Rwanda: Training Pastors in Stephen Ministry

After 7.5 hours on a flight from Atlanta, GA to Amsterdam, we were able to explore some of the Dutch shopping centers in the airport. We sampled Dutch gouda cheese and saw eel for sale! Our flight from Amsterdam to Kigali was 8.5 hours and we finally arrived at 7pm local time. We were greeted by Greg and Bev and taken to our motel. We’re sleeping with mosquito nets which is new, but exciting. We all headed to bed with exhaustion.

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We gathered together for breakfast and devotions with Greg, Bev, Isaac, and Ezekiel joining us. Isaac led the devotionon the unity and love of Christ. Then we headed to the venue where the BTCP pastor’s conference was being held. We worshipped together and introduced everybody and then Kathleen and her girls headed off to work with the youth.

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Their first group of kids were elementary ages. We were welcomed by the principal and then taken to a room where they were currently learning English. We introduced ourselves and taught the salvation bracelets. The kids really seemed to enjoy making them and individually wanted our help. It was a blast. We also gave them shiny gold plastic coins with Bible verses on them that they loved! We also took many photos and showed the kids the photos we took on our cameras. They pointed and giggled and bashfully looked away. Then we headed outside where Anna played some soccer with the kids while Kathleen and Jessica let the kids feel and play with their hair. We touched their hair in return.

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Afterwards, we went to a high school and each shared their testimonies with the group. We then played a short game with Frisbees and a scoreboard to teach the importance of God in every decision we make. Then we talked with some of the kids and took pictures with them.

At the conference, Ron taught in the morning on forgiveness and provided a 6 step process to help with forgiveness. He used his shark hook visual aid where people would place the names of people they couldn’t forgive on pieces of paper that they placed on the hook. At first, not many people responded, but after Greg put the first piece of paper on, many others followed suit, but in tears. It was very moving.

Everyone gathered together for lunch at The Aroma buffet where we enjoyed tasting some of Rwanda’s local foods. Some ordered mango or pineapple juice as well! In the afternoon, Prudy taught the salvation bracelets to the women and Matt talked on the problem of self-sufficiency to the men. Kathleen and her girls went back to the elementary school and presented the Jesus story through coloring books. The teacher read the whole story aloud and many of the students seemed very interested. Then the group split into a those that wanted to color and those that wanted to play a game. Anna took the kids to play Duck Duck Goose while Kathleen and Jessica interacted with the kids. The conference ended at 5:30 and we came back to the hotel for dinner.

Mark, John, and Matt were joined by Michael and David to an impoverished place in the evening and showed the Jesus film. There were about 35-45 people. They got through about 30% of the movie when John and David came and said they had to stop because the authorities came and said we were keeping the people up too late.They paused the movie and John wrapped up the message with an invitation and 16 people came to Christ. Then fully shut down and came back.