Last year a team from New Beginnings Baptist Church in Longview, TX brought a team to Butare to work with George and his father Ezechias. This is a very economically poor area with few employment opportunities available and on this trip they were able to plant a new church and raise up a pastor to minister to this village on the side of a mountain just outside the city of Huye. Currently, the are renting the building pictured on the left which is almost next door to the site of the future Church building.
Although they have been able to purchase the land for a new Church building, they have not yet raised the funds to purchase the materials for construction. It is a little more expensive to build a church in Rwanda than other east African countries because the government has made thatch roofs illegal, citing health and safety concerns.
The homemade clay tile roof you see pictured on the left is least expensive roof structure available although most people prefer using iron sheets. In some cases, the government has even helped to provide iron sheets for some of the poorest families for their homes.
Here you see George pointing out the boundaries of the land purchased for the new building. The church members have planted beans in every spare place around the banana trees and are raising food for their families and the surrounding community. Unfortunately, the pictures here do not show the surrounding community very well but the just behind the largest tree in the picture on the right, the terrain slopes down dramatically and the surrounding hills are covered in mix and match plots of local vegetation alongside terraced gardens. The church will be sited at the top of this hill and be seen as a beacon from miles around.
Pastor Jean Paul is the leader of this church and on our visit to the site was knee deep in mud alongside several church members as he was helping to pull weeds and maintain the crops. One of the things our BWM staff members constantly teach is to be an example of a servant leader by following the example left to us by our savior, Jesus Christ. Please join us in prayer for this community as they work together to raise funds for the building and other church expenses. As an FYI, Pastors in this area do not typically receive any income, the church congregations simply can’t afford it, they perform their pastoral duties out of their own funds.