Captain’s Log-March 11, 2018 – Violence In Our Province.


Thousands come to the IDP camp by the hospital in Bunia. MAF brings food to help. Every day the camp grows. Last week it was 7000, By Friday it was 82,000 and more coming.

As I write it is raining and, after the dry season, it is so wonderful to see the whole area turning green again.  Then I remember the refugee camp in Bunia, only 14 miles away, and know that there thousands of people are sleeping under tarp tents and more in the rain with no cover.  This has been an interesting week.  The news of violence escalating in Djugu, tens of thousands of IDP’s (Internally Displaced People) coming into Bunia, and a rapidly growing refugee camp sparked us into immediate action.  On visiting the camp and seeing the need for myself, we requested Disaster Response funds from MAF Headquarters and were able to bring food in within a few days.


First loads of rice for the camp. Lary Strietzel and I flew for supplies. Our MAF ground crew loaded and unloaded, purchased and trucked it, and generally made it all work.


A load of cooking oil for the many meals to be prepared by hard working volunteers from the Bunia Christian community.

By that time the local Christian groups of volunteers who were trying to supply food were down to their last bag of rice, a few bags of beans, and only had 6  bags of Maize meal for porridge for young kids.  We were able to fly in 50 bags of rice, 760 kgs of beans, 40 x 20 liter containers of oil and 30 more bags of maize meal.  We also got 1200 plates and cups so people would have something to eat out of.


Eight family members in this little tarp tent with all their worldly belongings. Asked when they plan to go back, they said,”to what? Our homes are burnt”.


Supplies are short. Even though some of the big humanitarian groups have helped with water, sanitation, and shelter, as you can see there are not enough tarps to cover the frames and keep the rain and sun off. The rains have come and people are suffering.

Even though it is a drop in the bucket compared to the great need, the people were incredibly grateful and we felt like we were able to tide them over till more supplies could come.

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This man I talked to was putting his tent together for his family of 8. But there were no more tarps. There are many stories of the violence, and people had machete and bullet wounds to prove it.

It seems violence all up and down the eastern part of Congo is on the rise.  We appreciate your prayers for safety but, even more, we want to be able to help in the community.

This entry was posted in Gunshot wounds, IDP Camp Bunia, Life in Africa and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Captain’s Log-March 11, 2018 – Violence In Our Province.

  1. robert hoarau says:

    Hi Jon, just seen this site and am enjoying your blog. Its been 40 years since I left Katale. We built the airstrip both in Katale (mid 70’s) and Ishasha (in the 60’s). Its so nice to be able to see those wonderful pictures of the region. Is the mission in Ruanguba (that is in the Rutshuru – Jomba area) hospital still operational. It is so nice to note you still using Katale airstrip. Nice Rumangabo pictures. I got the love for aviation there and progressed to airline flying in the 80’s. I miss the place a lot. The people are so wonderful there. Good job. Robert

    • Jon says:

      Hey Robert, Great to hear from you. Virunga National Park has based their Aircraft at Katale and now have about 3-4 aircraft there. I would love to talk more about the history of the area and what flying you did here. Thanks for writing in. Jon

  2. Hi Jon! Is that CMP in the pictures? And if so, can you tell me its new call letters? Thanks!!

    – Jenn Wolf

  3. Vengesai Chimininge says:

    May the Almighty God continue to guide you in His mission to reach those who are in needy. To me you are my mentor. Through you mission work in Zimbabwe, you picked and polished me to be where I am today. Stay blessed Jon and Cher!!!!

    • Jon says:

      Hey Vengesai, We are proud of you. Stay true to the faith we have in Christ. It is good to remember you. Blessings, Jon and Cher

  4. Abbie says:

    I want to donate, is there a alternative link of is it still Nampa ID for Congo?

  5. Helen Cadd says:

    Jon–This is devastating. Can this be forwarded to Facebook, etc.? I’m praying and wish I knew how to help! Love you tons! MOM

    On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 4:08 AM, Captain’s Blog – Africa wrote:

    > Jon posted: ” As I write it is raining and, after the dry season, it is so > wonderful to see the whole area turning green again. Then I remember the > refugee camp in Bunia, only 14 miles away, and know that there thousands of > people are sleeping under tarp tents and m” >

  6. Karen Brewster says:

    Where should funds be sent and how should they be marked?

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