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Black Church News in Virginia

Congo Delegation Visits Local Presbyterian Churches

Submitted By Dr. Melinda Harris-Peoples

Special to the New Journal and Guide

The Congo Presbyterian Ministry of the Presbytery of Eastern Virginia (PEVA) is hosting a delegation from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from October 23 through November 22, 2015.

The group includes Dr. Jacques Badibanga, Director of the Health Centers and Maternity Clinic of the Presbyterian Church of Kinshasa (CPK); Annie Ntumba Tshisuaka, Director of the CPK Women and Family Department and CPK Women’s Center; Rev. Berthe Nzeba, International Peacemaker, and Women’s President for the West Kinshasa Synod of the Presbyterian Church of Kinshasa; and Rev. Eulalie Kitenga, CPK Evangelist, and Sub- manager of the CPK Women and Family Center.

The purpose of their visit is to communicate the progress of activities related to women’s health care and to solicit support for ongoing medical, peace, and economic initiatives.

Rev. Nzeba addressed the Presbytery of Eastern Virginia on the plight of women in the DRC. She spoke about the effect of the wars and deaths of 5.4 million people, mostly by disease and starvation. She spoke of the church’s role in addressing sexual violence against girls and women and encouraged the audience to contact their congressional leaders as it relates to support of Africa’s needs specific to health care and economic development.

Further, she advocated for American companies to give back to those African countries that have been exploited for their natural resources.

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Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church (Virginia Beach) and Messiah Presbyterian Church hosted dinners for the assembly. The dinner at Messiah coincided with their 47th anniversary celebration. Rev. Eulalia Kitenga addressed the congregation at First United Presbyterian Church for their 130th anniversary celebration. The delegation also visited Carver Memorial Presbyterian Church in Newport News.

These free events requested donations for the Children’s Feeding Program in Kinshasha, DRC. The focus of the dinners was to highlight various programs for women supported by the Presbyterian Church. These projects include training in restaurant, catering, and hotel management; sewing and tailoring; cosmetology; and manicures. They also have a literacy program for orphans and vulnerable children, and literacy for girls and women.

The group thanked Covenant Presbyterian Church, Messiah Presbyterian Church, First United Presbyterian Church, Carver Memorial Presbyterian Church, Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, Williamsburg Presbyterian Church, Bayside Presbyterian Church and Great Bridge Presbyterian Church for their past and ongoing support.

For more information, please contact Mr. Etienne Kasonga Bote Tshiek at botetshiek@cox.net.

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