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Storm destroys parts of church mission in Congo (UM News)

March 23, 2022

The United Methodist Church’s Mulungwishi Mission suffered significant wind damage during recent storms. A computer science student was injured when a brick fell on his head.

The United Methodist mission in the South Congo/Zambia Episcopal Area houses a university, a women’s school, a medical clinic, and elementary and secondary schools.

Mulungwishi is located about 93 miles from the city of Lubumbashi, in southwestern greater Katanga. Founded in 1913 by the first bishop, John Springer, it is also home to the first United Methodist university in Congo.

According to Professor Kongolo Chijika, rector of the Methodist University in Katanga, the rain began at about 4:30 p.m. on March 8 with a violent wind that blew away the roofs of the houses.

“We made an inventory to assess the damage,” he said. “It is very huge for us. The women’s school, the boarding school for girls of humanities, the boarding school for boys, the houses — all the roofs have been washed away and even the frames broken.”

Families, temporarily homeless, sleep and study outdoors. “The situation is very serious,” Chijika said.

The damage varies from building to building. “The school of the women does not function; in certain classrooms, the pupils do not study,” he said.

This was the first disaster due to high winds recorded in this part of the South Congo/Zambia Episcopal Area since the mission was established.