Explorer Mikael Strandberg

Africa; A shocking letter from Bukavu, Congo-Kinshasa

When I entered the plane from Nairobi to London a bit more than a week ago I was filled with energy and joy. That´s what Africa does to you. There´s no doubt that the origin of not only human kind is Africa, but also the home and birth place of the profound smile and the feeling of so many things being genuine. My reading for this night flight was Richard Dowden´s excellent book Africa; Altered States, Ordinary Miracles and it is really an honest and one of the most truthful books about this great continent. When I got off at Heathrow, kind of running to catch my flight home, I felt a certain amount of angst. There´s another side of Africa, this really primitive one, where things can really get out of hand in no time. As a reminder of this troublesome feeling, once home a letter arrived from my friend Jeff Willner, who is brought up in Eastern Congo. It was a call for help sent from a pastor in Bukavu, a very good friend of Jeff´s dad, Charles. Jeff and me visited Bakuvu together back in 2009 and found it an enchanting town. The letter is the most troublesome letter I have ever read. The reason I asked Charles to have the permission, which was granted, to publish it, is because I hope somebody will be able to assist Pastor Matthew. And, it is also another side of Africa of which is just the darkest of the human soul.

Dear beloved father Pastor Charles Willner.

Yes we praise our God to live again by his grace.  God is good.

He is protecting us and caring for us and we are very blessed for his God hand upon us.

Last Saturday night to Sunday night, we have been visited by the military and they had a plan to kill me.  But God has protected me.  They have taken every thing in my house with them.  God has helped me.  Kashumbi and Bijoux and all my daughters had slept at the church to pray all the night.  Now when they have arrive at home they have asked me where is my wife and my daughter because they had a plan to violated them.  But God has protected them from returning to my house.

They have visited the house of Joseph pastor of the Methodist church and killed one of his children because he had said that his father was not inside the house.  They have taken every thing in his house.  At this time, we are very insecure.  I have moved from my home.  I live in the church at this time running from these bad peoples.  Many houses are visited at this time. Many women are being violated and every where there is looting.  Please pray for us.

The humanitarian situation is very bad.  Every thing is become expansive.  Some of our friends have help us.  Like Joshua, his wife has helped Kashumbi with some clothes.  We have not anything with us (at the church).

At this time we have not any clothes, or any thing because all have been taken by the bad military who have run from the war from Goma until now here at Bukavu every thing is bad. But we are fortified by God’s word.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers.  We praise our God because he continues to protect our lives.

Please forgive me to write this letter like this.  I am very traumatized please understand me.  All the saints remember you all so much.  We remember our times together.

Let us trust God to provide every thing in his glory.

Send our thanks to all.

Pastor Matthew

I know many of my readers might be able to help. If you can, contact Charles Willner here!

Lake Kivu, seen from Bukavu

These are the three recent reports from the area which gives a certain perspective on this troublesome situation:

The Guardian


Al Jazeera

The Economist

At the same time, I am thinking about all our friends in this area. Not a word from them. I have written and phoned. What about the gorillas?


One comment

  1. Thank you so much for publicizing the plight of ordinary citizens in the civil unrest that is again traumatizing Congo. Let us continue to pray that God will bring good governance so that people can live together in peace. Meanwhile, we pray that Christians will continue to help one another to show the love of Christ.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.