Tuesday, June 20, 2017

New Life Bible Church, Kigali

Two days after returning from Cambodia, I (together with other colleagues) took another team to Rwanda for another service-learning project, arriving on Saturday afternoon.  Sunday is a rest day.  Some of us went to church, and some students went with us.  New Life is an English speaking church, and apparently sponsored by Americans.  Other than a few whites, practically everyone is African.  I was also told that many among the congregation are foreigners, perhaps from other African countries.  Rwanda was ruled by the Belgians for many decades and French was dominant.  In recent years English has become more common, particularly in business and education.  Hence the English speaking congregation tend to have more foreigners and the better-off and better-educated Rwandans.  

The singing was very rhythmic and powerful, lasting more than half an hour. I could see our students enjoying it and many participating enthusiastically. 

After the singing, the pastor called the children forward to prayed for them before sending off, presumably to Sunday School.  There were lots and lots of them, perhaps close to a hundred.  It was quite amazing.  

The people there were very friendly.  Many greeted us and shook our hands.  Unfortunately, we could not stay too long to make friends.  We had to get back, have our lunch, and then start the culture program, visiting the Genocide Memorial in Kigali and the terrifying Genocide church site at Nyamata, where 10,000 people were killed.  I understand faith played a very significant role in the reconciliation after the Genocide.  AEE itself has a reconciliations team whose work is based on faith in God.  God has forgiven our own sins, because of it we can forgive others.  

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