As you might know or not know – I am on my way to Rwanda in a few weeks to participate in conversations with African Leaders on the Gospel of Reconciliation and Justice in Africa. I have met some awesome people in Rwanda. I would love to share on a close friend I have met in Rwanda.
She is unassuming, incredibly compassionate church planter. And, like Jesus, you will find her most often hanging out in bars and in the company of prostitutes.
Her community, Remera is like any other red light district the world over – bars and brothels, drugs and crime, patrons and pimps. They are selling sex, numbing hurts, belittling others and creating a community rife with trouble and heartache. This one happens to be in Kigali , Rwanda
Jane leads a church ( Prayer Palace Church ) among bars in Remera. Her congregation, which has grown to over 1000 in just few years, is an eclectic mix of former prostitutes, former clients, former madames and brothel owners, addicts and pushers and those who have finally come clean.
When they worship they dance – not because they are particularly Pentecostal but because they are free – free from drugs, free from sexual addition, free from the slavery of prostitution. Transformation is happening in the lives of those most churches would consider untouchable.
Transformation has not only come to individual lives but it has started to come to the community as well. Jane tells the story of bars and brothels that have closed as the owners, workers and clients have come to faith. She tells of a radical reduction in crime and the hope that comes from job creation. And today the two biggest buildings in the area are churches and the biggest crowds gathered are those of the faith community. The red light district is changing!
What is most astounding is the compassion with which Jane speaks of her congregation and their community. There is no hint of condemnation.
Surely she has understood that Christ came not to condemn but to seek and save the lost. According to Jane, the Kingdom of God breaks addictions, prostitution and invades the Red-light District everyday.