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The Long and Winding Road

An 8am start took us to King Salomen school to witness all the children march onto the playground, singing for Assembly. They all looked smart in their uniforms.  They sang the national anthem and recited poems about the benefits of education.


 

We talked to some students whose uniform and school equipment had been funded by CHI, and were delighted to find a girls room and spoke to some girls who talked about the benefits of this room, their only desire was to have a bigger bed, so that more than 2 could benefit at any time.  They also kept feminine hygiene products for use by whoever needed them, such a huge benefit for these girls, many of whom cannot afford to buy these items and who often miss school as a result.

 


A quick stop at the Diocesan vocational college next, where we met some of the students that receive bursaries from CHI and witnessed lots of impressive work.  Robert assured us that all the previous bursary students had found work.  We thank God for their success and pray this will be the first step to lifting themselves out of poverty.



An hour and a quarter's drive on very bumpy roads brought us to Bukure in Rewesaro parish a newly painted church, on a ledge.  Significant renovation works have been funded here, including a water tank which is much appreciated as, once more we heard how they no longer had to make an hour's round trip down the hillside for water. Pastor Felicien also received a motorcycle to enable him to get around this large parish more easily and the catechists received bicycles. Pastor Felicien has only been in the parish 3 months, what a wonderful encouragement this must be for him.





On to Butare church, 20 minutes of bouncing along narrow tracks, and suddenly a huge shiny silver roof came into view.  As we got closer we could see it was a half built church.  Renovations had started on this church but late rains had come and destroyed the walls, now they have put the roof on to protect the walls as they rebuild them.  This community had worked so hard to try and have the church built by the time we arrived, they only received the funds just before Christmas, we could see the disappointment as they showed us the ruins of their longed for church.

We prayed for the church and community, that they would not be discouraged, had a quick nose in a house next door where a very kind man had offered to look after the remaining building materials, and then we hit the road again.



 It was coming up to lunchtime so a stop off at the Pastor's house and a very welcome lunch, lovingly prepared by his wife. 



With 20 people, well fed, we walked to Rewesero parish church.  This impressive but rather ambitious church is still awaiting it’s roof some years after it was started, it will probably take around £20/30k to complete this church. Far more than we could consider!  We prayed that they might find solutions for funding this and jumped back into the car. 



 More bumpy roads brought us to Karambo Church, a modest church, for which CHI have funded renovations.  They have only just begun but windows and doors are in and the floor is almost ready for screeding, bricks are drying for lifting the height of the roof, and new, hole free roofing sheets are on order.  More prayers and we were whisked off again. 



 





More bumpy roads and we arrived at a deserted Diocesan guest house on the shores of Lake Muharzi, the setting was idyllic, but the Diocese do not have the money to refurbish it, so it is closed.  We wandered round, dreaming of moving the office there!  It has plenty of potential but is over an hour from a tarmac road.  We are sure, once simply renovated, this would become a much used and valuable Diocesan asset, especially as the government is due to tarmac the road.



 From there we drove along the lake shores, stopping briefly to view a piece of land in Mugorore which belongs to the church.  Rewesero parish hopes to build a church in this sub parish soon.    We drove on alongside the lake shores, the views were magnificent, it was another hour until we hit the tarmac road and headed for home. 

 

This is a huge parish and as we travelled, we were aware of large numbers of children not in school. Sadly, still an all too familiar sight in the rural areas of Rwanda. We were delighted to learn that there are 7 sponsored children in this parish who are now assured of a regular education.



 It was a dash for a shower, cold water today, and ready by 7 for dinner with the Bishop and his new wife Justine.  Home by 9.30 and still trying to get our blog up to date!  An early start tomorrow, as we are moving on to Uganda.



 

 

 

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Hi Team, what a busy day - We feel tired just reading about your visits!!! ...........and then you have to complete a comprehensive account of what you've seen and experienced. Thank you so much for keeping us informed and encouraged by all that God is doing through CHI in Rwanda. Blessings Paul and Joan

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