DAY 17 – NKONDO & RURENGE

Poor murram roads in the dark and rain meant our previous visit to Nkondo Parish in 2018 was unacceptably brief. However, we learnt enough to know that there was more work to be done. At that time we had provided goats for the community and the testimony from Pastor Aaron about the large number of resulting baptisms was a great encouragement.

Since that time the community have come together to build a nursery school, we were delighted to assist with support for the roof, tables and chairs for the classrooms and some play equipment. Today we were delighted to have the opportunity to again visit this inspiring community.

After breakfast we were collected from our Hotel and a clear sunny morning and vastly improved roads ensured we had enough time to spend in worship, visit the children at school and even play with them with the tennis balls we had brought for just this occasion.

     

As the choir and church members, dressed in their best, together with the children from the nursery school, accompanied us back into the church we couldn’t help but notice the ragged children and adults alike who hid around the corners and behind the bushes. The children were nervous and ran away when we tried to speak with them, and a wave to the adults caused them to duck behind the bushes. Not to be deterred, a quick sprint across the grass and hands were shaken and greetings exchanged, with those who may otherwise simply have watched from afar.

       

Pastor Aaron’s wife provided a traditional Rwandan meal and it was a joy to spend time in their home.

Then all to soon it as time to say goodbye as we headed for Rurenge Parish where it had been arranged we would meet with the Bishop and distribute the goats for which funds had recently been sent. We were greeted by the sound of song and dance coming from the crowded church, we were processed in and, as always, given seats of honour at the front. Introductions, speeches and a short time of worship and it was off outside to do the deed.

A small green space, 60 goats and the recipients, untold numbers of the local community, 1 government official, 1 Bishop, assorted clergy and three clueless Bazungu, what could possibly go wrong???

Somehow though the goats all ended up with a new home and after the speeches and photos we were invited to enter and bless the pastors home. As we faced a table loaded with dishes we were all grateful we had not eaten too much in Nkondo. Our third meal of the day and it was only 1pm!!!!

     

We learnt that the community were connected to electricity and that safe water was available nearby, the aim is for both to be available to all homes by 2024.  The one hour drive back was on good muram roads and we are impressed that even in the more remote locations the infrastructure is being improved. However, look behind the bushes and there is still extreme poverty at every turn. Raggy children not in school and painfully thin adults trying to scratch a living and cultivate infertile soil. So often we see them outside the church looking in through the windows, welcome but, we imagine, too ashamed to come in. Our work is certainly not done here, and many more goats are needed in these communities.

     

 

One thought on “DAY 17 – NKONDO & RURENGE

  1. Paul and Joan says:

    My recollection of a previous visit to Kibungo was that we were fed the ‘Vicar of Dibley Christmas dinner’ overload style and to be polite, we ate at least some of the fayre set before us. The generous hospitality of those with so little is always very humbling. It’s great to see that our support is making a difference and that the recipients recognise it is our great God who inspires this support. Praying for continued enthusiasm and that you will be able to encourage and respect those who you visit towards the end of the itinerary as much as you did at the start.

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