The CBM area of West Africa spreads a little further than what is traditionally known as West
Africa, incorporating the central African states of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and
Rwanda. This means that the countries the CBM helps in this area are home to some 430 million
Following the end of colonisation by a number of European countries, the region was beset with civil war. Although the incidence of civil war and conflicts has dropped significantly over the last 20 years, the recent trouble in Cameroon shows that the region is still prone to instability. And there are other issues in the region such as corruption, disease, migration and economic stress. However, the evidence points to God’s hand making use of trouble and conflict – war and persecution have on occasion caused people to move from one country to another taking the gospel with them. We now have 144 ecclesias and over 2,600 brothers and sisters in the area.
This is the latest news from West Africa:
Burundi: CBM is now able to operate legally in Burundi and so several brethren have recently visited other brethren and sisters and contacts in a number of locations. The aim was to strengthen ecclesias, interview contacts and visit new contacts who are taking the 40 lesson course. On this recent visit, 17 new brothers and 10 new sisters were baptised and two new ecclesias established. A visit was also made to a sister in a refugee camp where there is also a group of interested friends who want to learn the truth.
Cameroon: There has been an escalation in the effect that the on-going conflict is having on ecclesial life. All medical and social services have come to a halt which is having a dire effect on our brothers and sisters. Malaria, Typhoid and chest infections are common but with little medication available there is much suffering. Contact with the surrounding four ecclesias is extremely difficult because most, if not all, are in hiding in the bush.
The situation in Mbengwi, the headquarters of Momo Department in the Northwest Region of Cameroon, the location of the Christadelphian School for the Blind and Handicapped has eased and staff are able to complete some work in the grounds although the children remain away.
A couple in the truth are stranded in an area where there has been much conflict but they had managed to travel north and are helping with ecclesial and welfare work.
The 35 members of the Tole ecclesia in the South West are thought to be completely dispersed, although some have gathered together in the home of another brother. Some have moved to the French speaking areas to lodge with other brothers and sisters but the numbers keep increasing and more assistance is needed.
Democratic Republic of Congo (South West): There have been no visits from the UK but the CBM has been able to send local brethren even to places that brethren and sisters from the UK would not have reached.
Guinea: The N’Zerekore and Laine ecclesias have met twice each quarter for a joint memorial service.
There is regular outreach work in this area with two brethren immersing themselves in village preaching comprising of ‘two rounds’ of visits to five villages every quarter.
Liberia: the Buchanan and River Cess ecclesias were recently supported by visits from brethren from the Monrovia ecclesia. Three baptisms took place.
Sierra Leone: This summer saw the first visit to the country for two years. The CBM team visited 13 ecclesias and carried out 87 baptisms. It was evident that the younger ecclesias were benefiting from visits by two mature brethren from other ecclesias each week. 70 Bibles were given out with a further 100 required (preferably ESV); additional hymn books are also needed.