Christian emergency response organizations have expressed alarm at a deteriorating situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s North Kivu province and about brutalities innocent civilians are facing in a potential humanitarian catastrophe, reports Ecumenical News International.

The Geneva-based ACT International (Action by Churches Together) said in a statement on 30 October that it had accounts from aid workers of looted shops and dead bodies on the pavements in Goma, the capital of North Kivu province.

Report from the Christian Telegraph


Swiss chocolatier Blaise Poyet believes he has captured the essence of the Protestant reformer Jean Calvin in special chocolate pralines he created to mark the 500th anniversary of the religious figure who made his mark on European history, reports Ecumenical News International.

“It’s not easy to represent theological ideas by using the taste buds,” acknowledges Poyet, a master chocolatier from Maison Poyet in Vevey, 80 kilometres (50 miles) from Geneva, where the French-born reformer lived and worked.

“But the key thing for Calvin is the glory of God, his excellence, his perfection. So we chose a chocolate that we chocolatiers find exceptional, rare and flawless.”

Report from the Christian Telegraph


A coalition of church groups in Zimbabwe has urged national reconciliation following the signing of a power-sharing agreement between the country’s main political rivals, whilst a global church leader has criticised other nations for adopting a wait-and-see attitude before sending aid to the impoverished southern African country, reports Ecumenical News International.

“The wounds inflicted by the past 10 years of violence and destruction should be acknowledged as part of the steps towards healing,” the Zimbabwe Christian Alliance said in a 17 September statement. “The need for healing at grassroots level is critical if this agreement is to be meaningful to ordinary Zimbabweans,” the group added.

In Geneva, the Rev. Ishmael Noko, who is a Zimbabwean theologian and general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, described indications by the wider global community that it would wait and see how the agreement works in practice before providing aid to the country as “a strategy for failure”. Noko said, “If the international community waits, the moment will pass. Like the political leaders in Zimbabwe, the international community must put other considerations aside, and focus on the welfare of the people of Zimbabwe.”

Report from Christian Telegraph


This morning I began my travels by heading for the Toonumbar National Park and the Murray Scrub Track (5.5km return – 1 1/2 hours). The road via Geneva is generally very good, with the 500m road off the Iron Pot Creek Camping Area being a little rough, but easily traversed.

The walk itself is very worthwhile, though during my visit it was dreadfully dry thanks to the current terrible drought.

Next I visited the Iron Pot Creek Camping Area and walked a short track in the area (500m – 10 minutes) – the Iron Pot Loop.

After this I returned to the forest drive and continued on to the Toonumbar Forest Drive, which is apparently a 4WD only track. Certainly the condition of the road in certain sections ‘cries out’ 4WD only. However there was no sign to say that and I managed to make my way along the entire road (though when I reached the end I looked back and saw that the road was apparently closed – would have been helpful at the other end as well).

Anyhow, along the way I visited Murray Scrub Lookout and Sherwood Lookout.

After this I headed for Koreelah National Park towards the Queensland border and Qld’s Main Range National Park. Here I visited the camping area and did the short walk to Koreelah Creek Falls. Sadly there was little water going over the falls due to the continuing drought.

After this it was time to visit Tooloom National Park and the Tooloom Picnic Area. Here there are two short walks. The first leads to Tooloom Lookout and the second through the rainforest.