Seeds for Sowing: Thanksgivings from Rwanda
Fr. Don Hutchens and Bishop Emmanuel Ntazinda offer thanksgivings as they give us an up-to-date summary of the food distribution emergency efforts in the Kibungo Diocese, Rwanda – a crisis that many ADOTS churches and individuals have donated to for this urgent need.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
On behalf of Bishop Emmanuel NTAZINDA, Bishop of the Diocese of Kibungo, Rwanda, I bring you a profound message of thanksgiving and love in Jesus Christ! The generosity of the members of the Anglican Diocese of the South has been significant in support of our Christian brothers and sisters in the Diocese of Kibungo who have suffered greatly from the conditions of this Coronatide. I am providing this report as a summary of our work together since this crisis began.
The diocese of Kibungo is a cash culture totally dependent on the ability of its members to work, trade and move about the country daily. During the past few months none of this has been possible due to governmental restrictions, which began with closings of schools and churches and progressed to travel restrictions that made it impossible for Rwandans to move to and from Kigali. In Rwanda there were no stimulus checks or “PPP” monies from their government. Conditions have been difficult here but devastating for our brothers and sisters in Kibungo.
The Diocese of Kibungo’s office, which operates fully on approximately $4,000 monthly, has not received tithes from the parishes because the Christians cannot work. However, there are taxes, bills and salaries that must be paid each month without income coming in.
Our Lord has commanded us to “love others as we love ourselves”, and when we reach out in that love, He can magnify those efforts beyond our imagination. Beginning with our initial transfer in April, for the purpose of the first radio time purchase, the people of the Anglican Diocese of the South have joined with ASAC by opening their hearts and pocketbooks in prayerful support of our brothers and sisters in Rwanda.
Since our response began, corporately we have sent $26,757 to the Diocese of Kibungo to provide much needed food, support and supplies. $21,762 represents donations channeled through All Saints Anglican Church, of which 57% came from fellow members of ADOTS.
Here is a summary of the impact of this effort to date:
- A minimum of 264 families in six of the most impacted parishes (Rwamagana, Kanazi, Gashongora, Musaza, Bukora and Gatore) received vital food and cleaning supplies.
- Significant amounts of maize flour, beans, rice, cooking oil and soap have been purchased and distributed by the parish priests to those in need.
- The Gospel has been proclaimed weekly on IZUBA Radio since Easter and will continue through the end of December. Many people of other denominations have expressed their appreciation to Bishop Emmanuel for this faithful proclamation of God’s word in the community. Below is a picture from their first broadcast.
- The diocesan salaries, taxes and monthly bills have been paid.
- The last transfer will provide much needed seeds for planting during the start of the rainy season ensuring a food supply for winter and spring.
God has poured out his grace and favor on what began simply as a meeting with a bishop traveling from Rwanda. But it was much more than a chance meeting. In retrospect we can see God’s hands moving through this visit by Bishop Emmanuel to ensure His faithful people were cared for during difficult and trying times.
Dear friends we are not out of the woods in this country, and neither are our brothers and sisters in Rwanda. Donations can still be made through All Saints Anglican Church and they will be directed toward continuation of caring for our brothers and sisters in the Kibungo Diocese.
On behalf of all of us at All Saints Anglican Church and fellow Christians in the Diocese of Kibungo, Rwanda, we thank you and pray for God’s blessings to be upon you!
Bishop Emmanuel sends this message to each of you:
We appreciate the support raised again, kindly extend our sincere thanks to the individual members of All Saints Anglican Church and the Anglican Diocese of the South who denied themselves and their families by contributing these funds for us, it is a sacrifice we know and we value it so much. God has been faithful to us through you in this difficult situation of C-19 where all Church activities in our Country were stopped since March to date. These funds have helped us to support the most needy people in our Diocese and solve major Diocese operations.
–Bishop Emmanuel NTAZINDA, Kibungo Diocese, Anglican Church of Rwanda
Respectfully submitted, your servant in Jesus Christ,
Fr. Don Hutchens (Rukundo)
All Saints Anglican Church, Peachtree City, GA