Where have all the displaced people gone?

7/30/2013 02:31:00 PM sendtheroths 2 Comments

We’ve had to make the difficult decision not to return back to Kibati again until the fighting stops.  

Bombs rang out throughout the city a week ago, coming from this precious little village at the bottom of the volcano.

The place is desolate and there’s no one there anymore. But where have all the internally displaced people gone?

Kibati was once home to a Internally Displaced People (IDP) camp of 40,000 refugees in their own country along with the local population of the Bakuma tribe. The camp had moved almost a year ago when rebels used the village as resting place before overtaking Goma last November.

But what about all the other residents?

Our staff heard about new ‘rapid camps’ forming just outside of Goma. A ‘rapid camp’ is a camp for internally displaced people that has formed so quickly that it has no major international organization to protect or sanction it. Rapid camps form only in major humanitarian disasters like that of Syria, Bosnia and the former Genocide in Rwanda. Congo’s rapid camps form everyday and the world never hears about them.

As Andrew and the team stood at the Training Center, doing a seminar with our disciples about using prayer and worship to transform communities, Grace (our Women’s Outreach Coordinator) and I went on a different mission.

If we can’t go back to Kibati, we can at least find where these people are. So, we got into our Toyota 4Runner and drove to the outskirts of the city.

“Where are the displaced people from Kibati?” we asked.

At first we went to Sotraki, a community on the outskirts of the city. People who had fled there were already gone.

The residents of Sotraki sent us 10 km further from the city to Buhimba. We drove up to a brand new camp of more than 20,000 internally displaced people. The Bakumu people from Kibati were part of those 20k people. After encountering one drunken soldier and many curious children, we found the responsible of the camp.

They welcomed us with open arms.

“Please come and visit us.” Said the president of the camp. “even if its just to pray with us. It would bring so much comfort. We just want to go back home.” The next day, we sent a team of 30 people from the Goma Training Center (GTC) to bring worship and prayer to the camp. Almost half of the Congolese from the GTC had never stepped foot into a camp before.

I can’t tell you what an honor it is to see people that we have discipled for more than 2 years begin to take everything that they have learned and apply it.

We saw our disciples pour their love on the people of Buhimba camp that day. They sang, they prayed and they even gave from the little that they had to make the day of ministry happen.

I’m learning that there is something even sweeter then seeing the face of Jesus in the broken and unlovely. The sweetest moments are when you see the people you’ve poured into, cried with, yelled at and have broken bread with begin to pour themselves out for the face of Jesus. The same face that caused you to waste your life for them.


  1. Oh my goodness. I dont even know what to say.

  2. BEAUTIFUL !!! Praying and believing with you! Restoration, freedom ,Healing !!I know what Love is and it looks like this ! God bless you and your team wisdom ,strength, creativity, safety in Jesus name :)Isaiah 61