The Union of Baptist Churches of the DRC (UBC) Seed distribution in a refugee camp outside Goma has long labored to bring hope to the eastern, war-torn region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In a region that has suffered for many years from the harsh struggles and instabilities of war there is finally a glimpse of peace and reconciliation. Now as those in the area seek to rebuild the lives taken from them, UBC is distributing seeds of hope in an effort to show that it is only in Christ that we have hope and life.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo has faced years of instability brought on by internal fighting and unrest. As government and rebel forces waged war many caught in the crossfire were forced from their land and into internally displaced people (IDP) camps. In the camps starvation, disease, and insecurity have been daily concerns. In late 2008 it was estimated that one million people were displaced in eastern DR Congo in the latest round of fighting.
In a step of reconciliation a cease-fire agreement was signed between government and rebel groups in mid-January 2009. Many are hoping this agreement will have a lasting effect as both sides have shown evidence of cooperation. With hope those living in the area are trying to rebuild their lives.
Following the cease-fire agreement, people are returning to their homes from displaced camps. In the villages they face further hunger due to the lack of available food. The people have long relied on their small farms to sustain a food supply and provide income for the family. When fighting started and they were forced off their land the growing stopped. Now the people are struggling to get back on their feet and raise the food and income needed for the survival of their families.
The UBC has long worked in the IDP camps through evangelism and church services. Now as the people are returning to their villages and trying to restart their lives the ministry is working to provide seeds in order for the people to rebuild their farms. With little or no food to be distributed for aid the UBC is helping to reestablish a lasting food supply in the region. To date seed distribution has benefited 383 families throughout 9 districts. While many seeds have been distributed, there is still much work to be done. Having accomplished 50% of the projected goal the ministry is hoping to continue this program throughout the remainder of the year. With spring crops in the ground the ministry is looking to raise support for fall plantings in September and October.
The program has lasting effects and is promoting self-sufficiency and long-term sustainability. With a small gift of seeds the people of eastern DR Congo can begin to rebuild their self-reliance and their lives. It is the prayer of UBC and Harvesters that through this effort they may know hope and salvation in Jesus Christ.
Harvesters is working to support UBC with its goal of continue the seed distribution program. Please prayerfully consider partnering with Harvesters to continue supporting seed distribution in eastern DR Congo