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Christians Bring Reconciliation to Rwanda

Christian organizations will unite next week to bring the Gospel to a district in Western Rwanda, a country making remarkable progress in its recovery from the genocide of the 1990s, at the Rusizi Mission for Jesus.

According to a news release the Aug. 5-12 event will include outreach, evangelism training and consultation with French and Portuguesespeaking African church leaders from 11 countries about strategy that could be used elsewhere on the continent.

“Schools, churches and community venues will open their doors and welcome people from all walks of life to embrace a message of hope and reconciliation,” said Blair Carlson, executive director of GoodWORD Partnership and one of the event’s organizers, speaking in the news release.

Carlson added, “As someone recently said, ‘Those who have suffered worst, welcome most.’ That’s utterly true of Rwanda.”

In July, the news release said, former President Bill Clinton led a delegation to Rwanda, focusing attention on the great strides the country has made in recent years in health care, education and the economy. He praised Rwandan leaders for their vision to “create a new country committed to living in peace and harmony.”

According to the news release, African Evangelistic Enterprise, Shine in the World International Ministries and other groups have been working with local church leaders for more than a year to organize the week’s activities. The district of Rusizi has been divided into zones and the evangelistic message will be taken into a variety of settings, in addition to two larger gatherings for the community on Sunday afternoons.

The eight days will also feature a two-day women’s conference, events for children and youth, nightly showings of the Jesus Film and a gathering for business and government leaders. Several hundred church leaders and lay workers will attend a three-day evangelism training conference.

According to the news release, the Rusizi Mission, centered in the capital city of Cyangugu, is the third Rwandan mission effort by a coalition of African and international ministries. The first was in Huye and Musanze in 2010, followed by Gisenyi in 2011. The vision calls for a total of 10 Rwandan missions, which would effectively cover the country in a decade.

The next mission effort planned will be in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Aug. 2013.

The catalysts for the Rwandan missions were Mission Africa and Cape Town 2010: The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization.

Carlson, who spent 26 years helping coordinate nationwide missions on behalf of Dr. Billy Graham and his evangelistic association, said in the release that Rwanda was selected for early emphasis because of the vision of the country’s leaders and its strategic location in the heart of Africa.

“It’s from a land of tremendous pain and suffering that God has raised a new voice of hope for the continent,” Carlson said. “We are honored to witness what God is doing in these days.”


Jeremy Reynalds is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, a freelance writer and also the founder and CEO of Joy Junction, New Mexico’s largest emergency homeless shelter, http://www.joyjunction.org He has a master’s degree in communication from the University of New Mexico, and a Ph.D. in intercultural education from Biola University in Los Angeles. His newest book is “Homeless in the City.”

Additional details on “Homeless in the City” are available at http://www.homelessinthecity.com. Reynalds lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. For more information contact: Jeremy Reynalds at jeremyreynalds@comcast.net.

Jeremy Reynalds is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, a freelance writer and also the founder and CEO of Joy Junction, New Mexico’s largest emergency homeless shelter, http://www.joyjunction.org He has a master’s degree in communication from the University of New Mexico, and a Ph.D. in intercultural education from Biola University in Los Angeles. His newest book is “Homeless in the City.”

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