We live in a radically different world today: A world in which despair, destruction and death has become the new norm. From the North to the global South, there is a common denominator of human destruction that leaves behind a trail of ruins and all sorts of atrocities. Darkness seems to have overtaken the light. Children are born and die without ever knowing the true meaning of peace, prosperity and a life that is truly life.
The question I intend to raise in this article is how are we, as Christians, churches, supposed to live in such a context? Surely, it can’t be business as usual. The brokenness around us calls for the rethinking, redefining and re-imagining of the mandate of the church. The sounds of death and wreckage of destruction are not far from us. We hear and see them every day. Churches and church leaders know of this prevailing pain. The Sky News documentary of Congolese children robbed of their childhood and turned into forced labourers to mine Cobalt international corporations is one of the many examples of the inhumanity in which we live.
This prevailingbrokenness is calling for a church that is prepared to assume its contextual God-ordained responsibilities. The social context we live in should compel the church to do church differently? From the world’s cruellest colonial system of King Leopold II of Belgium,to the Mobutu’s dictatorial reign, the Kabila regimes that have claimed over 10 million lives, the story has remained the same: instability, ruins, poverty, death, and brokenness. And this in spite of the paradoxical reality of being one of the world’s richest country in natural resources.
How do we minister in this socio-political context? Is the church and its leadership up to the task of doing theology contextually? My humble observation is that we have a myopic church; a church that is unable to see far beyond the basic “spiritual” needs; unable to perceive and lead the nation into its prosperous future. The near-sightedness of the Congolese church (both in the diaspora and at home) is expressed through the shallowness of “prosperity gospel” (a gospel that leaves the majority of its people poor) and its fascination with the demonic, the invisible, but also through its false theological dichotomy the spiritual (more important) and the physical (lesser important).
It is true that the Congo needs a message of prosperity and deliverance. But, not the kind preached in our churches today. We have tried that for over a century and have seen no tangible results. It’s time a new breed of church/prophets take the mantle of leadership to take the Congo into its glorious future. It’s time we turn the Congolese Christian majority into a revolutionary social transformational force. To do that, the church needs to acknowledge her own “brokenness” and allow the Lord to “FIX” her in order to become the much needed “FIXER-CHURCH”.
What is this “FIXER-CHURCH”? This church is modelled after Nehemiah; preaching and living out the word and will of God; and informed by its socio-spiritual context.
The following Seven-Point-Profile will help define this church: Firstly, it is a supernaturally PRACTICAL CHURCH. This is a church that does not give spiritual answers to practical social questions. She is not “so heavenly mindedthat she becomes of no earthly use”. She repairs walls (Nehemiah 2:18); She is heavenly minded for earthly impact (Matt. 6:10). Secondly, she is a PONDERING CHURCH; an intelligent and inquiring body; a church with both intellectual and spiritual capitals capable of dealing with the nation’s socio-political questions: How are things in Congo? What’s the state of affairs? (Nehemiah 1:2). Thirdly, her spirituality is not only expressed through her practicality and pondering capability but also her praying fervour. Her practicality and inquiry informs her prayer: a strategically PRAYING CHURCH (1:4-11). Fourthly, she is a PLANNING CHURCH. This is an outflow of her practicality (2:1-18). Fifthly, because she is practical, understanding, with divine insight and plan, she bears a divine obligation to share the vision with all (2:18; 3:1ff). That’s a PROMOTING CHURCH. Her prophetic voice is instructional, mobilising and revolutionary. Her Sunday and mid-week gatherings should help shape the minds. Sixthly, as a PRODUCING CHURCH, she is goal setting and results-oriented; defending the gains made (3:1-32; 4:1ff). And lastly, the foundational essential of the proclamation of the unadulterated word of truth (8:1ff) make of her a PROCLAIMING CHURCH. Like Ezekiel, shefeeds on the word to proclaim it (Ezekiel 3:3).
Arise, FIXER-CHURCH! Yes, let’s rebuild our God-given nation, the DR Congo.
Since they have been in South Africa, Congolese people always try to gather in order to debate why democracy is not promoted in their own country, the DRC ; they also try to find strategies to influence the regime change. Some are using the diplomacy, others are going by violence, developing a set of sanctions to impose any organisation or individual who has direct connection with the power or any activity that is intending to disturb the focus of the people on the regime change.
It is to ask at the same times if those who are claiming to defend the imple-mentation of democracy in their own country are respecting its principles or are living up to those principles out of their country ?
