Serving in Rwanda
Gato Munyamasoko is rejoining CBM as Field Staff following his five-year term as the head of the Association of Baptist Churches of Rwanda (AEBR). Under his leadership, the denomination saw significant church growth. The AEBR was also able to build its capacity of the denominational leadership in its governance, financial and administrative structures. Having developed other leaders to move into his former position, Gato will now focus on his passion of peacebuilding and reconciliation, working with our partners in South Sudan, DRC and the growing refugee population in East Africa. His role will include pastoral leadership training, conflict resolution, chaplaincy, as well as working with other leaders in the Great Lakes region in building lasting peace initiatives.
Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gato grew up in a refugee family. His parents had left Rwanda in 1959 to escape the growing bouts of ethnic hatred and violence. His experience has given him a unique and deeply personal insight into the conflicts and tensions that linger on in the Great Lakes Region well after the 1994 genocide. Rwanda still lives with the trauma of nearly one million violent deaths and two million displaced people in 1994. The church’s role is critical in building lasting peace.
Though he grew up in a nominal Catholic family, Gato attended a local Baptist church and became a Christian during his teen years as a result of an evangelism crusade. He became known at school and around the community for his enthusiasm in sharing the good news of the Gospel with others. He continues to have a heart for all people to hear and connect with the word of God. He speaks Kiswahili, Kinyarwanda, French and English.
In 1995, Gato moved to Rwanda with his wife and family to become a school director and shortly after that, one of the leaders of the AEBR. Recognized for his leadership skills, Gato is one of the new generation of grassroots leaders in the developing world to receive CBM scholarships. In 2007, he successfully completed a master’s degree in theological studies.