Democratic Republic of the Congo
EOC IN CONGO
HEAD OFFICE: BULONGO PARISH
KISANZI CELL, KAMPALANGO QUARTERS
BULONGO RURAL COMMUNE.
Bp. Bruno Muhindo Sikiryamuva
VISION: A truly evangelised spirit-filled, peaceful and progressive Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
MISSION: To zealously establish functional parishes and mission centres across DRC starting with the sector Rwenzori for the holistic and integral development of the people in the Congo.
We are Evangelical Orthodox spreading the good news of Christ as given by the Biblical gospel and practising faith in line with the scriptures and the traditions of the Orthodox church.
The EOC Congo identifies with EOC Uganda and is part of the Evangelical Orthodox Church worldwide communion of churches, a part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
The EOC bishop of Kampala, bishop Jacinto Kibuuka is the current overseer of EOC Congo.
EOC Congo is currently headed by the only priest Fr. Bruno Muhindo who is assisted by: 3 deacons
2 acolytes, 4 postulants, 4 catéchistes and, 8 seminary aspirants.
Currently, EOC Congo has a parish-based at BULONGO off the Ben- Kasindi route in the sector Rwenzori of the Northern Kivu Province of Congo DRC. This parish is subdivided into 7 sub parishes
BULONGO 3 village churches
Lume 2 village churches
Kasindi. 2 village churches
Mutwanga 2 village churches
Oicha. 1 village church
Beni 1 prayer group
Butembo 1 prayer group
The total number of active believers are currently 553 (both adults and children) in 10 village churches plus two urban prayer groups. (These numbers have drastically reduced due to war. Some have died, others we can't even tell where they are for refuge)
BULONGO has the most numbers but many of them are currently internally displaced owing to frequent attacks on the area by the Islamist Allied Democratic Forces. (ADF)
We started small at Kasindi. The flock size had increased to 1218 faithful in the middle of 2020. Many joined our flock due to the care and support we give to each other, (Hospital, prison missions, Ebola and COVID-19 support). We received bibles, sanitiser, washing backers as well as masks from Designs for hope, which we have been distributing. We also received bean seeds from EOC Canada that we distributed. Throughout the conflict as well as the pandemic we have continued our visits to our members and encouraged the formation of house churches and prayer groups.
STRATEGIES FOR GROWTH
We use the divine liturgy of St. Chrysostom to nurture our people and to maintain a sense of stability in a war-torn area.
New évangélisation méthodologies of song, crusades, retreats and other devotion deepening are also used.
We maintain strategic alliances with EOC Uganda ( bishop Jacinto Kibuuka) and EOC Canada ( bishop Jerold).
The political and legal regime in DRC is very supportive. EOC is now duly registered as a church.
However, insecurity in most of Northern Kivu Province keeps displacing many and killing hundreds. Widows/ widowers orphans, and the abandoned yearn for God's protection. They run to us while we do provide for their spiritual needs, psychosocial and material demands remain a challenge. War has disrupted livelihoods. Believers can hardly provide for themselves, let alone for their church.
Social safety nets have also been disrupted, especially in Beni, Bulongo and Oicha. Fortunately, technology keeps us somewhat in touch with each. Telephone communication keeps us together. We also take risks and use the two motorcycles we have to reach those a bit near or for different areas from the road we hire courageous motorcyclists to keep us in touch or go for burials if we lose our Christians.
The desperation has drawn people closer to God. As shepherds, we tried to keep together in my unfinished house and I managed to host 37 refugees on top of our deacons, catéchistes, nuns, and acolytes. Nevertheless, we took travel risks to reach out to families who have continuously lost their relatives to console them, for burials and search for the missing dead bodies if they are first abducted before the assassination. "Real Suffering is here, I had never seen and felt REAL suffering, God forbid"
We have overwhelming needs.
I have many words but can't express everything in more detail than this.
Pray for us.
Bp. Bruno, EOC community of Northern Kivu Province, DRC.
Wap: +243 975622685
Mob: +243 994 143 342
Mob: +256 782 401 167