Posts tagged Rwanda
Scholarships for Presbyterian Students at the Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS) and Kay Day - Update

Dear friends and family,

In August, I witnessed what God has been doing with your support through the Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS) for the ministry and the church here, and I was humbled by it.

Each August, the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda holds a church-wide-evangelism rally for four days, hosted by a different presbytery each year. The culmination of the rally is the annual ordination service on Sunday. This year the event was held in Zinga Presbytery, in the eastern region, about four hours from PIASS. Ten new pastors were ordained. Seven of them had been my students. I had preached at five of their weddings, baptized two of their children and been on the dissertation team of four of them as they completed the requirements for graduation. I was delighted to watch as they raised their right hands to pledge to serve Christ and the church and to see the presidents of their respective presbyteries place robes and stoles on them. Then all ordained pastors in the congregation were invited to come forward and lay hands on them as they were prayed for. What a joy to be a part of these bright young men and women accepting the call of Christ on their lives.

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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.

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Scholarships for Presbyterian Students at the Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS) and Kay Day - July 2019 Update

Dear family and friends,

Greetings from Rwanda. We are still rejoicing about the Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS) graduation held last month. Since we utilize a 12-month calendar for studies, graduation is usually held in late September or early October, but this year it was postponed until June so that we could hold it on the new campus of PIASS in Karongi, in the western province. The delay was so the new building could be finished and inaugurated. Although the building was not quite complete, the graduation was still held there. It was a major undertaking. Since most of our classes are held on the main campus in Huye, where I live, almost everyone and everything had to be transported to Karongi. Several of the staff went ahead of time to set up the venue. On graduation day, June 19, the rest of us followed in an elaborate caravan.

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Scholarships for Presbyterians at Protestant University in Rwanda - Update

Dear friends and supporters,

Note from The Outreach Foundation:
Outreach partners with the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda in many programs including church construction, children’s ministries, and training pastors for the growing churches around the country. There are four students graduating this year who have been supported through this project. We would like to continue helping the church, particularly during this time of fulfilling Rwandan government requirements for churches. Please know that the need to train leaders for the Rwandan church is a priority for us. We would like to say “thank you” on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Rwanda and share with you these praises from the students themselves – in their own words.

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City Evangelization, Busanza Vocational Training Center in Rwanda - Update

The Busanza Vocational Training School opened its doors to students in early 2017 with 34 students, 17 in sewing and 17 in hairdressing. The school has a vision to help the surrounding poor community by building the capacity of its population to improve their lives through vocational training. The school was built by the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda in partnership with The Outreach Foundation and started with very few materials, which were donated.

Though the materials were few, we taught the students and they finished the academic year as planned, graduating at the end of 2017. Most of our graduates are employed. In March 2018 when Ebralie Mwizerwa, The Outreach Foundation Projects Coordinator, visited Rwanda she met with some graduates and their employers at their work places. Our graduates were very encouraged by her visit, and the employers spoke well of their job performances.

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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.

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Christian Education for Presbyterian Children in Rwanda - February 2018 Update

On a typical Sunday at EPR Remera-Kicukiro, you would find hundreds of our members singing, praying, and dancing. Unfortunately, you would also find the children of our church crowded together in an undersized, packed classroom. All of the children of EPR Remera-Kicukiro are forced to share one common space on Sundays. This includes children as old as 14 and as young as three. The classroom is often so overcrowded that children must sit in each other’s laps as they are instructed. They come in large numbers anyway! The congregation has 224 children attending Sunday School classes. Church members who volunteer their time and have Christ’s love for the children serve as teachers. As a congregation, we are thrilled at the opportunity to grow and to count these children as members of our young church.

Because Sunday School and the education of our children is the main focus of evangelism of our church, the vision of our congregation is to make it strong and enjoyable. We know that the secret to having a future generation in the church and nation is to invest in Christian education for our children. 

