Dear Bonnie,

This week, we invite you to pray with us for Baraka Nyamutale in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The most populous French-speaking nation on earth, the DR Congo is home to 102 million people, of whom 94% identify as Christians: 30% Catholic, 27% Protestant, and 37% other Christian (mostly Evangelical). The Second Congo War (1998-2003), which involved nine countries and 20 armed groups, left over five million dead and displaced another two million. Despite a peace agreement, dozens of rebel groups persist in armed conflict, particularly in the northeastern provinces of Ituri and North Kivu. A resurgence of violence since July has displaced another 50 thousand Congolese, including many unaccompanied children. Currently, 5.5 million people are internally displaced within the country, including over 3.4 million in Ituri and North Kivu.

In hopes of guiding the Church’s engagement with the Islamic community in eastern Congo, where most of the country’s Muslims live, Baraka is pursuing a PhD in Missiology at Shalom University of Bunia, a Vital SustainAbility client school. Located in northeastern Congo, Bunia is the capital of the Ituri Province. Please pray for continued protection over Baraka and his wife Carol Adabay, and their three daughters: Jemima Kobsinge (11), Hannah Banura (8), and Abigael Katusime (1).

Baraka shares the following message:

I thank ScholarLeaders for the initiative of prayer. It is a good initiative. We want to start by thanking God for his assistance during these difficult COVID-19 times. By his grace we are still alive. We ask you to continue to carry in prayer my studies, our family, our country, and our province of Ituri. 

Regarding my studies, the writing of my thesis continues well. At the moment, my field research is still on hold because of COVID-19. I will start it again very soon.

Regarding my family, they are doing well too. We praise God for the health, joy, and love that prevail among us. Our three children are doing very well by the grace of God. Currently, they are not going to class because school activities have stopped since COVID-19 appeared.

Regarding our country, we ask you to pray for our political leaders. May the Almighty God, the Creator of all things, give them wisdom in governance.
Regarding our province and the eastern part of the DR Congo, the region suffers from growing insecurity provoked by armed groups. In Ituri, there are more than ten armed groups that kill, loot, and rape the population regularly. 

The city of Bunia, where we live, is not spared from their cruelties. It is under threat from all sides by these armed groups. People travel with difficulty, usually under military escort. The only safe way to leave Bunia for other parts of the province or for neighboring provinces is almost always by air. 

As a result, the city is full of displaced people. Agricultural production has decreased because people cannot go out into the fields like before. Also, we live in fear that these militias will one day attack the city itself, as was attempted last month.

These are the few prayer topics that we would like to share with the prayer community. Thank you and God bless you.

In Christ,

Baraka Nyamutale