Bishop Gabriel Yemba Unda of East Congo is asking The United Methodist Church to be in prayer for the people of Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, as they flee a volcanic eruption.
The eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano has forced the evacuation of the city of Goma, in the Kivu Annual Conference.
“More than 5,000 faithful United Methodists are on the run,” reports Philippe Kituka Lolonga, a communicator for the conference and correspondent for UM News. “People are fleeing tonight with small children, and there is no more electricity in the city.”
The bishop is also asking that the government of Rwanda accept the people who are fleeing the volcano in Goma, Lolonga said May 22. Bishop Unda leads the East Congo Episcopal Area, which includes the Kivu Annual Conference.
The BBC reported that in 2002, when the volcano last erupted, 250 people were killed and 120,000 were left homeless. The volcano is about six miles away from Goma, according to the BBC.