Lives Transformed in DRC’s Dungu Territory

14th April 2022

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Part 1 of 2: Through a Samaritan’s Purse initiative, the Zande people of northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo are embracing the love of God in Jesus Christ.

Violence and instability have long plagued the Dungu Territory of northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The Zande Initiative has helped farmers in DRC increase their crop yields.

The Zande Initiative has helped farmers in DRC increase their crop yields.

Churches, schools, and houses burned down during armed conflict decades ago have never been rebuilt, leaving communities seemingly trapped in spiritual and physical poverty.

In the wake of so many years of violence, many families have been left with limited resources, struggling with widespread disease and little access to medical care. Local churches are often similarly stifled in their attempts to care for and disciple the people in their communities.

Over the past several years though Samaritan’s Purse teams have traversed treacherous roads to work among the Zande people and others in the remote region. Working alongside local leaders we’ve helped reinvigorate area churches, focusing on both the physical and spiritual health of congregants.

Through our project, the Zande Initiative, we have brought training and resources to implement more effective agricultural practices; strengthened local healthcare services; instituted hygiene and sanitation systems that protect springs and groundwater; and provided properly constructed latrines. We’ve also helped rebuild church buildings to replace a portion of those that were destroyed by conflict.

In partnership with local congregations, these programmes have equipped pastors and, in turn, church members and new believers to live out their faith with new energy.

Witnessing the Love of God Through Medicine

Suzanne, a 26-year-old South Sudanese refugee, is one of many who have been impacted through the Zande Initiative.

Many women in Dungu Territory have learned life and livelihood skills through the project.

Many women in Dungu Territory have learned life and livelihood skills through the project.

For years Suzanne worked as a farmer to provide for her family. When violence erupted in South Sudan she fled to the DRC hoping for a better life. However, Suzanne’s struggles persisted. Suffering from a chronic illness and without income to pay for medical care, she faced a desperate situation.

Through the Zande Initiative, Suzanne began receiving free primary health care in the nearby village of Doruma. Upon arrival, the young mother was given medical attention and received much-needed surgery, allowing her livelihood as a farmer to be restored.

More than medical care, Suzanne and her husband say they “witnessed the love of God, manifested through Samaritan’s Purse.” The couple now understands that “God cares, restores, and still heals.”

The doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals involved in our programmes are seeing changes in their community that benefit everyone.

Newly-constructed church buildings replaced many that were burned down in recent years during armed conflict in the region.

Newly-constructed church buildings replaced many that were burned down in recent years during armed conflict in the region.

“The love of Jesus we are receiving from Samaritan’s Purse is changing our lives,” said Dr Samuel, the head of the health zone of Doruma in Dungu. “Health workers have been trained, health facilities received medicine donations, boreholes have been rehabilitated, latrine sand springs have been constructed [for our facilities].”

Dr. Samuel said that many patients who previously sought the local shaman for treatment now visit the health facility where they receive support from Christian medical workers and see their medical conditions improve.

“Community behaviour is progressively changing thanks to the Word of God shared by Samaritan’s Purse staff,” he said.

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