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City Evangelization, Busanza Vocational Training Center - January 2018 Update

The Busanza Vocational Training School was built by the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda (EPR) in partnership with The Outreach Foundation. The school was dedicated in July of 2017. A mission team from Nashville was present for the joyful dedication celebration with this community.

The first enrollment (class) of 34 students (17 in sewing and 17 in hairdressing) graduated at the end of 2017. Of these graduates, 70% in sewing have jobs and 80% in hairdressing are employed. These percentages demonstrate the importance of the school and the impact it has on the lives of our community and nation.

We just started our second enrollment on Monday, January 22 with 26 students registered in sewing and 23 students in hairdressing. One of the students in hairdressing, Ishime Sandrine, says: “I decided to come two years after I finished secondary school and was still without job. I see that there is a big opportunity for those who finish hairdressing. They get employed almost immediately or can start their own businesses.”

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Women's Ministries in Africa - November 2017 Update

Dear friends of women’s ministries in Rwanda,

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. I hope this note finds you well. 

We are grateful to you and to The Outreach Foundation for the support we received for Bibles for both women and children. It is a great gift to receive a Bible especially for people newly evangelized who cannot afford to buy one for themselves. It may be hard to comprehend how much it means and the happiness your gift brought to these believers. I cannot put a value on the joy I see on the faces of the children and mothers as they return home with a Bible in their hands, holding it tightly to their chests like a highly valued treasure. 

Dear Outreach friends, with part of the gift you sent we were able to procure 300 Bibles for women in Gitarama Presbytery, as well as children’s Bibles and hymnals. We gave Bibles to those who did not have one and who could not afford one themselves, most of whom are women and children. We purchased “Bibiliya Yera” Bibles with large print which is easier for everyone to read, especially older people. We also distributed 300 Bibles to children in other communities. Each of these recipients appreciates this life-giving gift which strengths their spiritual life and knowledge of the word. Having a Bible in their own language is a great gift. The presence of the word of God in their homes brings hope to families.

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Rwanda Church Construction - October 2017 Update

Dear friends,

We would like to share a joyful update sent to us by Outreach Mission Staff Stu Ross on the dedication of two churches in Rwanda. Stu traveled to Rwanda during World Communion Sunday weekend to dedicate Nyabubare Church on Saturday and Karambi Church on Sunday. Both churches are part of the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda (EPR) with whom The Outreach Foundation has a strong relationship.

Stu writes: The dedications were well-attended by the congregations and leaders of the churches including the new President of the Zinga Presbytery, Rev. Daniel Dushimimana. Rev. Daniel told the congregations to remember where they came from. 

The bulk of the work building these churches was done by the congregations. They made bricks, collected sand, brought water, collected stones, and did other manual labor. 

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Scholarships for Presbyterian Students at Protestant University (PUR-formerly PIASS) - October 2017 Update

Dear friends and partners,

We are happy to share the following exciting news from Professor Elisee Musemakweli, Vice Chancellor, PUR: Complying with the PIASS Strategic Plan (2013-2017), the Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences (PIASS) General Assembly voted in August 2016 to transform the institution into a university. The Rwanda Governance Board responded favorably to the request, and PIASS changed its name to the Protestant University of Rwanda (PUR) therefore increasing the scope of its operations. This decision was based on achievement in terms of academic activities, research, community service, and partnerships with other local and international universities. 

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Presbyterian Street Children's Ministry in Kigali, Rwanda - July 2017 Update

The “Centre Presbytérien d’Amour des Jeunes” (CPAJ) is a faith based non-profit organization working under the authority of the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda. CPAJ is responsible for the rehabilitation, re-education and reintegration of street children into their families. This requires effective training and an appropriate plan for the children and their families. This is one of the reasons it was important to have a building where the CPAJ children could gather with their parents and CPAJ staff. Due to our good partnership with The Outreach Foundation, we received funding that helped us build such a facility, the multipurpose hall. This hall is being used to accomplish this goal as well as for many other needs of the children and the community in general.

The main objective of the new multipurpose hall is to improve our rehabilitation capacity by promoting recreational and educational activities for the children and providing knowledge to the parents through conferences and other educational tools.

