Rwanda

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Car for CARSA

Car for CARSA

When I was 18 my parents gave me a car to get back and forth to the university. It wasn’t brand new, but it was a Mustang, and it was reliable. I drove it for four years and was never late for a class, at least not because of the car. I wasn’t nearly grateful enough to my parents for the gift.

Our High-5 partners in Rwanda are in need of a car.They are doing great work and have just expanded into another district. Children are hearing the Word of God; teachers and parents as well as the kids are experiencing the life-changing healing and restoration that comes from instilling love, hope, thankfulness, respect and honesty into their lives. But they need a car.

As the program expands, it is more costly and time-consuming to travel without a car. It is expensive to rent one, and old ones are very unreliable. We are trusting God to supply this need and hope that you will do what you can to help. We have raised half of the needed funds for a used car in good condition. Would you consider a gift to help Christophe and his team? It would be heartbreaking for a child to be eternally lost for lack of a car.

Please click here to make a donation.

Thank you!

Kari Fordice

High5RwandaLogoWords

Under the leadership of Breakthrough Partners’ High-5 Africa Director and CARSA CEO Christophe Mbonyingabo, the High-5 curriculum is now being taught in over 50 churches from five different denominations in Rwanda. Christophe said 2015ChildBalloonsSmall recently, “In all the churches we visited, the first impact that occurred from the time they started using our curriculum [is] an incredible increase of children in Sunday School. Generally the number has doubled after one year. In one church, the number has tripled since they started using High-5 curriculum!”

Learn more and watch a short video here.

Please support the growth of this life-changing teaching with your prayers and financial support.2015TeacherWithChildrenSmall

Gary Edmonds, President
Breakthrough Partners

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After attending the 2013 Breakthrough Partners Network Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Christophe Mbonyingabo shares his reflections on the experience. Christophe left the conference with the goal of uniting individuals together through building trusting relationships to create sustainable, lasting partnerships. Additionally, Christophe now plans to mobilize resources to initiate change from the inside, using what God has blessed their community with, rather than relying on external sources of change.

See his response here:

Stephanie Muncy, 2010 InternI am finally in Rwanda! I have experienced many of the emotional highs and lows of initial culture shock, but I am finding that each day I feel a little more adjusted. When I have woken up missing some insignificant things (like my sink) and some important things (like my family), I walk outside to brush my teeth and I am greeted by the thousand hills with their thousand red roofs, of which I am living right in the middle. I just can’t get enough of it and I know there is no place I would rather be. . .

My time spent with CARSA’s (Christian Action for Reconciliation and Social Assistance) staff has been equally as enriching. I can’t get over how I have this opportunity to be here, learn from and work with these people. They have set aside time to sit and talk with me, both sharing and listening. When I ask how they began working with CARSA, they laugh and say it is a long story.  I then get to hear some of their lives. One of the staff members shared with me how his family hid Tutsi’s in their house during the 1994 genocide, but then his father was still accused of murder and taken to jail (he has since been released). My friend said he dealt with great guilt for wishing he could have done more. He wanted to do something to stop the hatred and violence. Today, he works with CARSA, facilitating trauma healing workshops and allowing victims and perpetrators the opportunity to reconcile. I sat with my eyes and ears wide open in awe. I know no other way to describe them but as heroes.

There are many more stories I am sure I will share in the near future. For now, I just wanted to introduce you to my summer. I know you are praying and thinking about me and I am beyond grateful . . . Please pray I have the ability, energy and teachability to fulfill my role as intern here as I help with updating their website, taking photographs, participating in seminars and everything else that may come up.

Amahoro. Peace.

Stephanie Muncie
Breakthrough Intern, June 2010

Christophe Mbonyingabo of CARSA

Christophe Mbonyingabo of CARSA

During the past two weeks, we hosted Christophe Mbonyingabo, Founder and Executive Director of CARSA of Rwanda. He is a courageous and Spirit-anointed leader set apart for rebuilding Rwanda out of genocide. Click here to check out the website of CARSA which is an affiliate partner of Breakthrough Partners. Christophe and his team are instrumental in the incredible healing and transformation of lives that have been traumatized by the wounds of genocide.

