The Presbyterian Ministry for Reconciliation and Healing in Remera, Rwanda
Like other institutions in Rwanda, the 1994 genocide affected the Presbyterian Church as it lost 41 of its pastors, elders and deacons and a huge number of its members. After the genocide, much emphasis has been placed on reconstruction and preparing the younger generation for peace-building and reconciliation. The church is also faced with the challenges of caring for the many orphans and widows, most of whom still suffer from post-traumatic disorder.
The Peacemaking Group, led by Pastor Jerome Bizimana, is bringing about understanding, forgiveness, and reconciliation in marriages, families, churches, youth and communities. The original priority was focused on restoring relationships so that genocide victims and perpetrators could live in harmony in their home communities. This is still a vital part of their ministry, but it has been expanded to include reconciliation and healing in all types of relationships, in the home, church, and community. They are “Christ’s Light,” according to Pastor Jerome, as in Matthew 5: “You are the light of the world...let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven.”
In 2014, funds through this project allowed Pastor Jerome to train young people to handle traumatic situations prior to the months of the genocide memorial period (April 7-July 4). The seminars focus on conflict awareness in order to promote peace among the youth. To achieve this goal, he identified families and schools with conflicts and will continue to train them on conflict, its causes and consequences, when funds become available.
Minimum Goal for 2016
$15,000 for training for peace-building, reconciliation, and healing