Political season is upon us in the United States. Living in Iowa, the first caucus state in the country, I’m privileged (cursed?) to get an extra dose of ads, candidate visits, and rhetoric. Campaign teams for most of the candidates practically live in Iowa right now. However, the chaos here is all relative. Today is Election Day in DRC, and the craziness there makes the the run-up to the Iowa Caucuses look like a student council race. BBC has a great news clip and Nancy Burton, with MAF in Kinshasa, DRC, explains the offers her thoughts in this post from her blog:
More Than The Sum…
The Democratic Republic of Congo is a country of extremes, both good and bad. A few examples:
• The most thunderstorms and the most lightning in the world
• The world’s second largest rainforest, after Amazon
• One of the world’s richest nations in natural resources, including copper, diamonds, coltan, and the world’s largest producer of cobalt.
• The world’s second poorest nation according to the United Nations Human Development Report
• A river with potential to supply electricity for all of Africa, yet only 9% of the country’s citizens have access to electricity
• The only place in the world where the bonobo apes and the okapi live in the wild, yet the bonobos, chimpanzees, and gorillas are endangered here, partly because of bushmeat trade
• The world’s second highest infant mortality rate
• Ranked 164 out of 178 coutries by Transparency International for level of corruption
• The highest rape incidence in the world; approximately 48 every hour
The election scheduled to take place on November 28 is no exception to the Congo’s propensity for uniqueness. The 57 page ballot is perhaps the longest in world history. There are eleven presidential candidates. Depending on your source, some 18,000 to 19,000 candidates are vying for just 500 parliamentary positions. There are 32,500,000 registered voters, and, interestingly, 64,000,000 ballots have been printed. The election results are scheduled to be announced on December 6. Please pray for this wealthy-but-impoverished, beautiful-but-chaotic country during this election season. The Congo is more than just the sum of its statistics, it is a people who longs for peace, living in poverty amid untapped wealth. Pray for a peaceful election season. Pray that as they go to the polls to select their leaders, their hearts will be drawn to the King of Kings, who can give them peace that passes understanding and make them heirs with Christ.