It's good (I guess) to know that I'm not the only one who thinks North Kivu become less stable over the last few months. I am supposed to return in late June or early July to stay for a couple of months. Goma is controlled by the peacekeepers and should be fine, but here's hoping things will get better in the rest of the province soon.
Also, 550 survivors of a horrible attack on Congolese refugees in Burundi are going to be relocated to the United States over the next few weeks. These families, having already had to run from their homes in Congo, were attacked at a refugee transit center in Burundi by rebel groups. The rebels set their shelters on fire, killing 156 people, most of whom were women and children. An additional 106 people were wounded.
They will be resettled in Denver, Louisville, San Francisco, and elsewhere. I cannot imagine how difficult it is to restart life in a totally new culture. If you or your church is in one of these cities, please consider what you could do to help these families- or other families who've fled other countries - get used to life in the United States. To get more information on where refugees are and who is helping them, you can contact:
- Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Services, which often helps with resettlement.
- The federal government's Office of Refugee Resettlement.
- Your local Catholic Charities office. These groups are very involved in helping refugees adjust to American life.
Rest assured that whoever is helping these people will be glad to have the support of a church or group of community volunteers.