The Beginning of Barnabas Africa
Barnabas Africa is the result of God “opening big doors” beyond our expectations. Here’s the short version of how it happened. Back in 2007, Tom’s daughter Amy, was in Rwanda, and had an audience with the Bishop of the Free Methodist Church, Rev. Samuel Kayinamura. He expressed a large need to train pastors in Rwanda. Amy volunteered the information that “her Dad had a ministry for pastors”, and the communication began, which resulted in Tom’s first venture in training pastors overseas. He led a team of three trainers in 2008. Part of a larger team visiting the country, they conducted a three day conference, training about forty pastors. The second trip was in May, 2010, when about 110 pastors were trained in three regional cities: Gicumbi, Jenda and Kibuye. Tom heard God’s call (Matthew 25) to help “the least of these my brethren”. And the intentional strategy was to get away from the capital city of Kigali, where pastors are better trained. And now, the team prepares for the largest trainings yet, in Congo, Burundi and elsewhere in Rwanda. The Congo seminar will provide urgent training needed by pastors in the war-torn North Kivu province where hundreds of women have been raped by lawless militias. Pastors are ill-equipped to help traumatized women, but a fully-licensed Christian counselor, part of our team of trainers, will equip pastors to provide loving care.
God has led this ministry to establish a permanent presence there in Africa, with the calling of Dominick Twagirumugabe as the first national director. Plans are underway to launch a website for pastors in Africa, develop a data-base for further communication, and the translating of study materials for pastors in a number of languages, beginning with Kinyarwanda (the language of poorer pastors in Rwanda). Would you pray with us—that God would continue to open doors for us. And as God leads you, we need partners to stand with us financially for this huge step of faith.