How to Transform a Nation
My heart is filled with gratitude. I’m still rehearsing our recent ministry in Rwanda. Our team of four safely returned home to Church Alive in NW Arkansas last month. Our time in Africa was challenging but gratifying. We have more work ahead of us. We're getting accreditation for the two-year Bible School begun in Rwanda so we can help to qualify three thousand native pastors, so they will meet their government’s new education standards. We're working on training manuals for these three books: FatherPower, More Than Equals, Emerging Apostles in the Developing Church. They will be translated for Rwanda’s pastors and teachers.
Training to equip church leaders is our biggest ongoing task. It requires a change in thinking, and it takes time. We are partnering with the nation’s largest Pentecostal denomination which comprises 40% of the country’s population. Our goal is to shift older leaders from maintenance mode to missional mindset, from merely preaching to a congregation to also being apostolic as spiritual fathers, to prepare the next generation of emerging leaders for the church, plus more godly leaders for the nation.
When Lana and I return with a larger team in October, we will continue our humanitarian projects in the poor village of Ngeruka. The first house our team built is a testament to the love of God for the people.
The house was for a lady on crutches (one leg amputated), Serafina. She’s 65. We found her living under a tree after her old house fell apart. Our Rwanda team built her a new mud-daub house with a cement overcoat. We furnished it with a bed and mattress (her first), some pots and pans, a chair, a wood-burning stove, and some pretty curtains.
Joey on our team got in on the house construction. He was busting up rocks by hand for the cement floor. You should have seen him, covered in sweat and dust. They have no power tools. We dedicated the house and gave Serafina the keys. She rejoiced! One brother shared a gospel message and ten onlookers received Christ. Pastor Emmanuel will baptize them. We can build and furnish a house like that for $2,500. Twenty more houses are needed. If you’d like to help in this charitable effort, please let us know.
We purchased scores of nice Rwandan Bibles, thanks to your donations, for distribution as part of evangelizing in the village. The kids there are learning to read in the primary school that’s been built by the team. They will read the Bible in their own language and tell its faith-stories to their parents, most of whom are illiterate.
Besides the village outreach, we spent time holding training sessions with leaders, both young and old. We taught biblical kingdom principles. They were eager to learn and asked great questions. Bishop Anastase hosted us. Tony Nichols and I worked with other Rwandan team members. By teaming up, we can multiply our effectiveness for Christ.
You might think that preaching to large congregations was exciting for me, and it was. But honestly, our private discussions with key leaders were far more significant and strategic. We also had a marvelous time sharing with a large gathering of several university’s young Christian campus leaders. We met at the YWAM retreat center. It had lovely landscaped grounds.
This next October, to help Rwanda’s single young adults, we plan to hold a marriage conference for about two thousand university students. This is a felt need, since most of Rwanda's youth lost the traditional tribal help from their parents (no arranged any marriages) due to the horrific genocide. Their parents were murdered.
In Rwanda, tribalism and racism have ended. Corruption has been weeded out. Potentially, the church has a huge influence in the nation if it is not wasted. Here are the issues we wrestle with and will address from God’s word. How do we shape the future of a nation? How do we restore fatherhood? How do we prepare a handoff to the next generation? How do we avoid repeating mistakes the American church has made? Our goal is fulfilling the Great Commission - to see Rwanda discipled unto Jesus.
Pray for us that we will have the Lord’s apostolic wisdom and the Spirit’s prophetic insight for these things. Pray for revival in Rwanda, for everyone to be humble and teachable.
I am grateful to the contributors to Touched by Grace whose financial support enabled us to go on these missions. Thank you so much! You are partners with us in this great work. My prayer is for the Lord Himself to richly reward you.
April 26, 2023 - Rwanda Report Ron and Lana Wood