Again I was reminded that the rebuilding of broken communities and nations is built on the backs and from the convictions of Godly Local Leadership. Outsiders will never be able to lead a process of transformation. It takes those with moral and spiritual credibility who are relationally connected to the populous. It takes those who are in the culture of the local setting, but not of it. It takes those who are prepared to suffer and serve for the glory of God, even unto death.

This is where Christian mission, donor and development work so often goes astray. Those who come from the outside with money, messages and materials naively believe that they can bring about profound and lasting change. It simply does not work that way. And so often we let those with money, technological equipment, and educational degrees determine the priorities and strategies for the local mission. Then we wonder why there is no sustainable change.

The key for change to nations like Rwanda is to identify those who are morally credible, Holy Spirit anointed and filled with the vision of the Kingdom of God coming on earth like in heaven. Listen to them, follow them and support them. For culture change and rebuilding of nations is a job for insiders!

Gary Edmonds

[You may support Christophe and CARSA through Breakthrough Partners by clicking here.]

justice1How do you move from despair, fear, and suspicion to hope, peace and equitable prosperity?

 

This week I was invited by the Rwandan government to attend the International Summit on Unity and Reconciliation, October 15-16, at the 10th anniversary of the operation of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission. Based on my involvement and partnership during the past eight years in the process of bringing healing and life to a broken people and nation, I am asked to offer feedback of the past efforts and insights for future progress. I count this a real privilege to be used as a peacemaker in friendship for the rebuilding process of a profoundly traumatized nation.

 

Reflecting on the issues that needed to be addressed in the nation and the pathway to a peaceful and prosperous future, I wrote a brief paper of my observations. (Click here to read.) 

 

Today, let me leave you with a leadership thought that underscores my convictions for all nations and societies. Leaders must be willing to face uncomfortable truth, create a culture of truth telling, and ruthlessly examine destructive patterns of belief and behavior in an environment of forgiveness, equality, and hope. They cannot pretend, cover-up, fear truth, and lie about self or their constituency. Paul the apostle wrote, “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.” (1Timothy 1:15-16)

 

Rwanda, or any nation for that matter, will only move forward to display justice for all by the mercy of God which is offered to humble confessing leaders and people.

 

Gary Edmonds

Wall of Names at the Kigali Genocide Memorial

Wall of Names at the Kigali Genocide Memorial

In Rwanda, a land marked by animosity and killing, church leaders from Germany, UK, Netherlands, France, Belgium and the USA met with more than 150 pastors, church leaders and government officials from Rwanda and surrounding African nations July 7-12, 2009 in Gitarama, Rwanda. These clerics came together to confess the role of their respective countries in the events of the 1994 genocide. Together they acknowledged that their nations and churches had been instruments in planting seeds of hatred and division in Africa, and they had failed to respond as peacemakers during and after the killings.

 

Executive Secretary Fatuma Ndangiza of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission called upon church leaders to take responsibility of what happened in 1994 and fully participate in the reconciliation process. “The state embarked on the reconciliation because the church failed.  If the church had done what it ought to, this commission would be left with little to do because you have access to the population,” remarked Ndangiza. “If reconciliation is to be achieved, everybody has to acknowledge their responsibility in the divisions that culminated in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.”

 

Today Rwanda is moving towards Mu Amateka Mashya which literally means “the New History.” Church leaders from around the world are recognizing that the brokenness of the land is first and foremost a spiritual problem. They are examining themselves, owning their sins, confessing before God and others their culpability, and striving to turn from their wicked ways to obey God’s word and promises. 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 was used as the guide throughout the days together in Gitarama.

 

Will you join the process of reconciliation and healing of the lands and nations? This is the call to those who follow Jesus the Reconciler. You may read the confession that I offered publically on behalf of international delegates before a stadium-filled audience on July 11(click here). Own it for yourself and share it with others. 

 

With God’s mercy and grace, we will live to see a New History of healing and life for the land and people of Rwanda and beyond – even in our own communities and nation. 

