Victor Imanaturikumwe and Heavenlight Luoga met at an APF event four years ago and have stayed in contact ever since. Recently, with APF’s support, they met up once again to run training workshops for rural pastors in western Rwanda. Victor explains what happened.
Many local churches in rural Rwanda are fragile as pastors have few opportunities for training. This makes tackling the spiritual needs of the community a constant struggle. As I am a beneficiary of APF theological scholarship support, I am now committed to spending my time contributing to effective ministry here in Rwanda by running pastors’ conferences and trainings in rural contexts.
Recently, Pastor Heavenlight and Kesia Luoga from Deeper Life Church in Karagwe, Tanzania, travelled to join me in Rwanda and together we led a training conference for rural church leaders. Some of the leaders had received almost no in-service training so this is vitally important work.
I found APF’s eVitabu app a very helpful tool when I was studying for my theological degree. As textbooks are so hard to find in Rwanda, all the materials used during the conference came from eVitabu. Pastor Luoga and I selected and adapted resources on eVitabu and developed a conference programme to equip the pastors with skills in teaching and preaching the Word of God and in leadership.
We also trained the pastors on how to set up small income projects and adapt their farming practices to meet the challenges of a changing climate and poor soil. The overall theme of the conference was ‘Being a Good Shepherd’ and the leading Bible passage was John 10:1-21.
The conference hosted forty pastors and church leaders from different churches and communities in western Rwanda. We are already registering a lot of impact in their communities and churches and we want to continue to invest in them so they become agents of spiritual and community transformation.
I first met Pastor Luoga in Uganda at an APF regional leaders’ conference in 2018. Since then, he has become like a spiritual director to me. He is a very experienced pastor, ministry trainer, teacher, preacher and mentor. I believe APF is helping to break barriers by encouraging fellowship with other pastors from different backgrounds and cultures. We all benefit from one another’s insights and expertise when we work together in partnership.
I would like to thank all APF donors, friends and supporters who give generously of your money and your time in prayer to support APF and its partners in Africa. Know that your gifts are being used well and are making a big difference here in rural Rwanda and across Africa.
After training in western Rwanda, Heavenlight travelled south into Burundi to work with groups of untrained pastors serving in churches near Gitega. Gitega is the new capital of Burundi and it is the newest capital city in the world, replacing Bujumbura in 2019.