Dear Friends of Congo Initiative,
As you gather with family and friends this week, Kaswera and I want to take the opportunity to wish you a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year. As a community united in Christ, we celebrate together the birth of Emmanuel – God with us.
This year, however, we express our Christmas wishes with heavy hearts. On Saturday night, armed men entered UCBC’s main campus in Kipriani and took all 23 goats. Though we are thankful our watchmen were found safe, we have learned 8 people were killed. They were our neighbors and an extension of our UCBC community. Our hearts are broken.
This Christmas, we cling to the story of Emmanuel. We are reminded that Jesus was born into a world of violence and political turmoil. A world where Mary and Joseph fled from their home and endured hardship, insecurity, and exclusion under Roman occupation. A world that has become all too familiar for our community and the population in Beni. Though we often feel powerless to bring positive change, we know we are not alone. God is with us.
Words are not strong enough to express our gratitude for your support and partnership as we work together to create a hopeful future for Congo. Our commitment remains unshaken as we continue to work for transformation in the areas God has called us. As we celebrate the gift of hope Christmas brings, please remember our CI community and all the families who are grieving their loved ones here in Beni, and around the world.
May the peace of Christ surround us all,
David & Kaswera Kasali, PhDs
Co-Founders, Congo Initiative