The trauma suffered by the nation of Rwanda is well-known. Although the genocide of 1994 is slowly moving into history, the pain and suffering of the people of Rwanda lingers. The Church of God in Rwanda was dealt a double blow when almost immediately following the genocide, bad decisions by trusted leaders left the church with a bruised self-image and no place in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, to call its home.
Ndashe continued preaching hope and healing. After some months, the group felt ready to purchase a property with existing buildings, which would become their permanent place of worship, with national offices and a functioning secondary school. Such a purchase would not be possible, though, because the amount needed was beyond their means.
The determined little group was growing, not only in numbers but more importantly, in hope and in faith. They continued in prayer and fasting, believing they would receive word that the purchase would take place. Following much agonizing prayer, many discussions, many negotiations and meetings, the Church of God in Rwanda, with help from World Missions, finalized the purchase of St. Patrick’s Secondary School, with all its existing buildings (and a functioning high school), as its permanent home. The biggest financial support for this center came through the 2009 YWEA Project. Through this project, $350,000 was raised for use in Rwanda. In addition, in 2007, World Missions purchased a large piece of property that has been subdivided and sold to cover the purchase of St. Patrick’s Secondary School with all its finished and functioning buildings.
This story is a shortened account of months and years of hard work, commitment, perseverance and above all, HOPE. The dedication on Aug. 20, 2012, gave affirmation to the great faith of this group of believers. Surely, the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NIV) are appropriate:
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
In preparation for the conference and dedication services, the excited congregation planned for approximately 650 people to attend. Their expectations exceeded that number, but there was plenty of food for everyone.
Sermons and lessons by leadership, included Peter Thomas, Jurgen Rudolph and Joseph Kagarama who reached this group of hurting, hopeful people.
One of the Rwandan pastors only attended one service during the conference. His personal grief was heavy and he decided not to attend other meetings. On Sunday, he returned to hear the message delivered by Peter Thomas, field director of Church of God World Missions in Africa. After the service, the pastor told Overseer Ndashe that the words of the message brought healing to his soul.
May the Lord continue His healing in this community, which now has a permanent place of worship and renewed hope. One of Ndashe’s themes he preached was, “Can anything good come out of Rwanda? Come, and see.” Many people came; many people saw; many people were blessed. The future for the Church of God in Rwanda is bright, and those who have seen and been blessed are now sharing their own stories of healing and hope with others in their neighborhoods.