Crossing the border from Romania into Moldova was the first time I really felt like I was passing behind the 'iron curtain.' This former communist nation had evidences of days past with numerous concrete block buildings and Soviet-era lookouts at the border crossing. Maybe the signs in Russian style Cyrillic lettering added to the flavour for us.
The people were hungry for the Gospel though and it was great to minister with a pastor who not only had a church in Cahul, Moldova, but he was planting another church in Galati, Romania not far away. Pray for this nation that God would move where many women are unfortunately the victims of human trafficking.
All too often, we judge a book by its cover, a person by their past and sometimes even a nation by its history. When we bring up the nation of Rwanda, North Americans often think of the genocide that happened in 1994. Our awareness of this genocide may well only be because of the movie 'Hotel Rwanda.' Over a million people were killed in a 100 day period during that time, and to this day this nation is unfairly judged as a place that is unsafe and as a place where murder, racism and genocide had their way.
My eyes were opened to a people who refused to be labelled as Hutu or Tutsi today which were the tribal groups that divided them. Today the people proudly declare themselves to be simply Rwandans, and the rebuilding of their beautiful nation has been nothing short of a miracle from God. It was a life-changing day for me at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, where I learned about the history that led up to a genocide and saw how horrible man can become without God. I have never been so emotionally overwhelmed, literally sobbing out loud as I saw how children's lives were brutally taken and entire villages were wiped out through a demonic hatred.
The Apostle Paul wrote that were sin abounds, God's grace abounds much more. Where darkness tried to have its way, this is precisely the place where the Gospel needs to go. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot put it out. In May 2016, we were privileged to be able to preach in numerous churches throughout Rwanda, ministering to leaders in Kigali and across the nation as they fulfill the call of God to restore a nation.
This trip started out with some challenging moments as visa issues almost prevented it from happening, but the hand of God was shown before boarding the first flight in Canada, and many lives were impacted in our time there with our team from Saskatchewan of Pastor Paul Dubois from Melfort, Pastor Perry Hubick from Saskatoon, and Pastor Brett Watson from Canora and myself. Once again God showed His greatness and His faithfulness by opening doors and providing His supernatural power and provision as we touched lives throughout Rwanda.