Our first of three days conference at the Good Shepherd Church in Kigali, Rwanda began today. This church is especially dear to me, as my dear friends, Simon and Kedress, began this church from “scratch” shortly after the end of the genocide. God gave them this piece of property, which at the time was in the middle of nowhere, and Simon put a large tent on it. For years they met in that tent—cold on cold days and very hot on warm days! Now this property is in one of the most exclusive areas of Kigali, surrounded by expensive homes, nice roads, and a beautiful setting. And after many years of praying, and great faith on Simon’s part, they are finally in their permanent church building. It is not totally finished, but it is good enough to meet in it.
The Rwandan women are much more reserved than Kenyan women when you speak to them. They don’t offer a lot of verbal or visual response to the message. But they are far more animated when they sing – again with lots of dancing. They really love to dance—women and men (but not together!). However, my interpreter, Jacqueline, made sure I understood that even though they may not appear to be responding, they are taking it in and really listening. I believe that to be true.
About 60 of the more than 300 women who attended today are sleeping at the church tonight. They have come from far and this is the only way they could attend. So, Kedress and others are at the church now to make sure they have food to eat and mats to sleep on. Can you imagine? But Kedress assured me she loves to do this, and besides—it’s the Rwandan way! They are way ahead of us when it comes to hospitality.
I hope to get better pictures tomorrow. Please continue to pray.