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Africa Mission Report: Central Africa, Africa and Ethiopia

Jan 25, 2003 12:07 PM EST

Central African Republic -- The presence of an armed rebellion, remains a destabilizing factor that raises tensions and hampers efforts to restore peace. The trouble forced at least one mission agency to evacuate. Evangelical Free Church's Thelma Landrud.

"We just had word yesterday that another one of our mission stations has been looted. The government forces were kicked out and some Chadian soldiers have taken over the town and have gone over to our mission station, which is five miles away. They've been in there twice and looted, but we don't know to what extent."

Landrud made plans to return to the country today, but says that is contingent on what else happens. "That we're asking is that people pray for peace and that these political situations can be settled so that people can carry on with their lives. It's the local people who are the most traumatized."

Africa -- The severe food crisis in southern Africa is getting some help from the United States Government. Officials have given 114-million dollars in emergency aid to help World Vision to two other groups feed the hungry. World Vision's Carol Jenkins says the situation is dismal.

"There are approximation 15-million people at risk currently. While food assistance is going into the region, it is not adequate to meet the needs and there's a lot more that needs to be done. Approximately 2 million people per month will be served with food aid distribution activities." Jenkins says this is an open door for workers to share their faith personally.

"I need to point out that World Vision (is a) Christian organization. What often happens, though, is in situations the witness of our staff, the way in which we do our jobs. The way in which we conduct our business at the field level working with people...they can see the love of Christ through that."

Ethiopia -- A food crisis is also plaguing the East African country of Ethiopia. World Concern's Kelly Miller says, they're expanding programs in that drought stricken nation this month. He says the lack of food is forcing 15-million people to go hungry in that country alone.

"What you see is a situation that is beyond what we've experienced from the emergency relief standpoint (than) in just about any point in history. It's not that what you're seeing are new dynamics, it's just much more of it."

Miller is flying there January 28th to oversee their expansion plans, which he says will empower churches to be more evangelistically minded. He says the churches in the region are saying thank you.

"Thank you for being here. Thank you for caring. Thank you for showing that love. We'd love to have more of that. And, from that the desire to establish two more churches was there for the Nazarene church. It's a real tangible way to express, 'We're here, we care and we're doing this in Christ's name.'"

By Albert H. Lee
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