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Missions Opportunity: Pressing Needs in Rwandan Diocese

Bishop Emmanuel Ntazinda visiting Christ the King, Birmingham.

The Diocese of the South was recently blessed with a visit from Bishop Emmanuel Ntazinda of Kibungo Diocese, Rwanda. The generosity of ADOTS churches allowed the Bishop to invite him to travel to the United States, visit six ADOTS parishes, and attend the 2019 Provincial Assembly. Fr. Fred Ndaruhutse coordinated his visit, working tirelessly to make all of the connections and raise the support.

During his visit, Bishop Emmanuel proposed several projects to ADOTS clergy that would allow Diocese of the South churches to partner with the Kibungo Diocese in Rwanda to help resolve immediate needs in their community. We would like to highlight two of those, and would encourage ADOTS churches to consider taking on these projects to care for our brothers and sisters in the Kibungo Diocese. Check out the projects below, and sign up for a video conference with Canon Greg on Thursday, August 15th at 3pm Eastern!

Project One: Sponsor Clergy Training

The Rwandan government passed a law in 2018 that pastors must hold a degree in Theology in order to plant or continue leading a church.

The Kibungo Diocese has 40 parishes, 223 sub-parishes, and ministers to around 72,000 Christians. During the 1994 genocide, many trained ministers in Rwanda were killed or fled the country.

Per a new Rwandan law, in four years from now, any pastor without a degree in Theology will no longer be allowed to lead a church. Kibungo Diocese currently has four pastors newly trained with a bachelor’s degree in Theology, the rest have certificates and diplomas in Theology, and others have high school certificates. In addition to being in compliance with the law, the Diocese wants to train a new generation of church leaders who can provide spiritual direction and teaching for “the rapidly growing Church in Kibungo Diocese.”

Bishop Emmanuel says, “If we don’t work hard to meet the required standard by the Government of Rwanda, many Churches will be closed due to lack of Church ministers.”

Project Outcomes.

  • Pastors will develop a professional Biblical culture which will also allow them to train more Christians.
  • The Church will be able to overcome challenges of ignorance, heresy, and false teachings.
  • The Church will have professionally trained Pastors able to work for the spiritual and physical development of the Church.
  • More churches will be planted, and the Church will be free of conflicts and misunderstandings because of the increase in management skills of leaders.

Costs and Time Commitment.
Certificate study for 2 years: $2000 for the entire course, completed by June 2021.
Diploma study for 3 years: $3000 for the course, completed by June 2022.
Degree study for 3 years
: $3500 for entire course, completed by June 2022.

Furthermore, Bishop Emmanuel has many specific objectives within this project and has identified ways to monitor these objectives.

Project Two: Sponsor a Preschool

Young children are left at home while parents work, leaving them at risk to abuse and injury.

Formerly game reserve land, Kibungo Diocese is in the Eastern province of Rwanda where infrastructure is lacking. Now densely populated, most of the people in Kibungo Diocese depend on farming for income. About 75% of the population are youth, and the rest are majority widows of the 1994 genocide or mothers left single by genocide.

Under Rwandan law, mothers are required to return to work after their children are two years old – children who would formerly have been taken care of by grandparents. But the genocide has left them without an older generation of caregivers, and no government preschools exist in Kibungo Diocese. This leaves young children at home alone, at risk for abuse and injury.

The Kibungo Diocese is building preschools to serve all children in its communities, to provide early childhood education and a safe environment against abuse. The preschools will enroll all children regardless of ability to pay, religious affiliation, or social status, as the Diocese considers lack of access to early education one of the biggest problems they are facing.

Project Outcomes.

  • Peace of mind for parents that children are nurtured in a safe environment while they are at work, while reducing the rate of abuse, neglect, and injury of children in the community.
  • Closing achievement gaps in later schooling with children who have access to early education in more affluent regions.
  • Developing a culture of responsibility and value in education for parents by participating in their child’s early education.

Cost and Vision.
Each childhood center has three classrooms, with separate classrooms for each age group of 3- to 5-year-olds. The local church already has the land, and the church communities there will be responsible for land leveling and digging foundations. The Kibungo Diocese is seeking financial support for building materials and labor.
(At exchange rate of 850 Rwandan francs to 1 USD)
Each classroom
: $6,294.12
For three classrooms: approx. $18,883

The Kibungo Diocese strategic plan for three years is to start 15 preschools in the diocese, that every child within the Diocese will receive a quality education and learn basic Christian principles to improve their standard of living for the future.

Bishop Emmanuel has a more detailed breakdown of costs for those interested.
There are also two other projects proposed by Bishop Emmanuel. For more information on any of these projects, please join Canon Greg for a video conference meeting on Thursday, August 15th at 3pm Eastern (signup here).

by Rachel Moorman
Communications Associate