 

Gary Edmonds

 

Genocide Memorial in Kigali, Rwanda

Genocide Memorial in Kigali, Rwanda

Rwanda will experience an historical and history-making event July 7-12, 2009.

 

Fifteen years after the 1994 genocide and fifty years after the Hutu-Tutsi conflict, leaders of churches from Rwanda, neighboring African countries, Europe and North America will gather for representative repentance and healing. Leaders of diverse church denominations will identify with the sins of their people and nations and confess to one another, and seek forgiveness from each other and God. In humility steps will be taken to walk the way of the cross and break the power of evil in the land. After the church leaders confess, they will meet with the government leaders again in acts of confession.

 

Nehemiah, the rebuilder of Jerusalem, prayed the following prayer, “O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s house, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.”  (Nehemiah 1:5-7)

 

There are spiritual realities that shape our communities and nations. When we break trust with God and each other, there are consequences in the land. A biblical model for Christian leaders is to bear the guilt of the people, confess to God and one another and seek the forgiveness and mercy of the Lord.

 

I’ll send you reports as I have been invited to attend, identify with the sin of our past, and seek the mercy of God. Dr. Chris Hall, Chancellor of Eastern University, will join me from the USA.

 

Stand with us in humility and pray for us and for this historic meeting. Africa, Europe, North America and our world depend on God’s favor! 

 

Gary Edmonds

042I am often asked about the best steps in developing young leaders. My answer normally astounds people. “First, Listen!”

 

Leaders by nature and gifting are endowed with hopes and dreams for a healthier and more caring society. Embedded deep inside of them is a burning desire to help others and see change for the better. Brokenness and despair trouble them profoundly. Anger over matters of injustice, sloth, abuse, indifference, disease, and greed troubles their waking hours and disturbs their sleep patterns. The status quo is not acceptable as they hunger and thirst to see the goodness of God in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13)

 

What do these people need most? Not someone to come and tell them what to do or how things are done in our land or to offer a seminar on leadership. Instead they need someone to listen to them. They need a discerning and caring ear, one who draws out their hopes and dreams. In the process the young leader is affirmed, honing vision and building courage to articulate the treasure that is buried inside of his/her soul.

 

This week, I listened to three young leaders of Rwanda who are dreaming of a New Generation for a New History. They see the day when Hutus and Tutsis, young and old, and men and women will live together in unity in diversity. They are in faith breathing the air of freedom when the citizens live in solidarity. They are convinced that someday their nation will no longer seek help from other nations but instead will be peaceful and prosperous, generously contributing to the development of other nations.

 

How do I know this? I took the time to listen to their hearts. I let them tell me what causes their hearts to beat fast and their eyes to be wild with excitement. This is the first step in building leaders who will rebuild nations. Listen today to another. You’ll never know what you may discover; you may be used as an instrument in bringing the goodness of God into the land of the living.

 

As I write this message, I want to introduce you to Kevin and Renée Napier who are joining Breakthrough Partners. The requests for our time multiply weekly. We need to increase our capacity. Kevin and Renée are great listeners and know how to build leaders who will give themselves to rebuild broken communities. You will want to get to know them through the bios posted on our website.

Gary Edmonds

Megan and Hilliary, two blond college girls with wild dreams of changing a few lives, have in fact done just that! Last summer, the two of them went to Rwanda as interns with Breakthrough Partners. Life hasn’t been the same since they returned.

 

Boys with Josiane and ChantalThough they are both in school, their time has been filled with planning, praying, emailing and speaking on behalf of eleven street boys that they met in Rwanda. These boys captured their hearts. Over the past months, Megan and Hilliary have raised funds, hired staff, rented a house, drawn up long-term plans, partnered with local Rwandans, and now have officially rescued ten street boys from jail!

 

To quote from their latest update, “These efforts are promoting the self-sufficiency and local community involvement we are aiming for!” Indeed, this is what Breakthrough Partners is aiming for as well – building young leaders who will see the possibilities that can be accomplished when we are opened to God’s leading and His purposes! Great job, Megan and Hilliary!

 

For more information about this remarkable new ministry, or to help and encourage them, please check out their website, www.hopeforlifeministry.org.


Guest blogger, Kari Fordice

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