It's been great to receive regular news and updates from our partners in Shyogwe Diocese, Rwanda as they continue to find creative ways of ministering as the Church in the midst of lockdown. Last week, I heard from Rev Viateur Ntarindawa and from Archdeacon Joseph Sehorona.
Rev Viateur is an amazing servant of God. Ordinarily, he works for the Rural Development Interdiocesan Service (RDIS), which seeks to mobilise local Anglican church members to develop their local community, and so lift themselves out of poverty.
Viateur continues to give a couple of hours each day to work for RDIS, but alongside that, he is also an evangelist and church planter working in Kiyumba Anglican Missionary Station: he is seeking to forge new ground for the Kingdom of God.
Viateur's parish work, in a rural location, is not easy at this time of lockdown, especially as only four members of his church have smartphones. But Rev Viateur is finding new ways to communicate. Most people have a basic phone, so Viateur spends a good part of his day listening, encouraging and offering words of wisdom - as church and wider community members share some of the challenges they are facing.
Thankfully Viateur has a ‘right hand man’ called Thaddéé Nsengiyumva who is a huge support to Viateur and is very committed to the ministry. Living in Kiyumba, Thaddée is Viateur’s ears and eyes on the ground, and is able to keep him up to speed with what is happening with his congregation. All of us need a Thaddéé in our lives!
Rev Viateur and his community need our continued support and prayer. Even in the midst of very real challenges he writes,
Monthly, we and others, continue to send our tithes to Thaddéé via mobile money, to demonstrate that as Church leaders, we too are willing to walk the talk in these challenging days. But we never lose our hope. We are comforted by so many Bible passages, such as Isaiah 41:10 - “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Like Rev Viateur, Thaddéé and our Church family in Kiyumba, all of us are relying upon God’s righteous right hand to carry us through.
As Christians it’s only natural that we succumb to fear. But I’m reminded by Rev Viateur that in the midst of a global pandemic, He is our God and He has promised to strengthen and uphold us. He has all the power, and He is our only sure foundation. With all that is going on, may we choose to trust in the promises of God’s Word. God is a covenant keeper!
Tomorrow, I'll share something from Archdeacon's Joseph.