Congo Elections

Bud Kroeker in Kinshasa Report N° 6

Dear friends,

 Kinshasa between elections and results 

The streets are calm this Sunday evening in Kinshasa. The reports have been coming in ever since yesterday morning, and all those we’ve talked to say that the population is less nervous and things are calming down.

The CENI published partial results from 33% of the country’s polls showing that Tshisikedi has 34% and Kabila 50% of the votes. But Kinshasa has not been counted as yet and Tshisikedi has lots of votes here in this city. Forecasts still show Kabila in the lead.

It seems that people will accept the results of the elections. But there have been so many rumors going around of fraud, that people have a hard time believing the observers, even when they affirm that the results are reliable and true. I spoke with a man after Church this morning and he was very worried. I hope we can finish the reports of all the Protestant observers tomorrow.

The message in Church this morning was John 14:27. Jesus said “I give you my peace.” This country certainly needs peace during these next coming days. Would you please pray for this?

This coming week I would like to finish off the administrative work here in Kinshasa in order to leave for a trip to Matende. There is still a lot to do here and we need to find a means of transportation inland. There are busses running from Kinshasa to Kikwit, which would be the most economical means. We’ll see.

Next door to the Protestant Guest House where I am staying is a large two- story building which houses the CEDI or Center for Evangelical Publications.

This dates back to many years ago when publishing went on here for the missions. I walked along the edge of the property on my way to church this morning and took some pictures. When I asked the youth walking with me if he knew the print shop, he said: “There has been a lot of negligence.”D I was surprised to hear from him about the situation and didn’t ever imagine he would know about the four large offset presses in there, the two paper cutters and all the other printing material totally run down and almost to a stand still. Through the years, our publishing house (Editeurs de Littérature Biblique in Belgium) furnished their book store with books and we even sent down parts for their print shop and discussed the work with their missionaries and printers. But today the outside of the building does not inspire one’s confidence or trust.

This country needs Christian literature more than ever, and the means of production and importing are very limited.

All day Saturday I worked with Erik Kumedisa in teaching him page layout on the computer. He is doing the page layout of a hymn book in Kikongo and Lingala. The old hymns, ­those translated 60 to 70 years ago from English or French are still sung here. Usually the whole Church sings with not one single hymn book. People know the hymns by heart.

When Erik gets the page layout done, he will be able to print off some pages and staple them together by hand. Hopefully one day there will be a place here where things can be printed using modern technology.

Thank you again for your prayers.

Bud

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