Rwanda Church Construction - July 2018 Update
Dear Outreach friends and partners in the work of the Kingdom,
Greetings from the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda (EPR). I am writing to bring you an update on the current situation of churches in Rwanda due to the new rules and standards set by the government for all churches, including the EPR.
As you may be aware, some churches in Rwanda have been closed by city leaders for many reasons including cleanliness and building construction regulations. Church buildings must now meet required standards to be used for worship. Worshipping in tents and/or outside is no longer allowed.
Many Presbyterian churches were among those that were closed. This challenged church members to put a lot of effort into renovating their buildings to be able to reopen for worship. We thank God for such committed members. Of the 150 Presbyterian temples/churches which were closed, some were opened fully after evaluation, others opened temporarily. Eighty temples have been reopened so far, and we thank God for that.
We also thank God for having good friends like our U.S. Presbyterian partners from The Outreach Foundation. We want to extend our appreciation to all of you caring and loving friends for supporting our church (EPR) and standing with us in these difficult times with your prayers as well as your finances. Your help came right when we needed it. With the money you sent, several temples were able to reopen their doors for worship. Out of 14 temples set as priorities for renovation (see below), nine were reopened. The remaining five must finish some work before they can hold worship again. Others have been temporarily opened pending completion of required work.
We are immensely grateful for the love you showed us, the quick response to our cry, and the work you have done and are still doing. Please give our regards to those who have prayed for us and/or supported us financially. May God bless you all abundantly, your families and your ministry.
Here is the status of the churches which were named as priorities to be renovated:
There are many more churches across the country that are still closed. We will slowly move forward with them. While we gave priority to the main parishes and those strategically located, there are others still in great need as well as prayer houses which remain closed.
We will continue to focus on the strategic places where churches are not far from the road, where land was obtained at a high cost and where many members are concentrated. Three such priorities are the parish temples of Kidaho, Rugarama and Kinanira. We have added Kidaho and Kinanira to the churches urgently needing attention. Buganamana church is a very big temple and requires more support to finish everything. This temple is strategically located by the main road on the Kivu Belt and has more than 2,000 worshippers.
Each one of these congregations will require at least $10,000 to complete. We are humbled by your love and support as we deal with securing funds to meet these requirements.
May God continue to bless you,
Rev. Julie Kandema
Read more about Rwanda Church Construction HERE.
The Outreach Foundation is seeking $30,000 for new church buildings and an additional $50,000 for roofing, doors and windows on unfinished sanctuaries.