The way community is done here and the way I have seen men and women and little ones depend on one another seems so natural here. It is as natural to them as much as it seems to be unnatural to our individualistic culture. At home, we talk about community and we struggle through it, because at some point (and perhaps still), someone told us that it was better to get things done on our own. It breaks my heart to look back and see times when I have chosen to walk through things as an isolated individual, forcing my way through whatever circumstances, and choosing to miss the opportunity to depend on others and experience what I see here. It is such a strength of the Rwandan church and culture. I will leave here not only praying for my Rwandan brothers and sisters, but also for those in my home culture: that we would grow in the kind of community l see here.
The sense of community present here among the women at this leadership conference has stood out from day one and it has grown among the women each day further into the conference. They have come from all different provinces of Rwanda. They range in age and style and personality and economic status. They are all leaders. Some are deacons, some teachers, some children’s ministry directors, some evangelists, some choir members, most of them mothers, and all of them here, eager to take notes, ask questions, grow in their understanding of the bible and grow in unity with one another.
I have felt welled up to the brim with tears almost every day that we meet as I watch these women’s eyes: their eyes are a clear picture of their teachable hearts. I have felt overwhelmed with joy as I have watched them sing and dance and clap to God in worship. There is a freedom in the room when these women worship like I have never seen or experienced before.
We can only dream of what God will do in and through these women as they each travel back home to their own communities and to the places that they have the most influence. Pray with us for these women. While they may seem like a world away to you, I sit here now, watching them listen to teaching and watching them take notes. They are attentive and eager, open and strong. I know any of our dreams for them are puny compared to God’s plans for them. But I believe he longs for us to be interconnected. We were meant to cross borders, knock down barriers, travel far and wide, to be connected in Christ. I am convinced of this. Afterall, this is a glimpse of how it will be in heaven. So, would you pray with us? We still have today and tomorrow together, and I can assure you, the Spirit has been moving here and will continue to.