We are in the season of Advent, the time of preparation for Christmas-to focus on preparing our hearts and minds to celebrate the miracle of the birth of Jesus.
In the English service here in Ruhengeri, as we celebrate Advent, we are also preparing for an exciting new project: building a new church for a nearby community. As a background: The English service was started about 5 or 6 years ago, as part of the Anglican Cathedral in Ruhengeri. Just since 3 years here, the number of attendants has quadrupled, and we have an active adult choir, a children’s choir, Sunday School, and newly formed cell groups. Although it’s an English speaking service, 90% of attendants are Rwandan, the other 10% come from all over, including South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, the Netherlands, US, and Germany.
Though it’s a new congregation, I’m happy to report that the leadership is not just looking inward, but outward as well, following Jesus’ words: “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.” There is a small rural congregation about 15 miles from us that lost its church building several years ago, in a legal dispute. They still have about 45 members who would like to rebuild their church. They have a piece of land, where they can build the church and are willing to provide manpower and stones to contribute to the construction. Under the leadership of Pastor Andrew, the English Congregation is going to raise money to help these Christians build a church. A few weeks ago, a group of us went out to see the site and to visualize what sort of church could be built here. We were happy to have 2 engineers with us: a civil engineer from the Diocese and Phil, an engineer who is working with Caleb. We are planning a special church service to raise money later this month. I am thankful for the good deeds of the English service and pray that God would be glorified through the building of this church. Please pray for us as we raise money for this important project and rejoice with us in this season of preparation.