Greetings From Gisenyi, Rwanda
Greetings to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Savior and our Lord Jesus. Here is a picture of my wife and also my seven children. We recently got a son-in-law who married our daughter Promesse. We thank God because He helped us to hold the wedding ceremony. It is now two years and ten months since CBM sent me to work with a new partner in Congo called* Baptist Churches Community in Eastern Congo. But since January 2022, I was also asked to work with other CBM partners, like CBCA in Congo, AEBR in Rwanda and FEBAC in South Sudan. Today, I am working with 4 CBM partners in three countries; DRC, Rwanda and South Sudan.
We thank God that the pandemic has diminished its intensity, and we are now returning to normal life as before COVID-19.
What has been going on with the Peace and Reconciliation Ministry in DR Congo?
1. The CEBCE’s TOT’s who were taught CBM’s 12 Peace modules in 2020-2021 did an exposure tour in Rwanda for five days. The picture below is the CEBCE’s ToT, who had visited the memorial of the Genocide in Kigali. They saw how the consequences of hate and tribalism destroy a nation. They also learnt how after the genocide, the Rwandese came to a place of repentance and forgiveness. During this exposure tour, Tot’s also learnt about conservation agriculture’s profit and outcomes. They discovered that healthy soil could produce more. The CEBCE’s TOT’s learnt practically through the exposure tour what they learnt through the twelve Peacebuilding modules in theory.
2. Since January, I have extended my work to other partners. We agreed with CBCA authorities to train their 80 catalysts of peace on the twelve CBM Peace building modules. We did three training days with the team below and finished three modules. It was good to see how lawyers, teachers, economists, sociologists, pastors, and businesspeople attended this training and celebrated the presence of others. They learned how they could handle conflicts in their churches and society. We hope to continue with training until we finish the twelve modules.
The 80 CBCA Catalysts of Peace received their first certificate for the three modules they learnt.
3 . Back to CEBCE, after the higher authorities in the office had been trained for the last two years, this year, in 2022, we planned to train CEBCE’s President of ecclesiastic districts and women representatives of districts.
For now, we have 25 participants who have been trained in four modules. I hope we will teach all of them by the end of the year. The plan is to have those leaders as also trainers of trainees. It was also a new experience for the participants, who confessed that they were also part of the CEBCE conflict. CEBCE’s President of ecclesiastics districts, who was active in different periods of the CEBCE conflicts was present. I hope that these Presidents, once trained, will influence their respective districts. NB. A district has between 30-80 churches. This photo shows participants in the workshop.
4. AEBR activities
Since this year, 2022, I have also started working with AEBR. The most significant task was to evaluate the last ten years of Peacebuilding activities in the AEBR. We also needed to assess the following program on sustaining the reconciliation in Rwanda in the future. Technicians of AEBR are now working on our evaluation and assessment findings, which will help propose new activities. I hope we will address a report and a proposal to CBM this October.
5. South Sudan
In the last week of September, I also visited South Sudan, at Juba, where I met the Leadership of FEBAC, a partner to CBM. In one week, I did a quick assessment with different people regarding peace in South Sudan. We discussed how they see they can consolidate peace and cohesion among the citizens of South Sudan. Firstly, I met the moderator and his team. I also met church members (among them youth and women), and at the end, I met the former President of the Baptist Convention of South Sudan, who was in Peace talks with the Commission of South Sudan.
The information I received from all those people will help me understand and interact with FEBAC authorities in their initiative to implement the Peacebuilding program in South Sudan via FEBAC.
Below are some photos
I hope in collaboration with the Leadership of FEBAC and other actors of Peace in South Sudan, we will establish a Peacebuilding program which FEBAC will contribute to the repentance, forgiveness, cohabitation and reconciliation between South Sudanese.
Activities we are planning in 2023.
CBM’s partners in the Area of Peace and reconciliation for 2023
· With CEBCE: The plan for next year will be to focus on the training of youth who are in CEBCE’s Churches
· Reinforce the teaching of Integral mission to CEBCE Leaders
· Work with CBCA and CEBCE by encouraging them to work together and learn from each other. We also plan to address the issue of cohabitation among the tribes in North Kivu.
· Work with CBCA in reinforcing justice, peace and care of the environment. Next year we will also train pastors on this matter of peace and reconciliation
· Work with AEBR in targeting which materials will be needed to train specific groups in the matter of reinforcing reconciliation in Rwanda and prepare more ToTs
· Work with FEBAC in South Sudan to see how we can implement a Peacebuilding program in the denomination and outside of the denomination and help to bring true cohabitation, and reconciliation within South Sudanese people
I thank the CBM Leadership and how they continue to accompany me in this work by providing advice through different meetings, materials, and finances so that I can do what is happening during these years and particularly this year, 2022. I also deeply appreciate my colleagues in the CBM Africa Team and how we are close to one another. Each one is an inspiration to what I am doing. My collaboration with Carla and her advice and encouragement are significant to me during these years. I also appreciate different partners who support me through CBM in this ministry. It is very encouraging to see monthly reports on how people and churches contribute to this ministry. Your emails of encouragement give me more strength to move ahead despite challenges. Your prayers and financial support have enabled CBM and its’ accompanying African partner churches to accomplish their mission through different avenues. Among them, Peace and Reconciliation at this critical time of war, ethnic division, oppression on social classes and poverty.