First, HAPPY NEWS: our church family became aware of a new area in Rwanda called the Shara Peninsula in the diocese of Cyangugu that is currently reported to be the poorest place in Rwanda. The people in Shara are hungry, under-educated and not being discipled. Likely few are biblical Christians. They are a people bereft of hope.
Following the Spirit’s lead after talking with Bishop Nathan and spending time in prayer, we decided to take action. In full partnership with the Anglican Church and Bishop Nathan, we will build a church with office space (in hopes of getting Compassion to put a center there). We will begin an emergency feeding program and, following a recent request from the government, build a school. Currently many children do not attend because they have to walk miles each way to a distant school.
The happy news is that so many of you gave so generously, over and above your normal tithe, to the general budget (which pays our current missionaries and keeps the lights on here at CHS!) that we now have enough money or commitments to fund this desperately needed Church. Our long-term partner, ICM.org, should provide the remainder of the money needed, and the people in Shara will help provide bricks and labor. Most people in Shara have no income, as they are subsistence “farmers.”
So we praise the Lord for the love, generosity and excitement to see the Kingdom come to Shara.
As to the SAD NEWS: Bonnie and Solange Lakony, our friends and long-term partners in Nkombo and Cyangugu, messaged me 4 days ago sharing the sad news that their youngest son had died. Ethan was 8 months old and a beautiful child. We knew him, and Miss Annette had rocked him and loved on him well. Bonnie had taken Ethan to the doctor and the doctor sent them home. Ten minutes after arriving at home, while Bonnie was feeding him some soft bananas, Ethan died. This is a devastating loss. Unimaginable. This priest is the third priest friend and partner of ours in ministry in Rwanda to lose a child in the past year. A reminder for us to pray, plan and strategize to bring better medical care to these rural areas. So please pray fervently for our brother Bonnie Lakony, his wife Solange and their other children. It is our privilege to enter into their suffering and to bring love and hope.