The Rwandan Adventure Draws to a Close – Day Eight

The Rwandan Adventure Draws to a Close – Day Eight

On Saturday the 4th we traveled to Murambo where a crusade (often called a “convention” here) had been in the works for months. The road was interesting to say the least. A bridge near the town was out the last time Bishop Mbanda came for confirmations. This compelled the Bishop to trek down a mountainside, through a valley and up the mountain once more, with a hundred people from the greeting party in tow. No running water. No electricity. The town was pitch dark when we left. The generator running the powering the crusade has long since been powered down.

As we arrived, the crowd was gathering. You will see in one picture about ½ of the 3500 folks that were there an hour later. After some African Tea and breakfast for those indulging, we headed to the platform. The theme of the crusade was “Could this be the Messiah?” drawn from the story of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well. The lesson was read and the Bishop introduced the theme with choirs leading us in worship throughout. I then preached with an interpreter for some forty minutes before inviting those who wanted to come into the open arms of this Messiah that was willing to meet them where they are to come forward. Many did as you see in the photos. The crowd of those coming forward swelled over the next 20 or 30 minutes.

There was a powerful testimony given by a man who had no arms. He sang and danced. As the story developed, it took an unusual turn. I am sure many were like me and thought this man a genocide survivor. No. He was betrayed by people he knew, one a cousin, over jealousy of what the man had. He went on a walk one evening with his cousin and was ambushed by several with machetes in hand. When they began to flee leaving him for dead he looked to see what his cousin had suffered. To his horror he saw the cousin running away alive and well with the other men and with a machete in hand. The man, after recovering, asked to see one of the perpetrators in prison that he might forgive him for what he done. That he could forigive was a wonder. That this man could sing to the Lord even more.

Amidst the joy of new birth and the story of immense suffering, there were some lighter notes. On that front the highlight for me personally (other than the rejoicing going on in heaven for the lost being found) was the Bishop joining me on the platform with the Hosanna choir for some rather animated “liturgical dance.” (see sample here: VID-20120804-00001). If I can get the longer video to load, you will find a link herein.

There was more music and another very productive invitation (show of hands) before we broke for lunch. In the afternoon, we heard from a Ugandan seminary professor, the Vice Mayor of the Murambo, and young woman from Musanze. She had a great story about trusting God and men abusing “spiritual gifts.” She went to God in prayer when five different men prophesied she was to marry them. And He exposed the fraud to her.

The crowds sat in the sun throughout the day without complaint. They came of their own volition. They were not even tempted with an offering of food. It is amazing to see faith so vibrant in place most would not know existed without a helicopter or plane. God is at work even to this day!



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