2 diverse churches with so much in common, together telling stories of what God has done

This morning, the Venerable Canon Hugh McCurdy and I had the privilege of worshiping in the Anglican Cathedral in Kigali, alongside our Rwandan siblings in Christ.

The choir sing before the early morning service

At the main mid morning Kinyarwandan service, I took the opportunity to practice my shaky kinyarwanda, saying good morning, my name, and proclaiming “God is good!”

Reverting to English, I told a little of my own story, shared greetings from our new town of Northstowe, and prayed our favourite blessing, which my sister-in-Christ kindly translated:

[Wherever you go, God is sending you]

Wherever you are, God has put you there.

He has a purpose in your being there.

Christ, who indwells in you, has something He wants to do through you, wherever you are.

Believe this, and [live] in His grace, and love and power.

Rev. Dr. Richard C. Halverson’s Benediction, U.S. Senate Chaplain from 1981 to 1994

I was able to conclude

Imana izaguha umugisha


There were similar themes of God having a purpose for you where you are in Hugh’s sermon. He spoke of the need for Boldness, Transformation, and the confidence to dare tell stories. But perhaps not in the places we might expect!

In the story of the man restored, he wants to travel to somewhere new with Jesus, but is told instead to tell his story in his own home town. Sometimes, returning is as much a calling as going.

So what stories have I to send home today?

Hugh had started his sermon by saying that we had some striking differences (eg. Kigali is full of hills, Cambridge really isn’t), but many more things in common: shared family history in the Anglican church, shared faith, etc.

This afternoon, while Pathfinder Church Northstowe were worshiping in the school hall of our new town, focusing their intergenerational interactive service on prayer…

I joined another young church worshiping in a school hall in a new housing estate on the edge of Kigali.

Again, the style couldn’t have been more different. But so many things were in common. The great sense of community. The fact that people were being welcomed in and given opportunities to use their gifts. And, most powerfully, a recognition that, no matter the style, we worship the same ancient God, who still touches lives!

As I look back over today, I am struck by how many stories I have heard tell of what Jesus has done. Whether it was talking to the children in the Sunday school during the early service, or the conversations over lunch, or the testimonies during this evenings service.

Many of the best conversations happen around the dinner table. Jesus knew that, and was often to be found conversing over a meal. So too at our lunch with Bishop Nathan today.

In many ways, this blog is here to pass on the stories of “things happening” to those in our own community in Northstowe.

“Witahire ujye iwawe, ubatekerereze ibyo Imana igukoreye byose.”

“Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” – Luke 8.39

To tell the stories of what God is doing, even before we get back home.

And the best story? The one we’ve come back to again and again today, regardless of language?

Yesu ashimwe

( or yesashimwe)

Jesus Saves

Imana ni nziza ( God is Good)

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