Prayer Day “biso na biso” promotes understanding and fellowship
The DRC continues to grapple with a host of armed groups – from Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army and community self-defence militias known as Mai-Mai to the Allied Democratic Forces led by Ugandan Muslim rebel leader Jamil Mukulu. Massacres continue to occur in Eastern Congo, according to the Anglican diocese of Bukavu. The diocese serves South Kivu Province and a great part of North Kivu Province. “In both regions, the security situation is becoming worse because of fighting everywhere, massacre of innocents and massive displacement of people,” says Bishop Mgr BAHATI BALI-BUSANE Sylvestre.
This ongoing unrest, combined with the DRC’s approaching Independence Day on June 30th, initiated action by HandUp Congo in Australia. In collaboration with the Federation of Congolese Council in Australia (FCCA), a non-profit that represents about 4000 Congolese refugees and migrants, HandUp Congo reached out to interfaith networks and asked that special prayers be said on Sunday, June 24th. FCCA’s leader, Theophile Elongo, and other members of the Congolese community participated in a moving church service at All Saints’ Anglican Church in Hunters Hill (Sydney).
The service featured music sung by a Congolese choir, reflections shared by Theophile and a prayer read by Rev. Kimberly Sawyer and Theophile’s daughter, Lalia.
Following the service, a mouth-watering Congolese-Australian potluck lunch was served in the parish hall. Led by Nava Malula, everyone enjoyed singing and dancing together. Great fellowship “Biso na Biso” (meaning ‘between us” in Congolese language, Lingala)!