Groups to Provide Relief to Central African Republic
Three groups affiliated with the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches have locked arms to help the people of the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) â€“ a country where the Grace Brethren have ministered for nearly 100 years. The partnerships were announced Sunday evening at the Winona Lake (Ind.) Grace Brethren Church (Bruce Barlow, lead pastor) as first-hand reports from the country were presented by Dr. FranÃ§ois Ngoumape, Barb Wooler, Mike Taylor, and Jim Hocking.
Encompass World Partners, Three Strands, and Water for Good are joining to provide humanitarian assistance â€” food, medical care, and sanitation â€” in the C.A.R. A common website, www.relief4thecar.com, is the go-to site for making donations to the effort, which will be administered by the church in C.A.R. In addition, Encompass is encouraging believers around the world to set aside January 20 as an International Day of Solidarity for the C.A.R.
The Central African Republic is currently involved in an extremely complex state of bloody violence, with many different forces involved. In March 2013, Seleka rebels toppled the former president FranÃ§ois BozizÃ© and replaced him with Michel Djotodia, who resigned last Tuesday. Throughout December there were many clashes between rival groups and last month more than one thousand people are believed to have been killed.
The fighting has led to a dire humanitarian situation. The number of internally displaced people has more than doubled to 935,000 since December, the U.N. says.
â€œItâ€™s emotional for those who work there because our friends are being hurt,â€ said Hocking, who is the founder and executive director of Water for Good (ICDI), an organization that helps the country through water wells, agricultural consulting, and radio broadcasting.
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