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Bullets, record rainfall fail to deter churches in Central African Republic


Years of political instability, followed by eight weeks of near-continuous rain, have made life difficult for church members in the Central African Republic.
“Brethren are really suffering and are starving of hunger and serious illness,” said missionary Worlanyo Kwesi Bor.
Nonetheless, churches in this country of 3.9 million people report growth.
Flooding in the capital city, Bangui, damaged the meeting places of two congregations. The rains left many church members without jobs for several months, “yet they continue to work in their ministries,” Bor said.
Bordered by Cameroon, Chad, Sudan and the Congo, the Central African Republic has endured political instability since independence from France in 1960. In 2003 Francois Bozize led a coup against then-president Ange-Felix Patasse, who was accused of electoral fraud.

By Erik Tryggestad
The Christian Chronicle

November 1, 2005
Years of political instability, followed by eight weeks ofnear-continuous rain, have made life difficult for church members inthe Central African Republic.
Brethren are really suffering and are starving of hunger and serious illness,” said missionary Worlanyo Kwesi Bor.
Nonetheless, churches in this country of 3.9 million people report growth.
Flooding in the capital city, Bangui, damaged the meeting places of twocongregations. The rains left many church members without jobs forseveral months, “yet they continue to work in their ministries,” Borsaid.
Bordered by Cameroon, Chad, Sudan and the Congo, the Central AfricanRepublic has endured political instability since independence fromFrance in 1960. In 2003 Francois Bozize led a coup againstthen-president Ange-Felix Patasse, who was accused of electoral fraud.
Bozize won 64 percent of the vote in elections held this May and calledfor national unity. The months since the election have been peaceful,Bor said.
Students converted through the World Bible School correspondenceprogram started the first churches of Christ in the country, said DoyleKee, a missionary in Geneva, Switzerland, who trains workers forFrench-speaking nations.
Kee and fellow worker Hilton Terry made survey trips to Bangui and setup a gospel campaign in 1998. Bor and his wife, Edith, agreed to movefrom Ghana to work wtih the new converts. The Mastin Lake Road church,Huntsville, Ala., supports the couple.
Today about 230 members meet in four congregations in Bangui. One ofthem, the Benzvi church, also has a Biblical Studies Center. Men wehave trained over the years are now helping with leadership,” Bor said.
Two converts have completed advanced training at a church-sponsoredschool in Cameroon, Kee said. One assists Bor; the other minsters inChad.
Church members have enrolled more than 6,000 students in the WorldBible School. Bor credits a 15-minute radio program with sparkinginterest in the course. He preaches in French and church member YouriBessin Gagarine translates the sermon into Sango, a widely spokenindigenous language.
Forty-three students signed up for World Bible School courses inGbango, a village about 25 miles outside Bangui. Eight were baptizedand started a congregation there recently. “The progress is impressiveregardless of the political and economic crises,” Bor said.

Filed under: International

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