Rwanda (MNN) — Only 5% of Rwanda's rapidly-growing evangelical churches have a pastor with any kind of theological training. That's why Africa Inland Mission has decided to partner with the Evangelical Alliance of Rwanda to develop a theological institute to train and equip evangelical leaders. The Rwanda Institute of Evangelical Theology is on their third set of rented premises, teaching evening classes in the classrooms of a local school and using a neighboring church's conference room for a library and office space. They need your help for a new facility.
"We realize that we needed our own college," said Pastor Karangwa, President of the Evangelical Alliance.
Fourteen years ago, tribal genocide left a million Tutsi people dead within three months. AIM interviewed a man named Phanuel who lost most of his family in the genocide.
"I lost my parents and most of my brothers and sisters," says Phanuel. "I wanted to be killed, too, because I didn't want to keep on seeing…keep on remembering my brothers being killed."
Rather than blaming God, many Rwandans are looking to Him for solutions. In a country known for division, 30 evangelical denominations came together to form the Evangelical Alliance of Rwanda — with a common vision to train pastors equipped to lead their congregations past the scars of genocide. The Rwanda Institute of Evangelical Theology has grown to an ever-increasing student body of 62, along with growth in faculty.
However, great needs remain. Lessons are often drowned out by rainstorms, and students use torches to read their exam papers because the few 60-watt bulbs they have don't provide enough light. As Rwanda joins the East African Community and the Commonwealth, the school would need to add a course in English as well as French. Language teachers are needed, and the addition of more theology lecturers is also desired. Although a piece of land has been purchased and plans mapped out, the Alliance needs accreditation to move forward with the building project.
As the Alliance struggled to raise money from local churches, AIM recognized the need to partner with them in this project. AIM also sought to give Christians around the world an opportunity to help establish God's Kingdom in Rwanda. If you'd like to join in this effort, please click here.