Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Towards a Christian School of Excellence in Rwanda

Nancy and I were pleased to host a delegation from Greater Atlanta Christian School and Oklahoma Christian University over the past few days. The group's primary purpose was to meet key Rwandan government leaders especially in the field of education and to present a proposal for a school of excellence to help train the next generation of Africa's leaders in Central and East Africa, thus the acronym 'CASE' for Central Africa School of Excellence. At each meeting the GACS/OC group sought the wisdom and advice of Rwandan leaders to help shape the dream to fit the African and Rwandan cultural context and the educational needs of the region.

CASE is designed to be a boarding school with a projected enrollment of up to 2000 students. It will be a 'sister school' to Greater Atlanta Christian School and will feature a teacher and student exchange program to foster both excellent education as well as the forming of lifetime friendships between Africans and Americans. The project would also feature a university-level teacher training college to produce skilled teachers both for CASE and for Rwanda's educational system. A third component of the proposal is an agricultural training program to offer the best in innovative and environmentally-friendly farming methods for Rwanda.

Meeting with the Minister of State for Agriculture

The size of the project is going to require a significant amount of land. So a second purpose of the delegation's visit was to seek the Rwandan government's help in identifying potential sites for the school. Some sites were considered both in the capital, Kigali, as well as in surrounding areas.
The people from GACS/OC were deeply impressed with the dedication and commitment of Rwanda's leaders to sacrificially serve their people and to use all resources at their disposal to overcome their recent tragic history. They were also grateful for the warm welcome they received in Rwanda.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hosting Harding's HIZ Group

After two months of study in Zambia, Harding University's HIZ (Harding in Zambia) group arrived in Rwanda by bus for a brief visit and survey trip on Tuesday this week. The group consisted of 22 students and 9 faculty sponsors, mentors and staff. They were hosted by five missionary families and two guesthouses in Kigali.

Their visit included an orientation to Rwanda and tours of schools, churches, hospitals, genocide memorials, the national museum and the national university both in Butare. On the return from Butare they visited the traditional king's palace at Nyanza.

For all 31 in the group except one, this was their first visit to Rwanda. Our hope is that from such groups as these, God will call some to serve in Africa to make a difference in ways that will represent the kingdom of God well.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Great Send-Off for a Rwanda Mission Team

It is with great anticipation that Nancy and I await the arrival of what has been dubbed the Rwanda08 mission team. I was privileged to be present at Richland Hills Church of Christ on a Wednesday night two weeks ago for the presentation of all the RHCC missionaries on furlough or about to enter the field for the first time in long-term missions. They were prayed over by Duane Jenks, the minister of missions.

Ten days later, on Harvest weekend, the missionaries were again prayed over as the congregation gave and pledged toward an overall goal of $1,278,000 for missions in 2009. They reached about 80% of their goal that weekend.

Most of the team expect to arrive in Rwanda in early December, 2008, followed three weeks later by two more missionary families who have been serving in West Africa for about 10 years.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Major Milestone for Africa Transformation Network

One of the main projects we have been working on this year is to register a local non-governmental organization. To obtain a national Certificate of Registration for such an organization is not easy to achieve. But God in his grace, granted this to us yesterday.

This does not mean we have arrived. But it does mean we can begin our service with motivation and with confidence that we are recognized by the government as legal. We are motivated by our desire to serve people but also by the accountability that the Rwandan government expects. What we have been granted is a provisional registration. We will be watched and we will be held accountable for what we committed to do in the objectives and plan of action we submitted.

I have often said lately that of all the nations of Africa I am aware of, only the Rwandan government requires us to do what Jesus commanded us to do and what we have so often failed to do: serve those in need. In Rwanda it is not enough to speak words of truth; we must accompany them with works of compassion ... works that demonstrate the words we say. It is our belief that we will have earned the right to speak when we have offeredserviceto the people of Rwanda.

Please rejoice with us over this major milestone!! And also pray that God will provide the wisdom and human and financial resources needed to stand and deliver what we have committed to do.