Please Help Put Bibles into the Hands of Rebel Congolese Soldiers Who Have Accepted the Gospel
Oct 26, 2015 1580
Pr David Kayumba has brought the gospel to 1,500 rebel soldiers from Congo who have been living in exile in a military barracks in Uganda for years. Many have accepted salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. They are pleading with us for Bibles. Can you please help us get Bibles into their hands? They need 100 Bibles in the Kinyarwanda language, at a cost of $700 Australian dollars.
These soldiers are part of what is known as the M23 movement. After they mutinied against the Congolese government some years ago, they lost a war, and were driven across the border into Uganda. The Ugandan government allowed them to stay as refugees in an army barracks, where they still live to this day.. Although they haven’t fought for years, the only pride they have to hold onto is their identity as soldiers, and so they still wear their uniforms and they structure there lives according to military orders.
The soldiers, both male and female soldiers, haven’t seen their families since they have been in exile. Some of them are suffering from the physical injuries sustained in war, let alone the psychological damage and sense of hopelessness. Stateless, they spend each day in the barracks doing nothing. In fact prisoners are better off these people. But they are positive people, and they wear their uniform with pride.
The Ugandan army, which is nearby, is amazed to see how seriously these soldiers, who have accepted the gospel, take God, even though in uniform.
Churches Ignore Us Because We Are Soldiers…
Major Murangwa said to Pr Kayumba,
We are determined to use this time in our exile to preach the Gospel to our fellow soldiers and also to our host army. We have lacked tools and knowledge to do this. Churches ignore us because we are soldiers, but we too love Jesus and are mindful of eternal life. Indeed in our state we may not be of use to the Church because we have got no money to support the church but we do what we can. For example, we use our hands to plough the pastor`s farm to help him. We don’t do it for money we just help him. We have never received any free book until now when you visited us. We are all very happy. If we could have more of these books then we can better evangelize both our host army as well as our fellow soldiers in exile. We have great need for Bibles. If we could get Bibles, then our work will get better. Even if we can get a few Bibles, we will share them among many soldiers.’’
You Have Come At The Time of Our Desperation for God
Colonel Rwamuhizi talked about the needs of his fellow soldiers, referring to Pr Kayumba,
I am a Christian and even our supreme commander is a Christian, and he is aware of your visit and the gift of Yesu Wenyine (Jesus Only) you gave to our people. I am very much concerned of the great spiritual need for all of us especially in this period of great challenges to our physical, psychological and spiritual dimension of our life.
Our commander has been emphasizing to us all that we need to give much of our time to God. And so you have come at the time of our desperation for God. That is why I and my men are excited to receive this book Jesus Only. We shall surely return to our country one day soon and we need to keep in contact with Good News Unlimited because we want to spread this gospel in Congo as well. We are soldiers but we are now Christians with a mission in mind. At a time when the churches turn their church creeds and manuals into a bible, more than ever, we need the message of “Jesus Only.”
Pr David Kayumba says that the following day after he conducted these interviews he received phone calls from Lt. Donati, Private Emmanueli, Lt. Sinayi, Maj. Ntulo, Lt. Kabera, Karinda, and many others, all of them expressing their gratitude for the few books we gave them, and begging for Bibles. This is in addition to overwhelming voices that requested for more of copies of the book Yesu Wenyine (Jesus Only)
Col. Rwamuhizi has requested Pr Kayumba to plan another visit to ground the people in the Gospel. He publicly referred to these soldiers (comprising Colonels, majors, and other ranks) as hungry beggars who just received scaps. He was referring to the book, “Jesus Only,” and for their need for the Bible.
We Have Started Small Study Groups Throughout Our Barracks… But Please, We Have No Bibles!
The colonel said,
You must return to us. We have started small study groups throughout our barracks. We want to be planted on the rock of Christ. We know we have a great work to do in our humble barracks, with our friends in the Ugandan army, and when we return to our country soon. But please, we have no Bibles.
If you are able to help us raise the funds to send these soldiers Bibles that they so desperately need, please donate to the “Bible for Soldiers” fund through our website here. Please make sure to contact me personally on my email address [email protected] to tell me your name and how much you have given, so that I can make sure that it goes into the right account.
–Eliezer Gonzalez, compiled from a report from Pr David Kayumba