Weapons Depot Explosion in Community of Disciples of Christ in Mbandaka

Weapons Depot Explosion in Community of Disciples of Christ in Mbandaka

Global Ministries received news that another army weapons depot blew up. This time in Mbandaka, Congo.

Global Ministries received news that another army weapons depot blew up.  This time in Mbandaka, Congo.  Below is the email that arrived from Rev. Bonanga, the General Secretary and Legal Representative.  They are not able to get into the area to give a detailed report on the damage.  When that is done, they will send a full report.


Africa Executive Sandra Gourdet has written on behalf of Global Ministries to express our concern.  A translated copy of her email is also below.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We greet you this morning by the grace of God.  We wish to inform you of the tragic event that occurred in the city of Mbandaka on Sunday June 17,  2007 at 2:00 GMT.

{mosimage}The largest army depot in the Equator Region caught fire under circumstances still to be determined.   The severity of the incident caused the President of the Republic to delegate a team headed by the Secretary of State in charge of Homeland Security along with his colleagues from the Departments of Defense, Health and others to travel to Mbandaka to lead the investigation.

Houses collapsed here and there as a result of the detonation of the bombs, which is something we have never known.  The first press release reported 3 deaths of which one is a young woman of 31 years of age who was on her way home from a prayer meeting. A man of about 5o years of age and a child were the other victims.  There were many serious injuries of which some had their body parts dismembered.  Government officials arranged for fifteen individuals to be flown to Kinshasa for immediate medical attention.  Several pregnant women gave birth prematurely as a result of serious hemorrhaging.

{mosimage}Thank God, on the side of the CDCC (Community of Disciples of Christ) no deaths have yet been reported, but many of our members sustained serious damage to their homes and injuries.  The security measures taken have not permitted us to approach the sites most affected to take photos.  However, the vibrations from the bombs that were felt in all directions shook the Mbandaka III church (1 km from the explosion) creating holes in the roof and damaging the ceiling tiles.  The church at Ikongowas was also affected.

A bomb also fell near the Basoko parish (500 m from the camp) between two buildings – the chapel and the parsonage.  The walls of the chapel were cracked.  Only three of our parishes were able to have church service, which lasted only 70 to 80 minutes with very few members present.

This morning (Monday June 18th), the population gradually started returning to their homes.  The final account will be sent to you.


Dear Rev Bonanga,

It is with much sadness that we learn of this latest disaster to fall on the Community of Disciples of Christ in Mbandaka.  The Community has received so many discouraging blows that make life more and more difficult for the people.  Our only consolation is knowing that God has not abandonned us.

The entire Global Ministries family hold you in prayer.  We will endeavor to annouunce this tragic event and the damage it has caused to our members and to friends of Congo here in the USA.  And, if financial assistance is available, we will do our best to assist once you have determined the damage caused. 

In Christ,
Sandra R. Gourdet
Africa Office Executive