Democracy as a system of government in which a country’s political leaders are chosen by the people in regular, free, and faire elections, has universal principles that cannot be compromised in any how. In terms of citizens’ rights,
Everyone has the right to have their own beliefs, including religious beliefs, and to say and to write what they think ;
Everyone has the right to seek different sources of information and ideas ;
Everyone have the right to associate with other people and to form and join organisations of their own choice, includ-ing trade unions ;
Everyone have the right to assemble and to protest government actions ;
However, these rights have to be exer-cised peacefully, respecting the law and the right of others.
Unfortunately here in South Africa the right to seek different source of informa-tion and ideas, which the country pro-motes, seams not to be respected in the Congolese community since a minority group of people have decided to deprive the whole community for organising any kind of conferences that debates on the current political situation in the DRC ; they go to many threatening extends that make the majority of Congolese to not express themselves by fear.
How to expect change in the DRC while it is difficult to respect the basic rights of democracy while living in a democratic country like South Africa ?
«coming from a dictatorship country, we should start to learn how south African are leaving their democracy ; this is the only way we can carry something valu-able to our country when we get the chance to go back.» said a 35 year old Congolese women when asked about what Congolese could gain from living in South Africa.
South African authorities should be con-cerned when democracy is at risk in any community that the country hosts and come up with some resolutions that could hep solve the problem. Indeed real assistance is needed in the Congolese community regarding democracy.
Prisca Kamaria Zaleka Khoza is a 26-year-old young woman that was born in Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo which was formally known as Zaire. She was born in 1991 and was raised in Mbinza, until her family decided to relocate to South Africa in April 1999. She has now lived in Johannesburg for the past 18 years and has obtained a South African citizenship. She spent most of her early primary years moving from school to school until she eventually settled in Malvern primary up until she completed grade school. The boarding house of the grade school was situated only a few blocks away. She then started high school at Bed-fordview High where she also did her metric. Prisca is now doing LLB at the univer-sity of South Africa. She goes by many nick names such as Leka (which is pro-nounced as lee-kha), Kammy and the recently added one, Miss, which she got after winning Miss Congo SA in December 2016. She de-scribes winning Miss Congo SA as being be-yond anything she had ever dreamt of. She says its a happiness no words can ever describe. The young lady went on to say that it means a lot for her to represent or rather stand for her country and giving everything she has to bring a community together away from home. “I have no greatest achievement, I’ll forever strive to be a better version of me and ac-complish greater things than this. “she said when asked what her greatest achieve-ment was. She also dreams of creating a programme for young adults from the ages of 17 to 25. A programme that will help this group of young individuals build their careers, job development and give life orientation. She hopes that the programme will be up and acting by this year early October. She would like to have in South Africa, with the help of the community, establish Congo Houses by the end of next year. Everywhere around the world these houses exist to take in migrants and refu-gees however in South Af-rica, a country that has taken in more refugees from the DRC compared to the rest of the world has no existing Congo Houses. The houses she has great faith of estab-lishing will be based in three cities, Cape Town, Johan-nesburg and Durban. It will have all the necessities a national house should have. One more thing she would like to do is to offer a Congo-lese Bursary given to three matriculants each year that will cover them throughout the years of their studies. “If it is God’s will, I’d prefer to unite the Congolese commu-nity above all” she said.
Francine Ngalula Kalala, la femme qui a accouché à Park Station dans la Centre Ville de Johannesburg, aurait été détournée de trois hôpitaux en raison de son statut d’asile.
L’année dernière, elle et son mari, Serge, ont fui la République démocratique du Congo, un pays d’Afrique centrale impliqué dans des troubles civils qui ont coûté près de 6 millions de personnes, pour demander l’asile en Afrique du Sud.
Ils ont commencé une nouvelle vie à Cape Town. Peu de temps après, Francine est tombée enceinte et a reçu un traitement prénatal dans un hôpital. Mais il y a un mois, ils ont déménagé à Pretoria.
À 2 heures du matin jeudi, Francine a eu des douleurs d’enfantement, après 20 minutes de route, ils sont arrivés à l’hôpital du district de Tshwane, prêts à recevoir un traitement. Mais les autorités de l’hôpital lui ont dit qu’elles n’avaient pas de lit et qu’elle n’était «pas autorisée à être admise». Elle a attendu à l’entrée de l’hôpital pendant des heures, alors que d’autres patients, qui étaient arrivés après elle, avaient reçu un traitement.