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City Evangelization, Busanza Vocational Training Center

Dear friends and partners of the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda,

Through your generous gifts God is doing amazing work in Busanza! Last July, we dedicated the Vocational Training Center comprised of a vocational training school for both men and women and a school for special needs children. The special needs school was built in partnership with Legacy Mission Village (a not-for-profit ministry based in Nashville, TN). 

A lot of exciting things have been taking place at the new center. Students in the Sewing and Tailoring School (both men and women) have learned how to make dresses. The sewing students are pleased to be learning these skills. The center also offers hair dressing and hair styling classes. Students in these classes are now able to cut, curl and style both men’s and women’s hair. 

There has been a big improvement in the lives of children with special needs as a result of the new school, which is managed by the EPR Kanombe parish and the parish education committee. Most of the children come from poor families, so the church serves them breakfast to help them focus and learn. 

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Rwanda Church Construction - February 2017 Update

Dear friends and family,    

January 22, 2017 was a glorious day of celebration in a small village in the rolling hills of Rwanda – we dedicated Karwihura Church in the EPR Zinga Presbytery. The Karwihura congregation began in 1981 with only six families in a small mud church. Since then, the parish has grown to five congregations. In 2014 the Karwihura congregation started building this new church. The people in the village are very poor and have suffered through one drought after another. They are subsistence farmers, and you wonder how they can survive in this situation. They contributed labor, sand, stones, and stone fill to the construction project, and they also gave some money, really sacrificially. The women gathered sand and stones by hand daily. This was truly a labor of love and dedication especially considering that it is difficult for them to even find food for their families. 

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Presbyterian Street Children's Ministry - January 2017 Update

The “Centre Presbytérien d’Amour des Jeunes” (CPAJ) is a faith based non-profit organization working under the authority of the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda. Started in 1998, CPAJ has a vision of reducing the social-economic vulnerability of children and their families/guardians. CPAJ focuses mainly on improving the well-being and developing life skills of children and youth from the most disadvantaged groups in Rwanda through mainstream education and skills (vocational) training. 

The Current Situation of CPAJ
In 2016, 51 street children came through CPAJ – 46 have been reintegrated either with their families or with foster families. CPAJ now has 36 children in residence, 

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City Evangelization, Busanza Vocational Training School - December 2016 Update

Brothers and sisters and partners in the work of the Kingdom,  

It is with great joy we greet you in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord! First of all we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your friendship and Christian love shown over the years. Our partnership has deep roots, and the Gospel is bearing fruit in our country and our communities of EPR Kanombe including Ndera, Busanza and Kabeza. Our mission is to build a strong parish whose Christians are spiritually mature and able to testify to God’s Kingdom in the world. In our parish, evangelization is the main activity. 

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Rwanda Church Construction - October 2016 Update

The Presbyterian Church in Rwanda (EPR), with over 300,000 members, was introduced in 1907 by Protestants from the German Bethel mission in what is known today as Zinga Presbytery. From the very beginning, the evangelistic work was done by Rwandans who accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ. The church is growing by leaps and bounds, more than any other time in history. More churches are being planted in many parts of the country. After the genocide, much emphasis has been placed on reconstruction and expanding the church’s impact to meet both the physical and spiritual needs of Rwandans. There is a huge need for sanctuaries that are also multipurpose halls for various community interests such as schools and other gatherings. As in all places in Africa, congregation members have tried to provide land, stones and bricks as well as labor for their new sanctuaries. 

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The Presbyterian Ministry for Reconciliation and Healing in Rwanda

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.    Psalm 147:3

Officials in Rwanda recently shared “official” numbers:  1,074,017 Tutsi and moderate Hutu were brutally killed in the one hundred days of genocide in 1994, leaving behind hundreds of thousands of orphans, widows, widowers, and people with disabilities. It’s nearly unthinkable about how such an atrocity could happen in modern times. And, it’s hard to imagine how Rwandans could ever heal from the ordeal.

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