By ACN International,

Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin

Murhala is a small and dynamically growing town, just 100 yards from the National Highway linking Bukavu, the capital of the South Kivu region, with Goma. Of the current population of 13,000 people, some 9000 are Catholics.

Every morning at six o’clock a large group of the faithful gather to pray the rosary and attend Holy Mass. They also pray to Saint Nicholas of Flüe, for whom they have a great devotion, and ask him for peace for their region, torn for so many years by war and violence.

The Catholics of Murhala haven’t a church where they can all gather together, but instead meet in an old wooden house that is slowly crumbling and in a state of decay – but they would like to build a church of their own, dedicated to this particular saint.

To make their dream into a reality, they have now joined forces and on their own backs they have carried the sand, bricks and stones with which they hope to be able to build their church. But they themselves are very poor and survive only by what they can grow on their little plots of land or by working as small traders. Even so, they can barely manage to feed their families. Without outside help they will be unable to finish their church. “That is why they are knocking at the door of their brothers and sisters in ACN,” writes their parish priest, Father Jean de Dieu Karhabalala Mufungizi. “So that they can finish building this church. We have to restore peace. Peace is something we achieve by doing something good and tangible. Uniting people together before God is the best way for the Christians in Murhala to unite them in peace and harmony. We build up the country by building places where people can gather together; we bring peace to a nation by showing it the peaceful face of God. This is what we are doing in Murhala.”

ACN has agreed to help with a contribution of $66 700, to build this chapel which is to become a place of peace.

This project is just one example of our work. Should you wish to support it, or another similar project that accords with the pastoral priorities of ACN, please contact us to make your donation. Thank you!

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