La constitution donne droit aux demandeurs d’asile aux mêmes services de santé de base que les citoyens sud-africains, y compris les soins de maternité.
Une fois qu’ils ont réalisé qu’ils ne recevraient pas de traitement, Francine et Serge se sont dirrigé vers un voisin, hôpital Steve Biko, où ils ont également été privés de soins médicaux.
Confus et désespéré, Francine a pris Gautrain pour Johannesburg, où la femme du frère de Serge, également demandeur d’asile congolais, a accouché.
Francine a passé 45 minutes de trajet en train sous des vomissements continus, pendant que d’autres passagers faisaient de leur mieux pour l’aider. Mais lorsque le train est arrivé à Park Station à 7 heures du matin, Francine était en travail depuis plus de cinq heures de temps pour accoucher sa fille, Emmanuella, qui ne pouvait plus attendre.
Lorsque les portes du train se sont ouvertes, les passagers ont immédiatement crié au secoursse . Les gardes de sécurité sont rapidement pointés, apportant des boîtes pour créer un semblant d’intimité pour Francine qui devait donner naissance.
Ils ont immédiatement appelé une ambulance, mais Francine a livré son bébé sur le sol de la station.
Vingt minutes plus tard, une ambulance est arrivée et a emmené Serge, Francine et Emmanuella à l’hôpital universitaire Charlotte Maxeke – où ils ont été à nouveau renvoyés.
“Ils ont dit que c’était le mauvais endroit pour nous amener, mais c’était un hôpital. Comment cela est-il mauvais?” Demanda Francine.
Serge a supplié le personnel de l’hôpital de tout au moins laver Emmanuella ou avoir un médecin la regarder, alors qu’elle commençait à devenir bleu. Mais ils ont été envoyés à l’hôpital Hillbrow, où, après huit heures, ils ont finalement reçu un traitement.
“C’est pire que tout ce qui m’est arrivé en RDC”, a déclaré Francine. “Je ne veux pas rester dans ce pays. Je ne me sens pas le bienvenu ici. ”
Serge espère que leur histoire peut éclairer le traitement discriminatoire des étrangers en Afrique du Sud et espère que la prochaine fois qu’une femme étrangère a besoin d’aide médicale, elle ne soit pas renvoyée.
“Si quelque chose avait mal tourné et mon bébé était mort ou si ma femme était morte, j’aurais perdu ma famille”, at-il dit. “Tu peux même commencer à l’imaginer?”
Gautrain a confirmé que certains de ses membres du personnel ont aidé la femme à livrer le bébé et ils ont tous deux été emmenés à l’hôpital.
“ER24 a été immédiatement contacté et son ambulance est arrivé peu de temps après, mais à ce moment-là, le personnel de la station avait déjà aidé à livrer la petite fille, qui avait manifestement l’intention de ne pas attendre les ambulanciers”, a déclaré le porte-parole Kesagee Nayager.
“Notre personnel à Park Station a fait un excellent travail en assistant à la livraison”, a-t-il ajouté.
The Star aurait envoyé des questions par courrier électronique aux hôpitaux Tshwane, Steve Biko et Charlotte Maxeke vendredi et a appelé ses porte-parole hier, mais ils n’avaient pas répondu au moment de la publication.
Le porte-parole du département de santé de Gauteng, le prince Hamnca, a déclaré avoir vérifié auprès des hôpitaux Tshwane et Steve Biko, mais ils ont tous deux déclaré n’avoir aucun registre d’une femme nommée Francine.
The Star, traduit en Français par Congo Square News
While around the world women are coming strong in politics to bring up change, in the Democratic Republic of Congo women involving in politics precisely in the opposition party are experiencing a nightmare. The recent case is in Goma where Sephora Astrid Bashiya Biduaya, a woman leader of the opposition party UDPS, was arrested in the aftermath of the demonstrations of December 19, 2016 marking the end of the second and last constitutional term of Joseph Kabila. She has been languishing for five months in prison. Her mental, physical and moral state are deteriorating day by day, as alerted today her family and her political party UDPS.
She is not alone in this condition; Eleven other young people from the Rally for Political and Social Forces who have been arrested with her are still staying in the same Central Prison in Goma; and this, without any judgment to this day, said L’Objectif recalling Christian Lumu who mentioned that Six other young men and women of the Kinshasa Progressive Force, including Heritier Bongwalanga Bopoko, have also been in prison since the last demonstrations in the capital.