Equipping the Saints
October 23, 2015
Friday travels took us to the two Presbyteries in the western region of Rwanda. We were first welcomed by Rev. Celestin Nsengimana, president of the Gitarama Presbytery, and his staff. Later in the afternoon we visited with Rev. Albertine Nyiraneza, president of the Rubengera Presbytery, and her staff. The mission of both groups is similar: first, make disciples in all the world, as Jesus instructed us in Matthew 28: 19-20. But their second goal is also a key component of their vision and mission: "To manifest the love of God through the concrete actions of human and social development".
They shared with us their many programs and priorities to train elders, empower lay people, teach Bible studies, conduct prayer meetings, and raise seminary scholarship funds to increase the number of ordained pastors. They also told us how their parishes help train and support micro loans, business skills, livestock management, sustainable farming techniques and other tangible ways that they encourage self-sustainability and poverty relief.
Between the two Presbytery updates, we visited the rural Rukamiro parish. We were greeted by the same joyful saints that had welcomed us at their church dedication a year earlier. We sang and danced, shared and clapped, and were hugged and loved until our hearts were full.
Today the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda showed and taught us how they nurture both the spiritual and the physical needs of their congregations, and how they equip the saints to serve the Body of Christ. Thanks be to God for their love and for their examples!