Ivorian Church Supports Efforts to Alleviate Suffering

2/23/2011

“Weep with those who weep.”

 

No better word than this 15th verse of Romans 12 can explain what the United Methodist Church of Côte d’Ivoire did to alleviate the suffering of victims of Duekoue (an area 465 kilometers west of Abidjan, the economical capital), during recent political unrest.

 

Donations received for Duekoue included $5,000 United States currency, a ton and half of rice, and bags of clothes.

 

Bishop Benjamin Boni presented these gifts to Mrs. Marie-Odette Lorougnon, a member of the National Assembly and a native of that region during a special service held on the forecourt of Jubile United Methodist Church, Cocody, on January 19.

 

Early in January, this western area witnessed troubles between native Guere community and Malinke groups, who originate from the North. A large number of houses were burned causing many deaths and internal displacements.

 

Explaining this act of solidarity, Bishop Boni said: “whenever a man’s life is threatened, whenever blood flows, the Church has its say.” For him, the Church should not be like this ambulance that travels the roads only to carry the wounded to the hospital. It should also question the recurrence of accidents, the state of the road, of the car and the drivers.  He emphasized the fact that men, as well as nations, are God’s property.

 

Taking advantage of this gathering, Bishop Boni invited the protagonists of the Ivorian crisis to engage in a dialogue in order to find a happy end to the post-electoral crisis.

 

“Each of us should be challenged by the return of peace,” Boni said. “As human beings, we must continue to talk to each other and embrace forgiveness. And God will help us. ”

 

In addition, he encouraged people to be of good faith and pray for peace because “people have suffered much.” Suiting the action to the word, the pastors, lay leaders, government representatives and the choir committed – through an intercessory prayer – the settlement of this crisis into the hands of God.  Prayers were lifted in favor of unknown brothers and sisters who were grieved in one way or another.

 

Receiving the gifts at the end of the liturgical ceremony, Mrs. Marie-Odette Lorougnon, expressed appreciation for the efforts of the United Methodist Church.

 

“We called for support and the United Methodist Church is among the few to respond,” she said. “Thanks for showing us the love of Christ in action.”