Despite the challenges they face from COVID-19 and the economic toll it’s taking on families across Rwanda, the community pastors of New Life Bible Churches around the country are continuing to serve their communities with hope and determination! All the time, we are hearing testimonies of community members experiencing God’s love through the personal care, deliveries of food and other supplies, and prayers of local churches. Below are updates from each of the pastors Africa New Life is grateful to partner with:
Pastor Edward Kayumba and his family are doing well. The church he pastors at Bugesera (New Life Bible Church Bugesera) is still in lockdown but waiting for a go ahead from the government to reopen soon. Pastor Edward keeps in touch with church members via WhatsApp and phone calls. He gives them counsel and encourages them to follow the New Life Bible Church radio and TV programs.
Pastor Edward is praying that this new mode of pastoring will be blessed by God. The gap that exists is that not many parishioners have phones or TVs to access his counsel and receive the weekly radio and TV programs.
Pastor Mugisha James leads the work at New Life Bible Church Kageyo A. James and his family are doing well, except for that the church is still in lockdown during this season of COVID-19. They are praying and hoping that in due season the church will be open. Just like the other pastors of New Life Bible Churches are doing, James is using WhatsApp and the phone to communicate with his members. He counsels them to have hope, courage, and confidence in God. He encourages them to attend to the weekly New Life Bible Church teachings on Isango Radio and TV.
Pastor Butera Geoffrey leads the New Life Bible Church in Kageyo B. He sends warm greetings! Pastor Geoffrey is grateful to God for His providence and protection. He shares that his community has seen the hand of the Lord during this COVID-19 pandemic season. Since March 14, there has been no physical fellowship or gathering of believers at his church, but Geoffrey is in touch with church members regularly. He is using small groups to encourage one another, and he says they are “shining in the Lord.” His congregation is also using WhatsApp for groups and departmental leaders to be able to continue discipling church members and helping them remain rooted in the Word.
Pastor Gasasira Patrick leads the church at New Life Bible Church Karangazi. He shares that by the time the COVID-19 pandemic was taking the world by storm, the church in Karangazi had just begun with Africa New Life staff and a growing number of sponsored students’ parents. Pastor Patrick is very excited to see the church building construction that is currently underway is very grateful to God for provision for construction in a time like this.
Currently, Pastor Patrick is concentrating on shepherding staff and parents even without in-person gatherings. He asks for prayers that the COVID-19 pandemic will soon be over, and that evangelism can get started vigorously in Karangazi.
Gahigana Sam, the pastor of New Life Bible Church in Kayonza, is grateful to God. His congregation has got approval from the district to get out of lockdown. They now can meet for Sunday services. These services still have to run under local leaders’ supervision to ensure that they are abiding by government rules and regulations concerning COVID-19.
Sam and his family are doing well. They ask that you keep praying for them and for the church. Sam has many weddings to officiate coming soon. The maximum number of people in attendance at a church wedding remains 30 across the nation. In this and other aspects of the ministry, Pastor Sam is seeking God’s wisdom in order to continue serving within the government regulations while also meeting people’s needs.
Pastor Rwabiking Jean-Baptiste gives praise to the Lord. Jean-Baptiste and his family are doing well, still trusting the Lord. The church in Rubavu is still in lockdown due to COVID-19. Jean-Baptiste is grateful to God for His watchful care over the church members during this pandemic. Most the members of the church used to cross to D.R. Congo for casual labor, their only source of income, so now that the border is closed, they are facing great needs. Your prayers are greatly needed.
Pastor Jean-Baptiste shares, “We have been creative, and we created online groups, but too few have phones. We give encouragement to church members to follow our New Life Bible Church program on the radio. Please pray that our endeavors may not be in vain.”