Rwanda (MNN) — In Rwanda, peace and economic progress is slowly
With a population of 7,398,000, this densely-populated country
in east-central Africa is becoming more and more stable since the genocide of
1994, in which 800,000 died. Now, about 23 percent of the population is
FARMS International is doing all they can to help this progress.
Recently, Nathan McLaughlin with FARMS visited Rwanda and had the chance to
visit three of their five sub-committees.
"On our recent visit, we witnessed a progress toward peace
and economic development that was very encouraging," McLaughlin said in FARMS
October newsletter. However, "Rwanda is still suffering a great deal, and the
human brokenness was all too evident. Launching a program in this desperate
country has to be done with much prayer and wisdom."
McLaughlin went on to say in the newsletter that the missionaries who
were in Rwanda looked at the situation and came up with a unique approach.
"It is always our intent to let the nationals design and
implement their own program. By writing their own policy, they really own the
program from the beginning," McLaughlin said. "This was very evident as I
traveled through Rwanda with the FARMS Committee Chairman; this was their
It has been four years since FARMS first implemented this
program, and they are about to hand out their fifth round of loans. In fact,
the coordinator of the Association for Peace and Development in Burera said they
have a 98-percent repayment rate on the loans given thus far.
McLaughlin had the chance to hear several testimonies while
he was in Rwanda. These included the testimony of Ignace and her family: they took
out a loan with FARMS and were able to buy a cow. The cow's calf and the
fertilizer the cow produced enabled the family to gain money to plant crops. They then
sold the cow, repaid FARMS, and purchased goats to sustain them and pay for
their children's education.
Another family purchased banana plants with their loan. "The profits from our plantation allowed us to help families
who lost loved ones in the earthquakes," said Mary Gorelth, a member of this
McLaughlin asked for prayer as families and individuals move
toward stability and restoration, "Continue to pray for the church there as
they are vital in sharing the hope of the Gospel, helping the poor and healing
the deep emotional and spiritual wounds."