Dear Friends and Supporters,
Thank you for your ongoing interest, prayers and support. Much of this news comes from Rev. John Pierre Methode, our ‘contact person’ in the Diocese. He writes:
‘During the past months, I felt a great joy in my heart. Despite the challenges of our ministry, sometimes we have to rejoice over some little achievement God enables us to make. David Dale Shyogwe Trust has been continually supporting Shyogwe Diocese through prayer, finances and mutual visits. In May 2015 Bishop Jered visited UK and the Trustees took him around and his report was really amazing. Thanks to all those friends in UK who sacrificed their time and resources to facilitate this visit. Now we are very eager to see the group which will visit the Diocese sometime in late October or early November. In this newsletter we want to share some of the recent achievements, our current crucial needs and points for prayer.
SHAKI MATERNITY UNITY
The Diocese leadership is praying that this maternity unit will be functioning by the end of September. Work on the outside walls is nearly complete.
The walls of the maternity unit are being worked upon and the doors are installed
[The Trust has sent funds for internal decoration and medical equipment; and on their next visit, Trustees will be looking at progressing the installation of solar panels.]
At Rushoka the local parishioners have worked hard to build a church with stones available in the area. The work has taken almost 10 years and there has been much heartache along the way. Thankfully very recently DDST has paid the money for the roof. The people of Rushoka feel a great sense of satisfaction and thanksgiving to God and to all of those friends who contributed.
Rushoka Church building with the roof! A BIG THANK YOU!
Murehe is one of the parishes in Ndiza hilly region of the Diocese. The area is remote and it is very difficult to travel there in the rainy season. However the people of Murehe have put their efforts together and have managed to build up their resources and to roof the church themselves with just a little help from the Trust.
Murehe Church building
Munazi is one of the five chapels in Gitarama parish. It was started in 2009 from nothing, when Viateur, a catechist, took people from Kivumu chapel on an evangelistic campaign. People responded positively – some abandoned their witchcraft, others were delivered from demonic possession – and now there is a congregation of some seventy people growing spiritually, socially and economically. Those who turned to the Lord Jesus collected the money and bought a piece of land and now have built a church. DDST has helped to fund this building. In May 2015, friends of the Diocese from Germany gave an exceptional offer by providing a roof. On Sunday 21st June 2015, I, Jean Pierre, visited this chapel and was amazed to see a decent building in that poverty stricken and remote area. Certainly this building will be a shining star for holistic transformation through literacy, food security, Bible study and saving programs. The intention for the people of Munazi is to take the Gospel to neighbouring villages.
Church building and community at Munazi pictured on Sunday 21st June
PASTORS’ SAVING AND CREDIT SCHEME
This is a project that was initiated in order to help the pastors to have an alternative access to funds. Their salaries are very meagre and it is very difficult for many to meet the basic needs of their families. DDST has made a commitment to give £15,000 over three years in order to complement the efforts made by pastors in their saving and credit scheme. The first payment of £5,000 has been made and now the seed capital is constituted where pastors can borrow money for specific projects in their families. Projects to be considered in giving loans include: house building, purchasing land, children’s education, husbandry and other income generating projects. Already, five pastors have been given loans for various projects.
The Trust is extremely grateful to those who have sourced this particular initiative.
Rev. Jean Pierre concludes:
When we consider the work done in last few years, we have reasons to give thanks to God. We appreciate the contribution that our parishioners are doing. In a special way we thank our friends and partners from UK who tirelessly work to support us through prayer, financial and moral support. This work is encouraging. At least in our time we have open doors to serve our Lord and to bringing his Kingdom. Believers have places for worship, people can go to school, pastors can have easy access to loans… Though we still have a lot of work to do, we have reasons to rejoice and once again to affirm that this is our time to serve him.’
