This week is drawing to a close. We are on our last morning of teaching. This afternoon, this group of young leaders will head to their separate corners of Rwanda and begin to put what they have learned into practice in every day life.
They started the week with lessons on the 5 purposes of the church -- worship, evangelism, ministry, discipleship and community. And they are wrapping it up with 3 lessons on the Holy Spirit -- covering the Gift of, the Gifts of and the Fruit of the Holy Spirit.
One of the coolest things to watch (besides their interactions within the class times themselves) has been coming into the house in the evenings, usually after dinner and just before bed, and they are practicing their memory verse, preaching to each other, singing together and then ending in unified prayer (i.e. they are all praying out loud at the same time!).
Last night, we (Frank, Spencer, Charles, Theophile and I) went out to eat at the Hotel Des Milles Collines (the Hotel of a Thousand Hills), which is most famously known as Hotel Rwanda. When we got back from dinner, Charles joined the group, I began to pack our things and Spencer was helping Frank with a project. The group had already started their nightly gathering. But as I packed I noticed it getting louder and louder. I grabbed my camera and went to watch. They were singing and dancing and praying.
Afterwards, Charles told me that they had prayed for Spencer and I as we are getting ready to leave Rwanda on Monday. When I heard that my heart just about burst. In the midst of everything, they took time to pray for us. I haven't gotten to know them much because of the language barrier. But they took time to pray for Muhire and Mahoro (Spencer and I). Despite not knowing our stories or motivations for being here, they took time to lift us up in prayer.
That may have been the second biggest moment of blessing for me on this trip. The first being when the pastors gave us our new names last week (read that story here).
Now, in watching this group of young church leaders this week (and the pastors last week), I have learned one important thing... if they stay on this path, on this journey of discipleship and training and leading... the Church in Rwanda will be blessed, strengthened, grown. And most of all... the Church in Rwanda will last. And one day when people talk about Rwanda, their first thought will not go to the Genocide of 1994. But rather, their first thought will go to the Church in Rwanda and how, through the power of the Holy Spirit, it has changed the course of the future for the Rwandan people and how they are a united force for the Kingdom.
And knowing that simple, but profound fact makes the long hours of traveling, the endless plates of rice and beans, the lack of running water and the frustration of language barriers, 82million% worth it for me. Those things begin to fade and mean nothing when I dream about what Rwanda and the Church of Rwanda will look like in the future.
Oh how I can't wait to see how GOD moves... In HIS leaders. In HIS church. Here in Rwanda.