By the time you are reading this I will be in Rwanda, to spend three weeks working with the local church. Hopefully most of you already know about my trip but if you don’t there are still leaflets at the front of the church with more information.
A question I’ve struggled with is why go? There are plenty of “unreached” people in Alness and Invergordon and much work for the gospel to be done right here. You’ll probably be surprised to learn that over 90% of Rwandese people identify themselves as Christian with 26% of these claiming to be evangelical. The corresponding figures for the UK are 60% and 9%.
Rwanda is a poor country with 45% of people living below the poverty line in 2012, but there has been a significant decrease in poverty (down from 57% in 2006) thanks to local government initiatives. Three weeks of my time is hardly significant and with three doctors in the team my basic health skills scarcely worth a mention!
So the question remains – why go? Last December I accepted Mission International’s invitation to join the mission team as I was convinced that God wanted me to go. However, until recently, I’ve had serious doubts as to how I could be of use. Two events – a training day with Mission International and hearing Marsali Campbell speak of her work in Uganda – have helped me gain some understanding.
At the training day I learned that the local church has invited us. With only one in four pastors owning a Bible the quality of teaching is variable. The church leaders are crying out for training and so are local Christian women, many of whom are illiterate. So to my surprise (and with much trepidation) I’m going to Africa to teach women how to study the Bible, a work I would have scorned mightily less than four years ago. How God transforms!
From Marsali I learned the importance of care and relationship. As much as from the practical support her value comes from caring enough to be there and to be with the people.
In “The Mark of a Christian” Francis Schaeffer highlights the importance of John 13:34-35
“A new command I give
you: Love one another. As I have loved
you, so you must love one another. By
this everyone will know that you are my
disciples, if you love one another.”
Christ has commanded us to be a witness for Him to the world by loving each other. Christians in Cyangugu, Rwanda will be encouraged knowing that their brothers and sisters in Christ at Rosskeen, Scotland, love them. Love them enough to devote time to praying for them, to send them gifts and to support me to visit with them.
Please pray -