Democratic Republic of the Congo
The United Methodist Church has a long and far-reaching presence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), especially in Katanga Province where the copper mining city of Lumbumbashi is located. Lumbumbashi serves as the capital city of the Province.
The local United Methodist churches reached out to assist internally displaced persons when fighting within the DRC broke out in 1999, and also assisted refugees from the wars in Rwanda and Burundi. The United Methodist Church of DRC has been recognized as a major contributor among the faith-based community to helping the peace process take hold. In response to extensive needs in the country, UMCOR opened an office in DRC in October 2002. UMCOR DRC works primarily in the southeastern province of Katanga with programs that focus on health, nutrition, agriculture, and the livelihoods with citizens.
The Wisconsin Conference has been active in ministry work in Lumbumbashi, and missionary Rachel Gabler provides hands-on support to citizens in the city and across the region. Christian books are in great demand in this country, and she has worked tirelessly to print a book, "Meu Drama Minha Vida" ("My Drama My Life"), and is now working on the pamphlet that will accompany it. Gabler wants to distribute the book widely and make it available for sale to people and churches in towns that have money, but provide it for free to those with no means to pay. She has also brought Bible Story Books to residents, including those at Mulunguishi Methodist University and to the children in Sunday Schools. She aims to do her work on a larger scale, but this will take coordination and money.
Donations for Lumbumbashi and the Gabler’s efforts can be designated for:
- Leadership Resource Development: Advance #3021537
- Rachel Gabler, Wisconsin Fund #3628, Advance 12940Z
- Daniel Gabler, Wisconsin Fund #3627, Advance #12939Z