Burundi & Rwanda (02-2008)
In February 2008 I visited Burundi and Rwanda at the invitation of Paul Strand of Bethany Fellowship, together with their Tanzanian missionary Nathan Rasmussen and one of his colleagues, Congolese missionary Luke Walumona.
In Burundi an earlier seminar on missions had already been taking place, and the purpose of this trip was to have a first consultation about the setting up of an actual missionary training school in this country. Some teaching was done as well by all four of us. At the end of the week we concluded that more advocacy needs to take place, because the top leadership of the different denominations had been insufficiently represented.
The second week of the trip we spent in Rwanda, where we traveled by car. Here we held a (first) 4-day seminar where the main topics were: the Biblical Foundation of World Missions, the History of Missions, the Cultural Aspects of Missions and the Strategies of Missions. I did the first, Nathan the second, Paul the third and Luke the fourth day, although all of us had the freedom to jump in at any time to elaborate with useful additions. This worked great, and increased our sense of team work tremendously.
We concluded that here much (more) groundwork still needs to be done (although Nathan had been working at it very hard) and that the time is not yet ripe for a consultation. The dominant hindrance seems to be the emphasis on a receiving rather than on a giving attitude among many of the participants.
At the end of this part of the trip we visited the Genocide Memorial in Kigali, that made a deep impression on all of us. About a million people were killed during 10 horrible months in 1994 during inter-tribal ethnical 'cleansings'.