Rooted in Jesus was introduced to the Diocese of Kigali in Rwanda in 2013, and a team led by Ven Kevin Roberts returned to Kigali in July at the invitation of Bishop Louis Muvunyi to lead a further conference with the dual aim of supporting existing leaders and extending the programme by training new leaders.
Kevin writes: “It was encouraging to meet with leaders of Rooted in Jesus groups set up after last year’s Conference, to hear news and testimony and to get some helpful feedback on what has gone well and what the difficulties have been. The participants engaged enthusiastically with the Conference programme and were receptive to the teaching and in the ministry times. To say that the worship was ‘lively’ would be an understatement! I have rarely seen such energy and passion in the worship of God. It would be easy to interpret this in purely cultural or generational terms, but we sensed that within it something deep and real was happening that spoke of a profound openness to God and to the work of His Spirit.
We were privileged to once again minister into pain associated with childhood experiences in the 1994 genocide, and to hear testimony to changed lives and physical and emotional healing. We came away with a sense of hope for the church’s future in Rwanda and of the importance of investing in the lives of the young, both for their present influence in the church and their potential as its future leaders. The messianic phrase in Isaiah 11 that “a little child shall lead them” took on a fresh meaning for me as I reflected on the role of the young in the Rwandan church.”
The team then moved on, at the invitation of the recently appointed Bishop Paisible Ndacayisba, to the Diocese of Muyinga in Burundi, where the conference was attended by 78 people, a mixture of pastors, evangelists, MU Leaders and Youth Leaders from the 13 parishes in the diocese.
Kevin reflects: “The conference went very well, with a serious engagement with the programme and, through the four days of the conference, an increasing openness to the active work of the Spirit amongst us. Our teaching on the healing ministry appeared to be new to many of the participants, and was given added credibility by the testimonies to healing received over the four days of the conference. We were aware of God touching many lives and freeing people up in the worship, so were not surprised when the bishop commented to us after the commissioning service that “these are changed people”. This reinforces my sense that the times of worship and ministry (and modelling a sensitivity to the Spirit’s promptings) are as significant on the conferences in enthusing participants about holistic discipleship as the more inductive elements of the programme. “you have been yourselves and come as people rooted in Jesus” was a bit of feedback we received that I shall treasure.”
Kevin was working with Steve Muneza, Dr Sarah Richardson, Revd Clive Devonish and Deb Price, and with local coordinators Manasseh Tuyizere and Elisha Academy. It was Clive’s first RinJ trip, and he wrote afterwards: “The conference was exceptional and I believe the candidates received through the teaching and workshops an impartation of love, encouragement and spiritual gifting. I found the visit both challenging and rewarding. The conference exceeded my expectations as I saw people’s lives changed as they met with Holy Spirit. The delegates saw and experienced the physical, spiritual and mental healing of many people. My experience in Africa will have a positive long lasting impact on my ministry in the UK. The emotional experience that I encountered was enormous – especially in Rwanda – it certainly has impacted my life. I thank God for His Holy presence throughout the conference.”
To read Kevin’s full report click here.