Standing Shoulder-to-Shoulder with Our Sister Parish in Nyagatovu, Rwanda, and with the Kibungo Diocese
Pastor Matt and the HTAC Rwanda Sister Parish Team recently wrote Bishop Emmanuel on behalf of HTAC asking how we might come along side him and his work with Nyagatovu our sister Parishes and the Kibungo Diocese by means of a financial contribution to planned activities for the Diocese.
We are delighted to share with you three activities to which HTAC has made a $2500 dollar contribution from our Rwandan budget. These funds will help finance transportation, lodging and food for the following gatherings:
- The Father's Union Camp: This took place from the 28th of June to the 1st of July. This camp was designed to encourage and support the members for greater involvement in their communities. The expectation was for 120 men for the Kibungo parishes plus diocesan staff.
- A Spiritual Conference: This is to be held from the 10th to the 13th of August in each parish of Kibungo diocese, followed by a Diocesan level meeting to be held in late December, 2017.
- A Mother's Union Retreat: This will be held for 2 days in October, 2017. The Mother's Union is a well established Anglican group with representatives from each parish who come along side families with support, training and encouragement to meet their various needs
Bishop Emmanuel has also shared his hopeful plan for a Youth (late teens to early 20s) Camp, to be held in 2018. It is his heart felt desire that "you could be with us on that retreat", as well as to consider financial support for this event. Pastor Matt and a team from HTAC attended and assisted with a previous Youth Camp in 2013. More than 700 youth were in attendance and all were blessed.
Rwandan Trip of the Moons to Nyagatovu Parish
Our visit to Holy Trinity's sister parish in Nyagatovu in June of 2017 was an experience we will always remember! We so appreciate the help that HTAC and its members gave us to make the trip possible, and we want you to imagine being there with us as we describe it to you.
The main takeaway of the experience for us was this - we need the Africans in the Anglican Communion! We saw tangible evidence of a faith that is very much alive as the people gathered to worship in Rwanda. Just the week before, we had been in the overwhelming intricate beauty of Canterbury Cathedral, while here in this simple building in rural Africa, we experienced another kind of beauty - a community of believers that made us feel God's presence in a very powerful way. Our family of five was greeted so warmly when we arrived for the service in Nyagatovu, and we were invited to participate as honored guests. That day was a semi-annual thanksgiving for the harvest, and people began filing in with bags of potatoes, beans, sweet potatoes, corn, and a huge bunch of green bananas to lay at the front. Pastor Nathan told us that some people walk as far as 20 kilometers (about 12 miles!) to get there. Steve gave the opening prayer and a word of encouragement for the fathers since it was Father's Day. Terri and Ruth played "Be Thou My Vision" and then Terri played along as the congregation of about 250 sang many enthusiastic hymns. There were three large choirs who performed some heartfelt choreography with their singing. We were brought up to the front to introduce ourselves and Will presented two new soccer balls to the children. We shared greetings from Holy Trinity, telling the congregation that we really consider them to be our brothers and sisters and pray for them each Sunday. The smiles and "Hallelujahs" in response to this was a really special moment! We felt very clearly that though we may speak a different language, and rise up from different cultures, we truly worship the same Lord and He has put us in the same family!
There is so much to share, and we want to see the relationship with our sister parish grow even stronger. Perhaps you who are reading this will someday go and see for yourselves!
Steve and Terri Moon,
together with their daughters Rebecca and Ruth, and son-in-law Will
Please join us in prayer as we stand shoulder to shoulder with our sister parish in Nyagatovu and for Kibungo Diocese.
- We pray for the families and well being of our brothers and sisters in Nyagatovu, for physical, spiritual and emotional health.
- We pray for the specific upcoming activities as outlined by Bishop Emmanuel, that there will be growth, connection and encouragement in these retreats.
- Prayerfully consider whether the opportunity to participate on a team to go and visit, and walk shoulder to shoulder in 2018 with our Rwandan family, may be a possibility for you and your family.
The following are specific prayer requests given to Steve and Terri Moon on their recent visit. [Updated on September 17, 2017]
- Pray for church growth, both in number and in spiritual maturity, for people to know who they are in Christ.
- Pray for the growth and expansion of facilities to meet the needs for a vocational training school, and space for receptions and gatherings.
- Pray for repairs, which are almost finished on the buildings destroyed by wind. (Pastor Matt has seen this and there's been more progress since his visit.)
- Pray for new parishes to be established so that people won't have to walk so far to church.
- Give thanks for the peaceful national election in August, 2017.
- Pray for Bishop Emmanuel Ntazinda and Pastor Nathan, that they will be strengthened for their work, and for relationships to be strong between them and their parishes.
- Pray for the Mothers' Union, a gathering which encourages the mothers. They plan to start small groups to strengthen the relationships there.
- Pray for the unmarried girls who attended a convention in August, that they would be discipled and encouraged to grow in their faith.
- Pray for the Fathers' Union to grow and for the fathers of the parish to be godly leaders of their families.
- Pray for the children to grow and Sunday school leaders to be effective in their teaching.
A Letter from Naome Vuguziga
Marilyn Paradis, a member of the HTAC Rwandan Team, has been corresponding with Naome Vuguziga, wife of Pastor Xavior, who is Pastor Nathan's assistant. Naome is head of the Mother's Union. Below is a letter (unedited) from her to Marilyn...which reflects a slice of life in Nyagatovu.
I greet you in Jesus name, our Lord. God bless you.
My family is not well, my last boy, John savior has got an ear problem recently. I took him to Rwamagana Hospital during the program called Army week where the army has organized the health treatment for free to all people. And gave him medicament for free, and now He is well. My girl, Promise fell into an eye problem, she passed one week without going to school. She was given the eye glasses to help her to manage that problem. My mother is currently sick, I took her to my home because she was alone, my sisters are all married, and her house is now closed. I had not a joyous Easter, because I had a headache, but I was well on the Pentecost day. And on this day we contributed funds to build one of the four churches constituting Nygatovu Parish called NTARUKA that was destroyed by the rain. Matthew went to help them when he came here. As mother's union we gave to him 100,000 Rwandan francs for buying one care of bricks (because we have 15 members to Ntaruka Church) from Christmas gift you sent to the mother's Union. The rest of this gift 90,000 Rwandan francs, we bought one car of stones to our 10 members of Kanyinya church where the temple was also destroyed by the wind and rain. Also Matthew went there to help them last year.
Our church has a keyboard, and we started to train the youth how to play it. It is wonderful to hear that you will come here, and we are praying that God keep you in your journey. We are waiting with pleasure the songs of Terri moon and don't worry, it is permitted in our church.
Eulade is now well, and God bless all your group for your prayers because he left the surgery completely recovered.
Our mother's union is harvesting the beans, the sorghum, potatoes, soja and maize at the end of this month.
I would like to share with you this verse. Deuteronomy 28:1-14
Your sister in Christ Naome