Friday, June 10, 2011


Yes, I know my teenage children sometimes roll their eyes and think, “Dad, please not now.” I sometimes do odd things. Sometimes I embarrass those around me. Sometimes I confuse those around me. I hope it is the Jesus in me, but it may just be me.

I practice Amavubi Friday. Each Friday I put on my Amavubi shirt and go to work. If the occasion demands formality I put on a coat. Yes, it is odd, embarrassing, and confusing. Why?

I’ve been called to pastor. It’s a pretty simple job. I make friends, pray, and teach what I understand to be true.

One of my core beliefs about truth is that Yahweh God is a God of unity. Theologians call this unity the Trinity, and write books upon books attempting to understand incomprehensible mystery. The gist of it is God has three united parts – God, the Father; God, the Son; and God, the Holy Spirit. All parts of God instruct us human beings to seek unity with one another.

Thus I’m required to treat all my friends no matter whether we share the same race, ethnicity, educational background, economic standing, or church affiliation as my brothers and sisters in the family of man. It’s both remarkably simple and complex. We may have many disagreements, but all humanity is worthy of dignity and respect.

On occasion I’m given a way to move past the teaching of words and hope of prayers and just model to my friends what I believe God seeks us to become.

A few weeks ago Kigali’s Serena Hotel asked for the business community to wear Amavubi in preparation for Rwanda’s Under 17 games in the upcoming FIFA World Cup.
The first games will start on Saturday, 18 June. I could not think of a better way for a Kigali pastor to model unity. A friend of mine (and fellow lover of young people and sports) Mark Dudley was in Kigali and we stopped by the Serena to ask for Amavubi shirts. We were given four, kept two, and gave two away to Amavubi loving friends. Since then our CCR staff has joined in all wearing Amavubi on Fridays. CCR has found a few Amavubi shirts and sold them for no profit. We’re about unity.

Sport provides a wonderful way to model Rwandan national unity in the context of celebrating the unity of the family of man. I can’t resist wearing my Amavubi each Friday.

I’ve noticed that I’m one of the few people with gray hair and the illusions of success in Kigali who wears Amavubi each Friday. Usually, it is just the young, a few people in service industries, and the sports fanatics who join me. I hope next week we’ll be joined by thousands. (Come on my fellow bzee. Put on Amavubi.)

Not only have my friends joined me, but the newest addition in my home, Gabriel Mugisha is also a diehard Amavubi fan. There are a few things non-negotiable in our home – sports, love for the young, and passion for unity.

Will you join us for next week’s Amavubi Friday?

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