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July 2014: Presence Matters

Written by Julia Brown Karimu
July 1, 2014

July 2014 Bulletin Insert Format

Julio 2014 en español

Thus says God: Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another. Zachariah 7: 9

A former pastor and mentor asked me on more than one occasion, “Julia how is your soul?” When Dr. William Hannah asked this I was always taken aback.

In April, I visited Congo partners in the city of Goma. Goma is located in a war zone in eastern Congo, separated by challenging terrain from the Capital of Kinshasa making it difficult to govern. The Congo’s valuable resources make it a battleground for those who want to profit while the civilian population is susceptible to violent conflicts.

In Goma we were accompanied by a colonel during our entire visit, urgently shuffled from one center to the next and one meeting to the next with no break for coffee, tea, or lunch. During one meeting, the president of the Women’s Association of the Church of Christ in Goma shared with us their reality and her words remain with me today. She said, “You didn’t come here because it was easy but because God is with you, even if on the road, there are problems, we know that God is with us.” She then said, “We are suffering. We do not know what to do. The world looks at us like we are not human beings. We must continue to have hope in spite of the difficulties.”

We saw signs of hope in young teachers committed to educating new generations. We met young doctors giving their lives every day to bind the wounds of women and children.

If Dr. Hannah asked me today “How is my soul?” I would say wounded from what I have seen and heard but amazed and holding tightly on to hope. Join us on this journey of solidarity. Go to

Rev. Julia Brown Karimu serves as Co-Executive for Global Ministries and President for the Division of Overseas Ministries for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

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