I would like to share with you my feelings for this Advent season in connection to the situation on the ground back home in the Democratic Republic of Congo and encourage you to stand with me and many others who are praying for the people of Congo.
From the desert, Isaiah and John the Baptist spoke the same powerful, prophetic, perplexing words to their religious followers who were standing nearby, and to the people living in the distant city, and to all of us who would hear them: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God!" (Is. 40:3 and Mk. 1:3). From his vantage point in that vast, empty desert, bewildered by the deep rift between his vision of God's will for the world and the world as it was, Isaiah is told, "Cry out!" (v.6).
Advent is a desert season. Isaiah calls for us to use this time as a vantage point to see our lives as the prophets of old saw the world. We also can see that the world we live in is not the world as God created it to be. God's will for the world has not emerged right-side-up. For some, deserts have been transformed into fertile oases, with endless highways connecting people of privilege to other centers of power and wealth. Meanwhile, people living in nearby cities are completely without water, the most basic resource of human life. Who hears their cry? Isaiah's own desert, the Holy Land and the Middle East, is entangled in wars and ethnic conflict over the land and all that is in it. How shall we respond to the brokenness of God's world and the relationships between all God's people?
Have you ever asked what the birth of Christ would mean for the many Congolese who are survivors, victims or family members of the 6 million deceased? Christianity spreads hope and Christmas symbolizes the beginning of that very hope which was made whole on the cross. This festive season feels differently for the widows, widowers, orphans or disabled due to the devastating war in our land. As we celebrate the coming of a Saviour, whose care for us compelled him to die on a cross, we must return the spirit of care and service to one another. Would you stand in unity of purpose before God as a community of faith, sharing our sorrows and declaring your support for Congo, its mistreated children, its raped women in the areas affected by war and its degraded population? During this Christmas season, I would appreciate you taking five minutes in thinking and praying for people in the D.R.Congo.
My family is doing fine. Our last daughter who got married in July is now expecting and we are waiting for a granddaughter. We have a new grandson in the family Eden Eale Ekakhol, Dan’s son. Our other son, John and his family, Joshua and Miriam are doing well.
The ministry is going well. I had an opportunity to attend a summit from November 12-14. The governments of Kenya and Denmark and UNFPA co-convened the Nairobi Summit on International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25), a high-level conference that aimed to mobilize the political will and financial commitments necessary to implement the ICPD Programme of Action. The theme of the summit was “Accelerating the Promise.” The Nairobi Summit represented a renewed, re-energized vision and community working together. Together, we will make the next ten years a decade of action and results for women and girls, keeping their rights and choices at the center of everything we do.
We need to strengthen what the OAIC has already started in transforming the lives of women and their families by enhancing the process that will lead to maternal health. My department is waiting for an expert in health and maternal health to finish the editing of the brochure so that we can start our campaign on maternal health.
- Pray for the people of DRC with Ebola epidemic and for peace in the country; pray for the church's mission in Congo and pray for the suffering of the people. Also for good leadership of our government.
- Pray Homelessness and starvation due to Floods in Kenya
- Pray for the church in Kenya to stand and remain the prophetic voice of God amidst high levels of corruption
- Pray that God continues to provide for our ministry fund.
I appreciate your partnership and support for my ministry and looking forward to your continuing support next year 2020.
Have a blessed Advent season and Merry Christmas!
Brigitte Eale serves with the Organization of African Independent Churches (OAIC) in Kenya. Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, WOC, OGHS, and your special gifts.