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Just as many were preparing for church Sunday morning, ammunition stockpiles exploded in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, collapsing buildings and killing or injuring thousands. Though official reports are much lower, our staff in-country report an estimated death toll of 600-700 or more, while thousands have been injured. Relief workers have been unable to thoroughly search for survivors amid the rubble because the blast scattered many unexploded devices that could remain volatile. HOPE operates in Brazzaville and six miles away in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, where shockwaves from the blast remained strong enough to shatter windows. This morning we received an update from one of our staff members in Brazzaville, asking for continued prayer. Please join us in praying for our brothers and sisters in Congo.

We are very fortunate that all of our staff our safe after the explosions. With that said we are still trying to assess the impact on our clients. Please be in prayer for them as we can only assume that some have been injured or even killed. Homes and business have been destroyed. I would ask that you particularly pray for two of our staff members, our loan supervisor and our senior cashier. Our senior cashier’s home was completely destroyed on Sunday, and she is now living with her uncle. Our loan supervisor’s home also received extensive damage, and she is now living in a safer area for the time being. They both came to work yesterday just to see everyone. It was heartbreaking to see the look on their faces. You can just see the sorrow and sadness that is inside them. Their hearts are very heavy. This has no doubt impacted them emotionally. Please keep them in your prayers.