Rev. Jim Stevens, Commissary to Bishop Jered, writes:
Following the last visit of Trustees (outlined in our March report) the Trust has sent £2,500 to help with the much needed repair of the then totally uninhabitable pastor’s house in Rugobagoba parish. We are asked to pray for this parish as they seek to raise an equivalent sum to complete this work. The issue of adequate housing for pastors is ongoing – for example, there is no Pastor’s house in Gitarama Parish. Such a lack of accommodation is a clear hindrance to effective ministry since the pastor lives a considerable distance from the parish. As the Church continues to grow, the need for new pastors and housing continues.
TRUSTEE VISIT TO SHYOGWE DIOCESE
Trustees Peter and Jill Muir and Greg Moss, accompanied by Greg’s wife Stephanie (a regular visitor to Rwanda in her own right) and Andy and Karen Carswell from St Philips Church Dorridge, will be visiting the Diocese between 16 October and 2 November this year. Stephanie and Karen work in healthcare and will be offering their skills as appropriate to the Diocesan clinical staff. Jill’s background is in education and as a first time visitor will be shown some of the Diocesan schools to acquaint herself with their methods and needs. Peter and Andy both have business/financial backgrounds and it is hoped they will be able to help Diocesan staff improve financial recording and management and also get a better understanding of the Diocesan income generation projects and the issues they face. Greg will be teaching the letter to the Galatians to pastors and catechists, building on the model established by Jim Stevens earlier in the year of repeated local teaching rather than a big central gathering. This enables more to attend as the financial and time cost is much more manageable.
Our next Report will give up to date information on the various projects visited including news on progress at Mbayaya farm, Mbayaya vocational classrooms, the pastor’s house at Rugobagoba, Vunga dormitory provision and the Shaki maternity unit. Your prayers for this visit-for wellbeing, safety and spiritual guidance for all those travelling – would be much appreciated.
SUPPORTING THE TRUST
Our presence, the fellowship, teaching and advice we offer on our visits is appreciated immensely by our friends in Rwanda. However, the extent to which we can ‘give a helping hand’ depends on donations we receive from our valued supporters here in the UK.
We are currently seeking help in the following areas:
‘Roofs for Rwanda’
Roof supports in place – metal roof panels urgently needed
Roofs are required for churches, pastors’ houses, vocational training buildings, health centres, school classrooms. These are places where people meet for worship, fellowship, education, training and pastoral care. The government stipulates metal roofing which is expensive in the context of Rwanda but perhaps not so expensive to us. With growing churches, and a rapidly growing population, the need is enormous.
This autumn, might we invite you to plan a coffee morning, a sponsored walk or whatever you think you could manage (be inventive!) and ask people you know to help provide roofing panels – £5 per metre, £15 a complete panel. If you are able to get a reasonable sized group together, one or other of the Trustees may be available to join your event – do please ask! A flyer is attached which could be adapted for your event and don’t forget our ‘JustGiving’ page which makes for easy donations www.justgiving.com/roofs-for-rwanda
If lots of us did a little ….. it would make a big difference.
We appeal to all of you in business and industry to consider raising funds for two strategically important projects:
A Dyna truck to help transport goods across the Diocese to make the community self-sufficient, and
The purchase of land and classrooms to provide places of education which are key to the future development of the Christian community.
The Trust is sad to be saying farewell to Reg Martin, Trustee and former Chairman, who is stepping down. Reg has worked tirelessly for the Trust over the years. Regrettably, Reg was never able to travel to Rwanda due to health issues, but his love for the people in Shyogwe and his wisdom, compassion for others and gentleness of manner have been an inspiration to his fellow Trustees and we wish him all the very best for the future.
Further information on the David Dale Shyogwe Trust can be found on our website http://www.daviddaleshyogwetrust.org
Trustees: Stephen Lawrence (Chairman), Julia Lawrence, Greg Moss, Peter Muir (Treasurer), Jill Muir, Rev Jim Stevens (Commissary to Bishop Jered Kalimba), Judy Stevens