March 3, 2014
Violence and security continue to be concerns for our brothers and sisters in the Central African Republic (CAR). Of the country's 4.6 million people, approximately 2.5 are in need of assistance, according to a recent report from the United Nations.
On Feb. 8 and 9, members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Central African Republic (EELRCA) distributed rice, vegetable oil and clothing to 10,202 people impacted by violence in the country. With funds from Lutheran Disaster Response – International and Mission Afrika, a total of 50 tons of rice, 4,890 liters of vegetable oil and 41 packages of gently-used clothing were distributed from the EELRCA head office and the main mosque in the Haoussa neighborhood of Bouar.
The food distribution was a long process of purchasing the food, measuring out rations, and delivering the food under the risks of security and personal safety. However, the EELRCA is committed to serving and assisting people in CAR, despite the obstacles. Amidst the crisis, the church is still living and acting as the church as the Gospel continues to be proclaimed through word and deed.
After listening to the joys of the beneficiaries, Rev. André Golike of the EELRCA said, "When you live and share in people's lives, you know them and understand what they need. Others give us soy, which is not something we eat very often. Our partner [the ELCA] gave us rice and clothing. This is what we eat. Many people have lost everything. Now they have clothes to wear."
People of the region continue to show up at the church head office seeking assistance, as the church is looked to as a great source of support during this crisis. We will continue to pray for peace as we walk with our brothers and sisters in the Central African Republic and provide assistance to those who remain impacted by the on-going violence.
The EELRCA provided food and clothing to 10,202 individuals: