The Presbyterian Church of Rwanda - Update

We received this letter from the Rev. Julie Kandema, who serves as vice-president of the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda (EPR) and is in charge of church growth for the denomination:

Dear friends,

Over the last five years, we have been teaching our people about decentralization within the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda. As a result of many training sessions, people have testified that they now understand the idea of taking responsibility for church operations in general and the development of its people in particular. The results have been positive, leading people to take charge of projects such as building new churches and renovating existing church buildings.

To accomplish these projects, the parishioners organize fundraising activities and collect tithes and contributions. When the church is blessed with a partner in support of these activities, it is truly an encouragement and means that the congregation is not alone.

Last year when the government decided to shut down churches which were not meeting standards, the EPR was not spared. Many of our congregations struggled and our members had to work hard to have their building reopened. The churches that were not able to meet the requirements were closed indefinitely until the renovations could be completed. Here is a list of some of the government’s requirements:

• space (half a hectare-1¼ acres-of land or more)
• buildings (no tents)
• toilets (minimum of 4)
• rainwater tanks
• soundproofing
• paved parking lots

We are so grateful for your assistance in reopening buildings. With the help of The Outreach Foundation we recently renovated the Burema Church in Kigali Presbytery. The completion and reopening of the church building allowed us to focus our attention on discipleship and other congregational needs.

Buganamana Church in Gisenyi Presbytery has been completed and reopened and we are getting ready to dedicate a new sanctuary for Mutuntu Parish in Kirinda Presbytery. However, we still need your help in many areas. Some structures including prayer houses in the suburbs of Kigali City remain closed. Evangelism in this city is becoming very difficult.

We thank God for having blessed us and our Church with caring friends. We are grateful for The Outreach Foundation and partner churches. We appreciate God’s work through your hearts and hands in many different areas including vocational training, reconciliation and healing, scholarships for Presbyterian students at PIASS, Presbyterian street children’s ministries, and new church construction and renovation. They are all part of a partnership that goes well beyond our human planning. It is God’s planning that brings us together to accomplish the work of the Kingdom. We believe that this kind of cooperation and solidarity will continue to bear fruit in these areas which are our top priorities and focus as a church. We are committed to strengthening our friendship through God’s mission in the world. We pray that our Lord God will bless you abundantly.

Rev Julie Kandema

Christian Education for Presbyterian Children: $10,000 for teaching materials and training for Sunday School teachers as well as for children’s classrooms and children’s Bibles

Busanza Vocational Training Center: $10,000 for equipment for the school and scholarships for needy students

Presbyterian Ministry for Reconciliation and Healing: $10,000 for training and counseling seminars

Presbyterian Street Children's Ministry: $10,000 for food, clothing, and education

Rwanda Church Construction: $30,000 for new church buildings and an additional $50,000 for roofing, doors, and windows on unfinished sanctuaries

Scholarships for Presbyterians at PIASS: scholarships for $2,000 per year for a minimum of seven Presbyterian students

Make a gift HERE or by sending a check to our office.