Worship in Rwanda – June 20th and 21st
On the morning of June 20th our team prepared for a day of travel. After continuing our devotions on 2 Corinthians we hit the road to Nyamasheke. Our journey took us through the city of Kigali and west into the country side. As we journeyed we saw many different changes in geography: from the City, to valleys with rice fields, hills covered with tea fields and rain forest filled with the widest variety of trees and plants.
We even were able to capture a glimpse of some of the local monkeys. Our trip was 7 hours on paved roads (something we did not expect) which included a nice lunch break with good food and hospitable service. Upon arrival we were greeted at the guest house just outside of Kamembe by Albert from World Relief.
Sunday morning, June 21st we were set to go to church in Rwanda! Our team split up into two groups which allowed our team to visit two separate churches and join in worship, prayer, testimony and fellowship with our fellow Rwandans. Richard, Mike, Darlene, Bob and John were dropped off first at church in a local community while Tracy, Marsha, Kelvin, Charlotte, Albert, Pascal and Moses went to the Methodist church.
Our first team was greeted by the pastors and wonderful worship teams. Worship went from one song to another, including drummers, dancing and praising God! The Holy Spirit filled the room. Richard was then called upon to bring greetings from CrossRoads church and to introduce his “new friends but with same hearts” to Rwanda for them all to meet. Mike was called upon next to give his testimony and share a devotion. He took this time to share his faith journey leading up to being here in Rwanda and how he uses his past experiences of trusting God to give him confidence to face new challenges. He shared that he is so blessed to be here with his brothers and sisters in Rwanda and that he is excited to continue to grow and share this relationship with the people back home in Canada. He ended by sharing a prayer from one of his students from St. Francis school.
Lastly, Darlene was brought up to share a devotion and lead us in worship. Led by Darlene our team sang “Open the Eyes of our Heart”, “How Great is Our God” and lastly “King Jesus is All”. This last song had the whole church on its feet clapping hands, cheering and dancing! Mike was then asked to pray before the pastor shared a powerful sermon from 2 Peter. After saying our goodbyes the team then travelled down the road to join the other team and catch the end of their service.
In the other church our group had similar experiences. Kelvin and Marsha brought greetings from our church and their families and Tracy shared a brief message highlighting Galatians 5:1 and Psalm 139. Some things that really touched us from the service was their powerful, bold prayers; their incredible dancing which was so full of life and joy and a solid message from the pastor which highlighted the idea that we need to spend more time with God. Using scripture in Luke 1 and Matthew 15 he made the point that whoever we spend the most time with will influence who we become and therefore we should seek to spend more time with God. All in all we were all blessed, humbled and honored to worship with our Brothers and Sisters in Rwanda and we look forward to being in church in the area again next week.After a great lunch back at the guest house we took a journey to the local hot springs- don’t get too excited, it was so hot to our skin we couldn’t even put our foot in the water. There was a fun moment this evening when Kelvin, Mike and Darlene challenged each other to a competitive tire rolling exercise (a very traditional African children’s activity).
In closing for today we would like to share the following prayer requests:
• Pray for the health of our team as some of us have been experiencing some minor ailments.
• Pray for our team to get rest. We are still recovering from jet lag and some of us have had very few hours of sleep and rest.
• Pray for our hosts and World Relief team partners that they continue to guide and organize the details of our mission with minimal obstacles.
• Pray for our team to be a blessing and be a light to the pastors and community members we will be spending our time with over the next week.