The Evangelical Mission united in communion of prayers with the population of Goma

In communion with the CBCA which is its member church, the United Evangelical Mission has appealed to all other member churches to support Christians and all the population of Goma who have been struck by the sad reality of the eruption of Nyiragongo volcano.

Here is an update on the situation in Goma/DR Congo. We thank you for your prayers so far and ask you to continue to pray for the city and its inhabitants. The following information builds on reports from CBCA staff and UEM co-workers. We praise God that currently the flow of lava from the Nyiragongo volcano (not Nyamuragira as we originally reported) has stopped. Earthquakes, though, are still continuing and are felt also in Gisenyi in Rwanda. It is not clear whether the volcano is now settling or building up for further eruptions, so the population is requested to be on their guard.

The airport is closed for civilian flights until the situation has become clearer. Schools are also closed until further notice. People in Goma and Gisenyi are deeply traumatized by the eruption, and the panic which developed Saturday night led many to flee their homes, either in western direction or towards Rwanda. It is not clear how many people died because they could not move away from the lava flows fast enough. Rwanda opened its border crossing to Gisenyi during the night, and some 3,000 refugees are being housed there in schools and a stadium.

The BBC reports that many families were separated, and that hundreds of children are still not reunited with their families. Many others have now returned to their homes to assess the damage. The UN peacekeeping mission in the country, Monusco, has been carrying out reconnaissance flights over Goma city. Video material shows the lava flows that buried outlying villages and the outskirts of the city.

UEM member church, the Bapist Community in Central Africa (CBCA), sent an emergency request to support the population in their urgent needs facing the disaster: Food for survival, drinking water, basic household items, temporary shelters in affected neighbourhoods, psychosocial support, restoration of the electricity and water systems, support for host families for better care for the displaced, etc.

Please continue to pray for Goma and the people there!

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