Rwanda Day 6: A Long Dusty Drive, Well Worth the Effort
Today we headed due west to Lake Kivu where we will spend the night, but visiting churches along the way. After a two hour drive over winding mountain roads, we stopped to pick up Rev Alphonse who escorted us to our next church, Rukamiro Parish, as he is the Moderator of this region. Sporting a bright green clerical shirt and a big smile, he directed us immediately onto a dirt road, beginning a three mile odyssey over a pitted rutted track that was difficult to distinguish as a road! It led down one mountain side and then up another, and included a plank bridge over a stream, which was so narrow that our van driver had to hang out the window to make sure we stayed on it!
We finally arrived at a dusty little ghost town. The road narrowed to the point where we had to get out and finish the trek by foot, about a 10 minute walk up a baked clay track that had more holes than level spots. But our efforts were rewarded by the sight of the church at the top of the rise, its rough mud brick walls (and not much else) covered by a metal roof, which The Outreach Foundation helped fund. The pastor, Rev William Nysenga, and a dozen church leaders greeted us with warm embraces as we made our way through the gaggle of giggling, dusty children who attached themselves to our "entourage" during our walk up from the village.
We were invited into a large room attached to the pastor's house next door which served as a meeting hall. There we were served tea and coffee from large thermoses and delicious little sweet pound cakes formed in the shape of hearts--- an unexpected touch of elegance in this otherwise hard-scrabble place. We exchanged greetings and introductions, scripture and expressions of our oneness through Christ. Their gratitude for the sanctuary roof took on deeper significance when we learned that the church walls had collapsed twice in the seasonal heavy rains before the new roof was in place.
As we made our way back down the mountain from this grace-filled visit, we thanked God for the presence of His Church here "at the end of the road" and for the congregation of 1,200 souls who, if their leaders were any indication, have precious-little-else but Christ, but for whom that seems to be enough to bring them enormous joy...
Peace and Grace, Marilyn Borst for the Team