Our Free Methodist brothers and sisters in Africa and Asia urgently need your prayer and support right now.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, hundreds of thousands of people are being targeted for ethnic cleansing, and more than 7,000 Free Methodists have been persectued and displaced. The United Nations recently reported the violence in the country may include “crimes against humanity.” Free Methodist Pastor Isaac Bujambi, the coordinator of the denomination’s African Immigrants Ministries (AIM), said the members of the Banyamulenge ethnic group are being wrongly labeled as “immigrants or invaders” even though they have been in the region for more than 100 years, and some DRC residents “target and kill (Banyamulenge) people, burn their houses, and destroy food crops and cattle in order to starve any survivor to death.” Tactics include “sexual abuse, raping women and girls, impregnating them in many cases, in order to make them ‘unclean’ in their own community.” These targeted people include relatives of Bujambi and many other Banyamulenge immigrants from the DRC who now are members of our local FM churches in the United States.
Another urgent situation for our Free Methodist family is the Taal volcano, which erupted Jan. 12 and just this morning “emitted thick white steam-laden plumes with ash,” according to a CNN report. The volcano is 50 kilometers from the Philippines’ capital, Manila, and the volcanic activity has registered more than 700 volcanic earthquakes and caused more than 125,000 residents of the Batangas province to flee. Free Methodists in the region are coordinating with our Nazarene brothers and sisters for relief operations, and the need is great. Our Free Methodist leaders tell us that fleeing residents of the affected area are being received by Christian families, churches, and relatives in their homes, but many of the pastors and other church members providing shelter have few financial resources themselves. Free Methodists in the Philippines are seeking to show Jesus’ love by providing food and hygiene assistance to at least 665 families.
Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ and support them through a donation to our Bishops’ Crisis Response Fund, which allows our church to react quickly when our brothers and sisters around the world are in great distress. Visit fmchr.ch/bcresponsef to make a donation. You can specify in the comments area where your donation should be directed.