Easter is a time to commemorate and celebrate how God transformed an old story involving separation, violence and death, to a new story of reconciliation, love and eternal life. It’s a powerful story that empowers the faithful around the world to bring about wholeness, forgiveness and peace.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) needs a new story. The recent story of DRC feeds the status quo of media messaging. All the elements are there – isolation, conflict, violence and death. For too long the old story demonstrated the aim of showing human flaws rather than human potential.
A new story is being developed that features DRC’s opportunities and assets, not just its challenges and needs, to address widespread poverty. The Community of Disciples of Christ in Congo (CDCC) is helping to write this new story. It’s about a movement that restores communities, empowers youth, and shares hope- the opposite of the old story.
- The CDCC is a community of faith that understands the connections between combating poverty and protecting the rain forest, between democracy and social justice, and economic development.
- The CDCC is actively replacing the worldview the media has propagated with a constructive program of peacebuilding by ending hunger and increasing the availability of nutritious foods.
- The CDCC is educating young people in peacekeeping by preparing them to embrace their collective responsibility to engage in solutions today, not in some distant future.
- The CDCC is establishing a network for peacemaking through conflict resolution, promoting cooperative economics and creating associational life among various communities to improve health and access to clean water.
New stories, like one old ones, are passed along. All of us have the ability to be an alternative to the media narrative by communicating stories of nonviolent resistance and social change. By doing so we throw off and confound the old stories that would have us fear and distrust one another. We can follow God’s example through Jesus Christ to rewrite the narrative by once again making love for humanity the center of the story.
Paul Turner serves with the Disciples of Christ in the Congo as a project consultant. His appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Churches Wider Mission, and your special gifts.
 Nagler, Michael, The New Story: Why We Need One and How to Create It, Censored 2014, Chapter 13, pages 387-403.