Discipling the Future
After the tragedy of genocide in 1994, Rwanda is rebuilding itself in different sectors including education sector, where we found many young men and female. Today Rwanda has vision: to become an upper middle income country by 2035 and a high-income country by 2050 . We too in TRN, we have vision: “To see lives, communities and cultures rooted in the love of Christ and transformed by the Gospel.” As Field Coordinator in charge of college students we ask how do we do this in our context? I moved to south province of Rwanda for the sake of ministry where there is one of the biggest university in Rwanda. Former Universite National du Rwanda, now is University of Rwanda (UR).
The strategy we use in TRN: Start, Strengthen and Serve. By implementing our vision, we do participate in evangelization activities at campus and outside the campus with students. However, the main focus of college ministry is to disciple students, to make disciples of Jesus Christ, so that they become an agent of godly transformation in church and society. In every academic year we have a group of students we meet regularly at our home and in the campus. We do learn together the word of God; we make sure that every student who is in our team understand these four main lessons:
Gospel: What is the gospel and what is not the gospel?
Witnessing: How do we evangelize? The emergency of good news.
Church: What is the church of Christ? What is our role in the body of Christ?
Bible: How can we feed ourselves with the Word of God? What the Bible is all about?
Due to the time they have on campus, I have realized that this is good package for them. When they go out in different careers, those four lessons are a good foundation as they move on in this life. Every academic year we have 20 students male and female, who are in two groups. We have Tuesday group and Thursday group. This year is different because we have 27 students. we are planning to divide them into three groups in next semester. From 2018 more than 60 students has been discipled. We do also have a meeting of graduates who we meet once per month. I thank God because some of who were my disciple are now discipling other and keep the chain going.
Among the challenges we are facing, Rwanda is young countries where 60% are under 25 years old. Having a big population at young age is not a challenge, the challenge is having not enough men and women to disciple them. My wife and I we cannot disciple all of them. So there is a great need of more Christian ministries which can work with Rwandese to disciple this big number of our population. In fact, not many Christian ministries in Rwanda are focus on discipleship! There is also a great need in our country to disciple kids, children ministry needs to be strengthened. Few children ministries are arising. Another area which needs to be supported is family ministry. Due to Tutsi genocide of 1994, family has been broken, wounded spiritually, socially. Now children who were born after genocide they being suffered the consequences of this tragedy. In our discipleship meeting with these young men, you can see some of their problems are from wounded families.
Discipling young men and female of our country, should have been started at kids age in their families. However, TRN is doing what it can to make sure that students and church leaders are being discipled, trained and rooted in the love of Christ. Some local church leaders in rural places they don’t have theological background, they rely on these training to run their churches. Rwanda is developing faster and youth are the driving forces in this development, if we can disciple as many as young men and female we can, we will be sure that the future of our country, or Africa, is secured in Christ.
Although much needs to be done in Africa regarding church planting, leadership training, healthcare, literacy training, etc. I am still convinced that if we want to impact Africa for Christ, college student ministry is the best way to do it. Because these students are the next leaders of our continent. That why we are so cautions when we are discipling them. We thank God for sending missionaries to Africa including Adam Koelling and his family, they are playing their role in fulfilling Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). Without them we would not have The Roots Network.
Our prayer for college ministry is that the Lord may teach us to realize the brevity of our life, so that we may grow in wisdom. May the Lord satisfy us with his lovingkindness in the morning (now, before we grow older) that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. May his work [the signs of his power] be revealed to His servants and His [glorious] majesty to their children. (Psalm 90:12,14,15)