CPT’s Africa Great Lakes team, based in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) December through February, met with church leaders, representatives of relief and human rights organizations, United Nations officials, governmental agencies, and mining workers. They visited the capital, Kinshasa, in the west and traveled north to Bunia. This winter’s work followed CPT’s previous exploratory teams in 2005-2007.
Team member Rosemarie Milazzo wrote the following poem for Masika, a woman she met who suffered rape by CNDP (National Congress for the Defence of People) rebel militia. They also killed her husband and raped and impregnated her two teenage daughters. As she healed, Masika began to help other women who had suffered similar trauma. Then, seven years after the original incident, she was raped again by four rebel soldiers.
Does the moon still shine woman of Congo
as your heart overflows tears
Can the moon light your sky
Has the spring run dry
the Light gone where no one knows?
Sister of Congo, we see your sobs
and hear such pain in your tears
the burden you bear, a life of fear
Has barbed wire
entrapped your heart?
Can a cloth be woven to tell your tale?
What color is fear?
Where do you weave hurt?
is evil a thread?
where does war go?
Is violence the border to contain the pain?
Will it hold a crushed spirit -
Is your life in vain?
No wounded healer,
no life's in vain!
Those women you walk with
find strength in you
The children you shelter
find safety too
Your care and compassion
heal wounds so deep.
there's a hope we keep
To build God's Kingdom
The cloth we weave will hold
dreams come true
Sister, we join hands with you!