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I just returned from a
“quick” trip to Rwanda. I went with five other American bishops
to meet with the eleven bishops of Rwanda to worship and pray and to discuss
our relationship in this next season. The 70 PEARUSA churches that we as
Church of the Holy Spirit are part of have dual citizenship if you will;
we are legally and gladly part of the Anglican Church of Rwanda but also
legally and gladly part of the new Anglican Church of North America.
We came away with a determination to stay part of the Anglican
Church of Rwanda because they are our family of origin and we love each other,
but we also recognize that God is building a new orthodox (Bible believing)
Anglican Province in the US. It makes sense to all of us to give spiritual
authority of the American churches to the Archbishop of North America since he
is here and Archbishop Rwaje is 8000 miles away.
Aside from all those details that are still being worked out, the
real joy of the trip was threefold:
First, I learned afresh from the Rwandan bishops that relationship
and unity and prayer
must be at the center of our life together.
Second, I spent considerable time with our sister parish
. It is a thriving, evangelizing, healthy church with a loving
pastor! You may remember that we worked together with them to help
build their church and to finish their roof and floor (see photo
above). Rumor has it that your rector and bishop was dancing like a true
Rwandan in the Sunday worship service!!
Finally, I got to
visit STAR school where we will be building a fish farm this
summer. This fish farm/aquaponic vegetable farm will help feed the 750
boarding students quality protein and perhaps create an income stream for them
as the older students manage the business. I was able to meet my Compassion
son, Eric,
for the sixth time, and it was more than worth the price of two
miserable, sleepless 27-hour flights. We also re-met three other children
we help sponsor. They are happy and their lives are being dramatically
changed. Instead of being in a backwards, rural, government school where they
learned little, they are now in a Christian boarding school that is one of the
best schools in the country. They are learning English, French and math
and will be equipped to go to college. It is so encouraging to see the
kingdom of God invading earth… so encouraging to learn from our Rwandan
friends to live simply and be thankful to God. I love our church’s relationship
with Rwanda. I love the Rwandan family. They teach us so much!