From Gihundwe to Kigali
Twenty Pentecostal Church Leaders complete two days of study
Today we finished our study with the sixth group in the South and West Province. It was joy to study with these leaders and they were very appreciative of the things they learned. After pictures, the car was already packed, we took a seven hour ride back to Kigali. Rwanda is about the size of Maryland and it takes seven hours to travel from one corner to the center of the country. We traveled through the "Big Forest" and saw a special monkey and cow.
Tomorrow is Queen's wedding in Kigali. Then, after teaching two groups Monday through Friday next week, I plan to board a plane and fly home.
Twenty Congolese church leaders conclude their three days of study
On Wednesday went finished teaching our sixth group of church leaders on this trip. Some of these Congolese church leaders live and serve in the DRC. Since we were teaching at the southwest Rwandan border they were able to come and join other Congolese church leaders who serve in Rwanda.
Once again these church leaders were surprised and thrilled with the things they learned. They had no idea about the difference between the gift of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Last night our host for the week, who is a church leader shared with us he had been talking with one of the church leaders who attended the study. He expressed that his friend was very excited about the new things he had learned. The group seemed to be eager to share their new understanding with their churches and other church leaders.
Today we begin teaching another group of church leaders (all serve Pentecostal churches) in the same area. On Friday afternoon we plan to head back to Kigali for a wedding and our last two groups.
Rwanda in the foreground,
Democratic Republic on the Congo in the background,
and Lake Kivu middle right
Yesterday was a travel day as we prepare to teach two groups of church leaders in the West Province (actually southwest Rwanda) Monday - Friday. We are now in Cyangugu and the picture above is the view from our living room. Today was the "Introduction and Giving of the Dowry" for Queen, Theophile and Miriam's niece. They seated me on the front row with the family. Tomorrow I preach for one of the Pentecostal churches in the area. Monday through Wednesday we will teach Congolese church leaders "Three Lessons on the Holy Spirit." Thursday and Friday we plan to teach Pentecostal church leaders. Then we return to Kigali to attend Queen's wedding and teach two more groups before I fly home.
The wedding party at the "Giving of the Dowry"
Theophile introduces Butare church leaders to the resources in their Kinyarwanda Study Bible
Butare church leaders with their Kinyarwanda Study Bibles, lessons, and certificates
Today we concluded the teaching for the second of two groups this week. The first group was in Butare, home of the first university in Rwanda and known for its educated people. Our host, Hermon, was transferred to Gikongoro, our second location, to help solve some issues in a local church there. Hermon says there are forty denominations in Butare. The large number is the result of many no longer trusting their traditional denominations following the genocide because of their involvement in the genocide.
I am told that Hermon is a strong a well-respected leader. He is asking for Rwanda Challenge to return and teach more church leaders and the people in the church he leads. His desire is that we will teach "Three Lessons on the Holy Spirit" for the leaders we met with on this trip.
As I work with these leaders, I am reminded once again of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8. The eunuch was a literate and competent man. He was in charge of the treasury of the queen of the Ethiopians. He could read. As he was reading from the scroll of Isaiah, "Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. 'Do you understand what you are reading,' Philip asked. 'How can I,' he said, 'unless someone explains it to me?"
There are two foundational things needed by church leaders to lead the local church. Number one is the Holy Spirit. Only God can provide the Holy Spirit. Number two is to understand in a deeper way God's Word. We can help with that. In the United States we have unlimited opportunities to study the Bible and more Bible resources than we can get to. Leaders in places like Rwanda are asking, "Give me anything to help me understand the Bible."
Yes! We can help with that!