Friday, February 15, 2002
A relief worker writes home about the devastation in the Congo Back from the Congo
Reprinted below is a letter that Reverend Keith and Bonnie Greer received from their son Peter who lives in Rwanda and works for the World Relief Organization. Peter and his wife Laurel went to Goma in the Congo to help with relief activities after volcanic eruptions poured lava down the streets of the town.
Thank you for your many encouraging e-mails and prayers as Laurel and I were in Congo! Attached are a few pictures that will hopefully give you a little idea of what we were doing. As you can see, the lava flowed right through the street destroying everything in its path. Thousands of people had their homes destroyed. We spent hours yesterday at the larger refugee camp distributing water jugs, soap, cups, buckets and blankets. It was a massive task organizing the distribution of items from USAID and CARE to the refugees. The Rwandan Red Cross was an incredible help. It's hard to express how incredible it was handing these things out to the people -- they reminded us both about living a life of joy -- regardless of this crazy earth and tragedies that occur. We were continually greeted with brilliant smiles and outstretched hands to grasp ours in friendly handshakes. As hungry, tired and traumatized as these people were, they stopped to smile and greet us, even when the rain began to pour down. We wish you could see the images that continue to run through our minds -- such poverty, sickness, malnutrition -- but such joy. I will probably be returning to Goma within a few days to help with more relief work there. We'll keep you posted.
We love you all and are so thankful for your prayers. -- Laurel and Peter
© 2002 The Carlisle Mosquito