Reaching refugees

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Jon Cadd, MAF’s East DRC programme manager reports on the refugee camps in Bunia

Violence and conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has caused thousands of displaced people to flood the city of Bunia, where two makeshifts refugee camps have sprung up. Violence and conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has caused thousands of displaced people to flood the city of Bunia, where two makeshifts refugee camps have sprung up.

Earlier this year, MAF visited the camp. The staff walked through the hundreds of thousands of people, living inches away from each other. Stopping along the way, they greeted, encouraged and prayed for the families.

Jon Cadd, MAF’s East DRC programme manager reports, “There is a tent where wounded are being placed but no medical work is going on and it’s hot beyond reason and feels very unhealthy. We saw people with machete wounds to the head including a one-year-old who was cut across the face, her mom had been killed, and there was a little eight- or nine-year old girl cut across the back of her neck.”
Through spending time with the people, they found out that some had not eaten for four days. MAF duly bought a 300-litre pot along with large amounts of firewood and rice. After delivering the load, Jon and the team heard loud sounds of joy inside the stores tent. When they went in, the cooks were beating the pot like a big drum and dancing around with sacks of rice held up in their hands. They were chanting “MAF, MAF, MAF”.

MAF East DRC staff are continuing to do what they can to support the thousands of people still living in the refugee camp. On a more recent visit they showed the “JESUS” film and gave out one hundred and fifty Swahili Bibles. According to Jon, “It was a very wonderful time of praying that the Word of God would go into people’s hearts.” On another visit, they saw people reading those very Bibles. “We know that the Word will not return void and it was encouraging to see as we walked through the camp that it was being read,” said Jon.

Story and photos by Jon Cadd