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Rwanda and Burundi

Many people had not heard of Rwanda until 1994 when news of the horrendous genocide hit the headlines. Almost a million people killed for no other reason than their tribal birth. Another long overland road trip from Kenya took me to Rwanda for the first time in 1997. By this time Rwanda was at peace again. Rwanda had come a long way in the years since this atrocity. This was an investigative and fact finding trip. It was on this trip that I met Pasteur Theophile Kamanzi.

Over several trips he has become a good and close friend. He heads a ministry with L’Eglise Pour le Reveille du Rwanda (The Church for the Revival of Rwanda). Based in the capital, Kigali, he has planted churches in many parts of Rwanda. I have had the privilege to travel with him and minister with him in several places including Butare Kibungo and Cyangugu in addition to Kigali.

I last returned to Kigali in August 2006. How good to see the church growing after the devastating genocide of recent years. I enjoyed seminar teaching at L’Eglise Pour le Reveille du Rwanda and was blessed to see their traditional dances. Pastor Kamanzi is doing good work.

Burundi has not yet found a full peace. Pastor David Mupenda is another good friend. I met him at the Nairobi Pentecostal Bible School and he invited me to visit Bujumbura. I have held seminars there and taught at the Central Africa Bible College. I visited Burundi four times and ventured outside of the capital on the final trip.

On this last visit I had to get out quickly as rebels attacked Bujumbura with guns, grenades and mortars. Most of the rebel activity is now calm but in war torn Gitega, where I held a series of open air meetings peace was still uncertain. However, God is faithful and I did not hear even a single gun shot while in the mountains and fighting was only heard again after my return to Bujumbura. How faithful? Close on 2,000 people responded to the call of the Gospel.

   
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