This morning we arrived early at Hermon Church. Dan had the opportunity to meet with Pastor Erast and Gideon, the president of the choir. The purpose here was to get a start on developing the pastor and worship leader relationship. Dan can speak more to this neat conversation (which lasted almost two hours). Meanwhile, the rest of
the team visited with anyone around the church. Matt played the world’s longest game of volleyball-with-a-golf-ball with a herd of smiling children.
During our time with the choir, we worked together (drums, guitars, vocals) on How Great is our God (in Kinyarwanda and English) and For One. They worked so hard on learning the lyrics and tempo. It was
very difficult for us to say goodbye, tears were present as we dealt with parting with these brothers and sisters who have taught us much.
It’s hard to put into words the emotion behind this morning. Please, please, talk to us in person when we come home. We have so much to share! We can’t wait to tell you more about how we have seen God’s goodness, faithfulness, and love on this trip!
Tonight, the church met as One. Worship leaders gathered from across Kigali to connect, learn, and meet their counterparts. From the largest church in Rwanda (Zion Temple- 10,000 Sunday attendees across multiple services), to the tiny Hermon Church (30) that we had the privilege to worship with yesterday; from Anglican to Pentecostal to
non-denominational—tonight, differences lost their meaning as we focused together on building a unified Church.
The PEACE office had offered to host the event, and Moses and JP were there to take part in the conversation.
We spoke about the importance of the pastor-to-worship leader relationship, and the way that that relationship is the foundation of an effective and Jesus-centered worship team. We listened as leaders whom we had never met shared their experiences in ministry, their struggles, their challenges, the things they wish they could do
better. It’s a strange experience to sit across a table from a worship leader from a church halfway around the world and listen as they describe the same challenges that you’ve faced back home. We couldn’t help but chuckle as example after example was provided proving the symmetry of our experiences and how little our physical surroundings and situations mattered.
As the conversation continued, the leaders started to interact with each other, and one after another described how much this gathering had meant to them, and how important they thought it was that they continue to do so in the future. There was a definite spirit of cooperation and general bon homie as contact info was exchanged.
We closed with a time of worship and prayer, as Dan, Matt, myself and the worship leader of Zion Temple “led” the group in a few songs. It was awesome to be able to lift our voices with these strong-hearted leaders, and we certainly drew as much encouragement and inspiration from the evening as they did, if not more.
It’s been said over and over on this blog, but it can’t be overstated. The way in which God has moved on this trip continues to blow us away. Two months ago, when we were dreaming what this trip might look like, the idea of hosting a gathering of worship leaders that included the largest church in the country and a tiny church that meets high up on a hill somewhere in this vast city would have been truly inconceivable. Yet, with only a few short days of warning, 10 worship leaders gathered, and it was awesome.