Greetings from Rwanda! This is my first time in this beautiful country!
Many years ago (2001), my late husband Bob visited Rwanda as he was feeling a call to Africa and there was a position opening that would be a good fit for him. It was the first African country that he had visited and I was unable to accompany him (I was not yet feeling the call!). He came away from that trip feeling that living in Rwanda would be very difficult, especially because of the language challenges (French). Since then, Rwanda has changed to have the official language be English, and under the leadership of President Paul Kagame, Rwanda has made amazing progress economically! According to the World Bank, which assesses each country on the “ease of doing business,” Rwanda is doing better than the US in a number of areas (taxes, registering property, and protection of minority investors)! This is quite a contrast to their neighbor, Burundi. The per capita income in Rwanda is $2100, whereas in Burundi it is $780.
Both Rwanda and Burundi are amazingly beautiful countries, with rolling hills and mountains.
We are here at the invitation of one of our partners, Global Advance, who adopted DML as one of their key ministries a couple of years ago. Last August, their Rwandan leader, joined us for a workshop in Tanzania and became convinced that DML was the way forward for the church in Rwanda. Bosco is a business man as well as a leader of a nonprofit that is helping with poverty alleviation in Rwanda. Bosco is not a man who sits still, and as I write, I am quarantining in what Bosco describes as a “DML hotel.”
We are excited to be here. I think if there is any world leader that I would be interested in interviewing, it would be President Kagame. What he has done in his 20 years as president is quite remarkable, especially giving the genocide that happened just before he assumed power. Yesterday as we drove in from the airport, his entourage drove by and I wanted to stop it and meet him, but was advised that it might not be the best approach! (Kidding, of course!)
During our time in Burundi, we were amazed that there were leaders present from 15 of the 18 provinces, with a total of 434 pastors and church leaders, from many denominations. The response was very positive and Burundi as a whole seems to recognize both the problem and the opportunity in understanding that work is to be done as an act of worship. The DML team in Burundi did an amazing job in organizing the events, and we have heard that the government has been discussing DML as they have been frustrated that the church has been focused on salvation only and not on the flourishing of people while on earth.
Below are some pictures of our three workshops, from Bujumbura, to Ngozi, to Gitega.
On Wednesday, we fly to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, and then will drive to Dodoma (the capital) to do a workshop, then on to Mwanza. Please continue to pray that the right people may be in attendance and that the Holy Spirit may go before to open the hearts of those who hear this forgotten message of Genesis 1 and 2!