How blessed is he who considers the helpless; The Lord will deliver him in a day of trouble.