Churches Inclusion in Rwanda -- blog five
Tuesday 24th January 2023
Yesterday we visited a man who had just been released from prison. He had been held for 11 or 12 years wrongly accused of being involved in the genocide. He was then declared innocent and was able to be released. It was certainly a humbling experience and a privilege to meet him and his family and pray for him.
Today, we had some more workshops with disabled children and their families. Evangelist Enos spoke on the link between disability and sin highlighting that we are all made in the image of God and that God does not repay us according to our iniquities and does not treat us as our sins deserved. Disability is not a consequence of sin, it is not a curse. He stated that when you feel weak God will strengthen you and in a turn of phrase that I loved said ‘God is going to compassion you if you care for someone with disabilities.’ How wonderful is that.
His talk prompted many, many questions and rarely have we seen a group so engaged and willing to discuss their situations. Much of the response centred around empowering them to help themselves, and making the first step, linking up with family members or friends, neighbours and the church and engaging with local authority leaders especially as medical insurance is available. Don’t stay hidden and silent, come out and speak out.
Pastor Davis spoke on ‘being brought into community for a purpose.’ That God is the master designer and planner and He has planted people where they are and like Abraham was blessed God is blessing you. Your disabled child is a blessing. Pastor Davis said God has a plan to bless you, give you hope and a future and God knows why He has given you a child with disabilities. Pastor Dominique then went on to give his testimony of how a family member’s disability resulted in tremendous blessing in the end. We don’t know the future but God does, trust Him, God will give you a good future.
There were more questions and before the session closed in prayer more audio bibles were distributed. We later heard that people were playing the audio bibles in the streets and people were coming out into the street to listen to them.
We also visited the Umutara School for the deaf which was an amazing experience. They have classrooms for teaching, and very well-equipped vocational training programs where the children can learn skills such as sowing, tailoring, hairdressing and masonry. Not only do the deaf children get an education but they get vocational training to enable them to earn a wage and support themselves. They also have dormitories for the children to sleep and cooking and eating facilities too. All in all it was tremendous, transforming many lives.