The long and bumpy road led to Gisanga Parish today. There was a point when Joff would have preferred to get out and walk, but eventually we arrived safely.
One of CHI’s early Parish Projects. The first thing we noticed was a large number of goats, we were later delighted to learn that the process of breeding and passing on the first female kid was continuing, and many more families have benefitted.
We met with Jennifer who told us how her goat had produced two young and she had passed on one, then it had produced triplets, she passed one on and sold two to pay for hospital treatment after having an accident. She is now waiting for it to give birth again.
Covid had a huge impact on this community and it is likely many of the goats were sold to provide basic needs for the families.
We had a tour of the school, and whilst we were impressed with the general condition of the building, we were horrified to see the unprotected broken glass in the classroom windows.
Next door we saw the church building, originally built by the community and roofed with funds from CHI. It had then collapsed in a storm as it was being officially opened. As Covid hit, the community were unable to start rebuilding but today they have again reached roof level. Despite salvaging some roofing sheets and metalwork this huge building, designed to seat 500, now requires iron bars and some roofing sheets, which are currently beyond the means of the community, they are not discouraged however, with unwavering faith that God will provide they continue to fetch sand and stones in anticipation of being able to cement the walls. This roof needs to be completed by September before the rains come or the walls are likely to be damaged again.
We were also delighted to meet with some of the pastors who had received bikes, they had used them to come and meet with us. They told us how much they assist them in visiting their communities, and apparently they are also very useful for collecting goods from the market.
After a full Rwandan meal we returned to the guest house at around 3pm to discover they had prepared lunch for us, we did our best but requested they did not prepare any dinner. After a short break we met with Bishop Jered to discuss our thoughts on the projects and areas we had visited. He had to be finished by 5 said his secretary, as he had another engagement. Phew, an early finish and time to write the report, blog and Facebook post we thought, maybe there was a chance we would go to bed before midnight.
At 5pm were were instructed to follow the Bishop, it turned out we were guests of honour at an event to mark his 25 years as Bishop of Shyogwe Diocese, no time to change or freshen up. We had an amazing evening, arranged by staff who obviously have great love and affection for a man some have worked for for 25 years, others have been mentored, supported and taught by him since they were children. There were the usual speeches, then we sang, danced (it seems to be a recurring theme in this Diocese) and oh yes, it included a meal and, much to Pauline’s delight, a cake!!!!
So here we are at 11.45 pm still trying to post the blog!
A lay in tomorrow as we head back to Kigali, we don’t leave until 10am, our first visit is not until the afternoon. Please pray for journey mercies as we travel.