Short-Term Missionary Assignment
To Rwanda, AFRICA
My most recent missionary assignment took me back to Rwanda, Africa in March of this year, where I was invited as the main speaker to a two-day women’s conference held at the Assemblies of God Global Missions Church in the Capital city of Kigali. God gave me a message on “Discovering Who You Are in Christ,” which was the conference theme, and it brought women of all ages and all walks of life: pastors, deaconesses, leaders, professionals, marrieds, singles, grandmothers, mothers, daughters, and college students. As unprecedented and extraordinary as the conference was, so were the events leading up to and after the conference.
The first day was spent visiting families in the impoverished villages of Kigali, and hearing life transforming testimonies from several families in the community. Men gave testimonies of how they learned to love their wives, save money, tithe, give back to their communities, acquire land, build homes, and so much more - all in a biblical context! This fruitful work is the result of God’s empowering and redeeming love through World Relief (www.worldrelief.org. World Relief is a philanthropic organization that partners with local churches in providing relief to the most vulnerable all over the world who are suffering from violence, poverty, and injustice. The stories of these men, women, and children in the village were incredibly moving. At first, most of the women were silent and expressionless with a hardness in their eyes as they looked at our team seated on small benches on a dirt floor in a very small house, but when I looked in the eyes of each one of them, praying that they would see and experience God’s love, a smile would break forth and their eyes lit up! Before parting, the women were hugging me, and wanted to have pictures taken!
The next day, I was interviewed at a widely known Christian radio station which had been promoting the women’s conference of which at least 500 women were expected. I had so much fun listening to the radio announcer and speaking live on air about the conference theme “Discovering Your True Identity!” People were calling in and saying that they would be traveling long distances to attend! After the broadcast, the announcer said to me, “I have learned so much from you. I want to be called your son, because I have no parents.” I was overwhelmed, humbled, and honored. What an amazing opportunity to speak into this young man’s life (who has the public’s ear daily) about who he is in the eyes of God, and the amazing plans God has for his life! To this day, we have stayed in touch, and he has recently married a beautiful Godly woman!
The Women’s Conference was a huge success! Women came from all over the region. Most of the women sitting on the front row were leaders representing their cities in Rwanda and Uganda in various roles through the church, the government and the community. I must say, I was almost intimidated as I stood up to approach the stage...but then a bold, confident, vibrant fire within my spirit rose up with unspeakable joy! What an experience it was! I have never felt so liberated with so much joy, speaking connecting, and engaging with so many amazing women; doing what I know God created me to do! These women talk back to you when you speak, clapping and shouting in Kinyarwanda, “Yesu Ashimwe!” (Praise the Lord!) The music and singing were incredible, and that was just Day One!