Greetings From a Locked Down Kigali
Muraho? Greetings to you brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, our King and Savior. Like elsewhere, in the world, in Rwanda we are living in the impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our city and country have been completely locked down since March 14 when the first case was discovered in Rwanda. After 10 days, 41 cases have been identified and they are receiving treatment and care by the government health services. Our children are used to being at home, doing some work but also reviewing their lessons. Since Christmas, as a family, we have been also challenged by the care needed as a result of our aged father having a stroke, impacting many parts of his body. He spent 2 months in the hospital, and we were advised to bring him home, for him to receive palliative care by brothers and sisters living around and in our home village. We learned that this transition from Life to Life is challenging, but in all these things, we continue to see God’s faithfulness.
As we navigate these realities as a family and at a country level, we are mindful for thousands of people who are in different isolated hospitals, around the world including Canada, combatting this disease, and we are praying that they get well soon. We are also mindful of the thousands of people who have succumbed to this Pandemic; may their families find comfort and hope in Almighty God, who manages our days and destinies.
What Has Been Going on With CBM Team in Africa?
The beginning of the 2020 was full of much of enthusiasm because we were exploring very new opportunities in different areas below:
CBM Team Retreat & Launch Africa Field 5 Years Strategies
In January, we had our team retreat to reinforce our team spirit but also to discuss our overall, 5 years field strategies.
We were blessed to have our spouses with us, so that they can learn a bit of what we do, as we depend very much on their support and encouragement. They do great work with us, serving behind the scenes, supporting us. Carla Nelson from Canada, joined the retreat via zoom for 3 days.
Launch of Gisenyi Covenant Advisory Committee (GCAC)
As we concluded the Africa Leadership Exchange (ALE) conference, the 4 executive ministers and CBM co-signed a covenant to encourage more multilateral initiatives, where churches in Africa can share resources and experiences as they carry on their God given mission. CBM, will facilitate rather than lead these initiatives. Each partner including CBM will have 2 people and a committee of 10 people meet every month via video conference to discuss ways of implementing that covenant.
Our Colleague Gato Embedded With the New Partner in DR Congo
With 2020, CBM entered in new partnership with the Community of Baptist Churches in Eastern of Congo (CEBCE), where Rev Gato Munyamasoko, our CBM Africa Peace and Reconciliation specialist is serving as an embedded resource person to reinforce unity and reconciliation in the communities affected by wars, division and ethnic conflicts.
Our Colleague Polisi Kivava was Introduced to the Partners, as Africa Relief and Community Development Specialist
After being introduced to the CBM partner in Rwanda, in February, he was in Kenya to be introduced to the Africa Christian Church and School (ACC&S) the CBM partner in Kenya. It was an opportunity for him to visit the Guardians of Hope and the Food Security projects, to meet the staff and the members of the communities there. He brings to this role 30 years of experience and passion in working with Communities in Congo and in Tanzania.
The Team From Prince George Baptist Church, BC Visited the CBM Partner In Kenya
In February, four people including the senior pastor from First Baptist Church, Prince George BC, were connected to different ministries with CBM’s partner in Kenya (the ACC&S) including women ministries, Bible college, Guardians of Hope and the Food security project.
During the visit we were amazed by the story of a farmer from the Embu community, who for several years, had abandoned her land because she thought it was not fertile anymore. After receiving different trainings on conservation agriculture, she learned how to take care of her land, and as she returned forthis last season, she was able to harvest more than 5 bags of maize, enough to feed her family for the next 12 months.
Exploring Opportunities with Africa Francophone Baptist communities
In the beginning of March, I travelled to Togo, to meet the leaders of the Baptist convention in Togo, and the Baptist seminary that train students from Togo, Benin, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. More conversations are still to come after COVID-19, to identify some partnership possibilities.
The 2020 Plan in Perspective
In looking at the 2020 plans, the current world situation can create confusion and uncertainties. We are, however, inspired by the story of Israelites, who, being led by Moses, headed to the Red Sea with faith and trust in God, that He would make a way. And yes, God made it. These plans include:
- Partnership visit to CBM Partner in South Sudan: We praise God that Peace and stability is being restored, after the government of unity was installed, we need to encourage them but also strategizing together for the future.
- Celebrating 50 years of partnership between CBM and the Africa Christian Church and School in Kenya (ACC&S) in June.
- Hosting the SENT Teams from Calgary and Grande Prairies. (If they are still able to come)
- Our Colleagues, Darrell and Laura Lee Bustin are in Canada for Home Assignment (March – July)
- Hosting a face-to-face meeting for the Gisenyi Covenant advisory committee.
- Organizing a Partnership meeting with our CBM Africa church partners.
A Word of Appreciation
Your prayers and financial support have enabled CBM accompanying Africa partners’ churches to reach out the needy children who need education, women who need to learn how to read and write, to the rural farmers to have enough food for their families, but also to ministers to be equipped to carry on the church ministries. Thank you for trusting in CBM’s work in Africa and investing in a holistic transformational change. May God richly bless the work of your generous hands. May He keep you healthy and at peace.