Here is the story of Fatima – a women pastor in the rural part of Rwanda.
Fatima, Rwanda – Pastor and church planter
I am living in rural Rwanda. My husband was a pastor in our Independent Church in the village. He died a while ago and left me with 4 children. Due to our membership and our responsibility to them and to care for them due to the genocide in Rwanda, I had no choice but to take over the congregation and keep on caring for the widows, orphans and other members. They were like a sheep without a shepard.
Our problem was that we were surrounded by 2 mosques and a growing muslim population. Many of our congregation members had to walk far and some of them were stopped by the imam to rather visit the mosques as they were closer. I was about to give up when I heard that a church planting seminar was about to be held in one of the villages close to Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda. I decided to make the trip to attend the seminar. It was a Harvester’s seminar.
I soon learnt that it was more than just possible to plant churches through the hub model that was taught. My faith was stirred immediately. Not only were we taught how to plant the churches but with the necessary tools and equipment provided it made my job much easier. I started off with the Heart of Man evangelism model and immediately my church grew by 20 %. Other members that were further away were also curious and I trained them to become student pastors to plant their own churches which I now oversee as a Hub Leader. For a woman to plant churches in rural Rwanda is not familiar territory. Through the Hub Church Planting model we have now planted 7 successful churches all around the mosque. This was simply amazing and unheard off. The mosques did not plant churches – it’s not part of what they do. It is very much part of what we do now as the Church of Jesus Christ. The impact was amazing in the village. My church was about to die ….. I could never imagine that our influence would reach so far beyond just our little church. We praise God – He showed up at the right time with a method to strengthen the Kingdom of God. I just wondered how far we could have been if we had this 21 years ago – when our genocide started.