Missions Moment – 6/19/2020
Jul 2nd, 2020 by Thomas Irvin
Missions Moment – 6/19/2020 – Friday:
The Republic of Rwanda is a small nation in the Great Lakes region of Central Africa and is slightly larger than Vermont. It has a population of 12.7 million, or slightly less than Pennsylvania. Estimates for the population of Rwanda take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS. Over 60% of the population is under the age of 25, and the average life expectancy at birth is only 65.1 years in Rwanda. This is because 2.5% of the adult population is living with HIV/AIDS. This is the 20th highest AIDS adult prevalence rate in the world.
The people of Rwanda are all part of one cultural group, but they are divided into three different subgroups, the Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa. Germany colonized Rwanda in 1884, and made it part of German East Africa, but allowed the Tutsi to continue to rule the colony as a monarchy. In 1916, during World War I, Belgium removed Germany from Rwanda, and made it a colony of Belgium, but continued to allow the Kings of Rwanda to govern the colony. In 1959, the Hutu population revolted against the Tutsi King, and Belgium granted Rwanda Independence on July 1, 1962. The Hutu people set up a one-party dictatorship that lasted for 21 years. In 1990, the Tutsi started a Civil War, and the Hutu that was in power killed over a million of their own countrymen who happened to be of the Tutsi ethnicity in 1994. The Tutsi finally won the Civil War and set up a Republic. The economy has suffered since the genocide of 1994, and Rwanda has an unstable government.
Rwanda has four Official Languages, but Kinyarwanda is the most spoken as a native tongue. Over 90% speak Kinyarwanda as their first language, 0.1% speak French, English, and Swahili, the other three Official Languages. English is used as the main language in schools, and Swahili is a required subject in schools.
Almost half of the population (43.7%) are Roman Catholic, 11.8% Adventist, 2% Muslim, and 37.7% are other Protestant. Currently, it is illegal to live in Rwanda as a Missionary, but Bro. Tony Stark is able to travel into Rwanda for periods up to three months at the time. He has planted churches and turned them over to nationals. Bro. Thomas Irvin is on deputation now to go to Uganda and is planning on taking trips into Rwanda as well, preaching the Gospel in Rwanda. There are attempts being made with the government to allow Missionaries to stay permanently in Rwanda, but this is a slow process. Although it is illegal to stay in Rwanda as a Missionary, a preacher that goes there for a short time has the liberty to preach the Gospel, and the people are very receptive to the Gospel.
Bro. Irvin requests that we pray for Missionary status to be established with the government so that Missionaries could have the freedom to stay in the nation. The Rwandan government is working with Missionaries on this, but it would be a great help to the spread of the Gospel in Rwanda if this could come to fruition.
Please pray for these men who are being wise as serpents and harmless as doves, and taking advantage of every opportunity to reach people with the Gospel. Please pray for the people of Rwanda today.
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