Jul 12, 2011

Seven Days and Counting--Before Rwanda Festival of Hope

We rejoice in Christ for what He is doing in the world to bring about reconciliation, hope and salvation. Each day here at SWIM Ministries, we continue to contend for the faith, desiring that through His Gospel of peace, men and women everywhere and from every walk of life may be brought into a personal and vital relationship with Him and as consequence, with each other.

Thousands attend one of SWIM's past festivals in Rwanda.
 In just seven days our team will be heading to the nation of Rwanda to conduct a week-long Festival of Hope. Our efforts this time will be focused on the communities around the cities of Rubavu, Rwanda and Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo on the opposite sides of the common border between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

These are uniquely needy communities, having withstood the attrocities of war for over fifteen years engalfing, first, Rwanda in the 1994 genocide, and then Eastern DRC from 1996-2006. With over 5 million people, mostly women and children having died during this period, it is a deeply wounded community and in desperate need of hope and healing. The Gospel of Christ is able to provide this much needed sense of hope and meaning.  God is already walking among the people in these communities wiping away their tears and  binding their wounds. We are eager to join Him over the next two weeks.

I am requesting for your continued prayer for us and for these two communities of Rubavu and Goma. Pray that the power of Christ and the glory of God will be made manifest as we proclaim hope, healing and Salvation through Christ. Over 50,000 people are expected to participate in the events. Among spiritual and social forces to contend with include spiritism and witchcraft, Islam, tribalism, poverty, psychological trauma, among others.  Pray that Christ's healing power will bring wholeness and restoration.

Secondly, pray for me and for the rest of our team that utterance will be given to us so we may present the gospel of Christ with clarity, simplicity and power. Pray for the people that their hearts will be open to embrace the way of Christ and of His gospel. Pray for the churches which have come together for the purpose of this campaign that they will remain united and engaged after we are done with the events.

Local Leaders Participate at a past SWIM Conference in Rwanda
 Besides the evangelistic Festivals, we have two large conferences to be attended by over 600 local leaders combined. Pray that those coming will be equipped with great ministry and leadership tools that will help them in their continued service to Christ and to their communities. This year to present the conferences, I am being joined by Dr. Blair Carlson formerly of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and current director of the Lausanne Congress, Dr. Robert Siakamoto, President of Open Air Campaigners based in Aukland, New Zealand, Dr. Derek Simpson, an Evangelist and Current pastor at  Leominster Baptist Church, United Kingdom, and Judy Chase and Kimberly Wolf, co-teachers of women Bible studies at Westwood Community Church, Minneapolis, MN.

Thirdly, pray for my family that they will be safe and healthy while I travel. My wife and I are expecting our second born daughter in about 8 weeks time. She has been experiencing difficulties with elevated blood pressure and concerns about possible preeclampsia recurrence (our first arrived 7 weeks early). Please pray that she will stay safe and that there will be no complication arising while I am in Rwanda.

Finally, I request for your financial support. With only seven days left before I leave for the events, we have a $ 13,000 need (it costs us $ 1.50 to bring one person to the Festival in Africa).  Please consider helping us fully cover the ministry expenses. As the Lord speaks to you, follow the donate link on this website and stand with us in these efforts. Your gift is tax deductible and will assist us fulfill this mission successfully. You can also send a check to SWIM Ministry, 3121 Westwood Dr., Excelsior, MN 55331.

I will be posting daily updates on this blog starting tomorrow and over the next three weeks.  I encourage you to visit often for your own inspiration, encouragement and for knowing how you can be praying with us during this campaign in Rwanda. Thank you for your partnership.

Serving together by His Power and for His glory,
Sammy Wanyonyi

World Evangelist

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