At the event, there was also a whiteboard that people could sign messages of peace on. At the end of the rally, this was full of declarations of commitment to work for peace in the DRC.
‘I pray that this date is marked in the history of our province as a date on which we all commit to contribute to peace and reconciliation,’ says Bishop Willy Ngumbi, the Bishop of Goma, who attended the event.
Standing together for peace
‘Despite the divisions and conflict within the country, the church is building unity and reconciliation,’ shares Hebdavi Kyeya, who leads Tearfund’s work in the DRC. ‘Congolese people refuse to give up on the pursuit of peace. This peace rally was a public demonstration of this commitment to work towards that.
‘We will continue to stand with and support the church in this goal. Currently, we’re working with 300 faith leaders in the east of the country to equip them to be further agents of peace in their communities.
‘We are also building a peace hut in North Kivu, which will provide them with a dedicated space to hold peace talks. This will be a neutral space to bring people together and will be an exciting step towards peace.
‘We believe peace is possible and we would love you to support us in prayer as we work towards this.’
Pray with us
The following prayer is by St. Francis of Assisi – a 12th century Italian Friar. This prayer continues to be read aloud at Anglican and Catholic churches across North Kivu on every Sunday that Tearfund’s peace project is running. We’d love you to join us, and use it as a guide to pray for the church in the DRC.
As you read through the prayer, think about how church leaders in the DRC can demonstrate these qualities and ask God to bring them wisdom, courage, protection and boldness as they do so. And pray that even more churches, the military government and local authorities will be re-envisioned and committed to work for peace.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.