Jul 13, 2012

Let Righteousness Flow Like the Ruzizi

A Rwandese Boarder Guard in Cyangugu
watches as people cross back and forth
between the two countries
This summer, Shine in the World International Ministries (SWIM) is partnering with churches and Christian ministries in the Rwandan region of Rusizi, Western Rwanda, to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to the residents of the border cities of Cyangugu and Kamembe.  Through the outreach, we expect to reach at least 90,000 people.   

In 2007, we proclaimed the gospel to the community across the border in the city of Bukavu in the eastern DRC.  Now, we are joining forces with the Rwandan churches to proclaim salvation and hope through Christ to the residents of Cyangugu, directly across the border on the Rwandan side.
The Ruzizi River Seperating Rwanda and DRC
Amidst the chaos and trauma that have characterized this region of the world for decades, the Rusizi River, of which the region is named, flows as a constant reminder that there is hope.  It flows as a fresh promise of peace that is within grasp.  A border point between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, it is both the dividing line and the link for communities that dot its banks.  Here, they are both separated from and belong to each other. 

While many have escaped from the jaws of death by crossing its banks during wars and genocide, others have been clawed into the abyss of despair and constant consternation as refugees.    They long with intense desire to find “home.”  They are lost.  They are aliens who long to rediscover their identity.  
Sammy Wanyonyi stands next to Rusizi River to take in a panoramic
view of the land during a past mission. In the
background and beyond is Cyangugu, Rwanda 
Ironically, the famed man-eating crocodile Gustave roams around the banks of the Ruzizi and the northern shores of Lake Tanganyika.  He continues to terrorize the villagers who come across this river.  He is the personification of the great serpent, the devil who, for ages, has been on the prowl terrorizing men and women of these communities spiritually and literally through unending political and social conflicts on both sides of the River.  The genocide of 1994 was the epitome of his nefarious work.

Starting August 1st 2012, I will be leading our evangelistic team to join in with believers from the local churches and other Christian organizations facilitated by Rwanda's Africa Evangelistic Enterprise team in Rusizi to proclaim that Jesus Christ is the River of Life.   Like the Rusizi River, He is the source of hope and salvation, the true bridge for both human and divine relations in the present and in eternity. 

Pray for the salvation and deliverance of the
Residents of Ruzizi during the festival on August 5-12.
Like the prophet Amos (5:24), we long for the righteousness of Christ to flow like the River Rusizi for the people of Cyangugu and Kamembe.  We long for the “slaying” of Gustave and for the liberation of God’s people.  Pray with us for a mighty harvest as we continue our efforts in the footsteps of Christ across Rwanda.  The Festival of Hope and pastoral leadership conferences will run for eight days starting August 5th and ending August 12th. 

Pray for me that divine utterance will be given to me as well as to the team travelling along.  Pray that we may preach the gospel boldly.  Pray for the local communities to be receptive to Christ.  Pray for the peace of Christ to reign in that region of the world politically.  Pray for the political and business leaders attending our events to be impacted with the truth of Christ and to seek transformation by His power and for His glory. 
Part of our SWIM international ministry team from Minnesota to Rusizi. 
From left: Kimberly Wolf, Nikki O'Brien, Sammy Wanyonyi,
Shug Bury, and Stanton Petersen.  Not present are
Blair Carlson- MN, Robert Syakamoto- New Zealand,
Derek Simpson- England, and Emmanuel Manleu - France
Finally, pray for financial provisions for us to successfully complete the mission.  Whereas it is costing SWIM $75,000 to conduct the outreach, we still need $21,000 as at the writing of this blog.  As the Lord speaks to you, follow the link on the right hand side panel to make a generous donation.
We anticipate that as many as 90,000 people will be directly impacted with the message of Salvation.

Jul 12, 2012

Youth Declare Pietermaritzburg the “City of Good Choices”

The shoppers on Langilabele St in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, were recently presented with more choice than normal. A group of over 100 young Christians, singing and dancing, marched down the street declaring “Choose-Zikhethele – the choice is yours!”

The young people, representing church youth groups from around the city, marched from Pine St, down Langibalele St, to the Church of the Vow. Dancing and singing they stopped four times at key points to pray for their city. They prayed God’s blessings on those working in education, business, provincial government, the municipality and the taxi associations.

Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
The march was significant in that it represented the next generation of young leaders challenging citizens to make the right choices that would determine the future of Pietermaritzburg- "the City of Choice."

In between singing hymns, the young people prayed that their business and political leaders would make good choices – honesty over corruption and prosperity rather than poverty, to name just two. At the Church of the Vow they prayed for unity in the city and amongst the churches. Throughout the day they called on the city to choose Jesus
The young people are part of the “Choose-Zikhethele” mission 2012 to Pietermaritzburg, facilitated by African Enterprise in partnership with SWIM ministries and the churches of the city of Pietermaritzburg. Evangelist Sammy Wanyonyi will be preaching during the mission.  The evangelistic events start on August 12th 2012 and will last through the 19th of August. 

It involves a long-term commitment by city churches to strategically serve the city in every aspect of it's corporate life. Pietermaritzburg's Church leaders hope to see transformation in the lives of individuals, families, key institutions like the municipality and the broader city itself.

Support us in our evangelistic efforts to Pietermaritzburg and to Rwanda this summer with a financial gift today by following the donate link on the right hand panel of this blog.