Five members of the ABCNYS region, under the leadership of the regional Executive Minister Rev. James Kelsey made their annual winter mission trip to Rwanda. They spent fourteen days teaching, preaching, visiting communities; but most specifically strengthening relationships they had begun years ago. They continued to learn about healing after trauma, and intentionally grasped at a deeper level how to live in community and put themselves aside for the betterment of others. The letter of Paul to the Philippians resonated in their hearts and minds; especially Philippians 2: 4 “Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand..”
Our brothers and sisters from Rwanda have had to learn to heal, forgive, reconcile and put self aside for others. The team from ABCNYS met, lived, studied and prayed “shalom.” Their hosts were the Rabagirana Ministries in Masaka (near Kigali) and the Shalom Community Organizations in the Northwest province of Rubavu. They participated in leadership trainings alongside community members from various villages and areas in Rwanda. They traveled to share of their talents and skills and were met by the Light of Christ when they met “Frederick” a man who played a key role in founding the Ubumwe Community Center “UCC.” The team had read about his life and survival post the genocide. They were blessed to visit Frederick and meet his wife Gordelive and make time for fellowship. Rev. Suzi Harriff shared that “I was overwhelmed to meet someone who is living proof of the power of the Gospel to heal and forgive.” More about the trip can be found on this link:
On February 1st, Rwanda National Heroes Day, the team at Shalom Community Ministries received this award recognizing them as “National Heroes”
The Church in Rwanda has committed to be the light to the nations through the ongoing work of healing and reconciliation. Let us keep the land of 1,000 hills in constant prayers. Let us be encouraged by their resilience, perseverance and steadfastness of walking with Shalom.
For more information about global volunteer opportunities, please contact the Short-Term Mission Office at International Ministries at firstname.lastname@example.org