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