Thursday, March 29, 2012


As I have walked the streets of Kigali for the last 10 months friends, acquaintances, and strangers have frequently greeted me with the phrase, “How is Mugisha?”

Mugisha is good. In fact, Mugisha is very good.

For those who do not know Mugisha for 10 months was my foster son. He was born in the village outside of Rwamagana on 12 March 2011. He was 10 weeks premature and weighed 1.3 kilos. His biological mother took him to a local clinic. From there she and he were transported to the Rwamagana District Hospital. The following day Mugisha’s biological mother left him (and has completely disappeared.) Mugisha spent 8 weeks without a family, but was loved at the Rwamagana District Hospital. He was given the name “Mugisha” by the Rwamagana Mayor’s Office and Hospital Administrators.

A few months before his birth some of our Christ’s Church in Rwanda (CCR) leaders and I attended a seminar organized by the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF) that discussed De-institutionalization. Could families in Rwanda be the answer to the issue of orphans (OVC)? Could children who are abandoned be raised in a family instead of an institution? We prayed and wrestled with the questions. After all, the church should be the first ones to respond to such questions. Our youth pastor, Moses Mbabaali wisely spoke, “Our senior pastor must lead.”

A friend of a friend made a phone call to my wife, Jana with the question, “Could we take Mugisha?” On 13 May 2011 he was in our home. He only weighed 1.4 kilos. We added the name Gabriel after the powerful angelic messenger. In our spirits we sensed Mugisha Gabriel would be a blessed messenger to teach our community what we were to do for OVC. On the second day Mugisha was in our home he cried when we placed him in his bed. He had discovered human touch. He was not alone. He was in a family. Mugisha was good. In fact, Mugisha was very good.

He rapidly gained weight. At times he struggled with colic (fussy baby syndrome.) As he gained weight the first flesh was muscle. I sensed the Lord was telling us Mugisha would always be strong. One doctor whispered Mugisha had the early signs of cerebral palsy. Yet, there was hope. In fact, King Faisal Hospital’s neurosurgeon, Dr. Emmanuel Nkusi always found hope. Mugisha was good. In fact, Mugisha was very good.

On 17 November 2011 Mugisha began odd rhythmic movements. We called doctors. On 21 November we saw Dr. Steven Musiime at KFH. We had the good fortune that Mugisha’s odd movements happened at the appointment. Dr. Musiime diagnosed convulsions and we spent 11 days at KFH. On 1 December we transferred to Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi to see pediatric neurologist, Dr. Osman Miyanji. Mugisha was having 3 convulsions per day. After 2 weeks of tweaking medicine they reduced to ounce every few days. At one point as Mugisha’s blood was drawn he looked at the nurse with a look that communicated, “I am a Munyarwanda. Imana is my God.” He never surrendered his dignity. Our community never gave up hope. Once a doctor told us, “This child will have problems.” A few weeks later he remarked, “This is not as bad as I first thought.” Mugisha had his last convulsion on 16 February. Mugisha is good. In fact, Mugisha is very good.

We began a journey unsure where it would end. We believed MIGEPROF’s De-institutionalization policy was the most biblical response to OVC. We believed the church must practically lead. We believed every child had the right to a family. The Rwandan government leaders we knew were wise and compassionate. We trusted their leadership. We believed Mugisha’s stay in our family would end either with him being reunited with his extended family or adoption.

As Mugisha developed health issues there became a consensus. Mugisha needs to be raised either by a family in Rwanda with the financial resources to travel to South Africa or Kenya every few months, or he must be raised in North America or Europe.

Mugisha was matched to Mark and Chelsea Jacobs of Irving, Texas, USA for adoption by Nyiramatama Zaina, the Executive Secretary of the National Child Commission on 27 February 2012. On 19 March the Kacyiru court finalized the Act of Adoption. Since Mugisha was so much part of our community we believed Mugisha’s transition must be a public blessing much like how extended families bless their children’s marriage. On Sunday, 25 March CCR held her first ever Adoption Hand Over Ceremony of Gabriel Mugisha Jacobs. Mugisha is good. In fact, Mugisha is very good.

Mugisha’ Uncles and Aunts spoke. They spoke courageously of what many of us whispered quietly during this journey. Were we mad? Would Mugisha live through this season? Yet, we came back to our belief in ultimate truth. God loves all of us as adopted children. Raising OVC in families is the most biblical response. We must partner with Rwanda’s government, particularly when their hopes reflect the nature of God. We had been blessed by Mugisha. We would bless Mugisha. Mugisha is good. In fact, Mugisha is very good.

The new CCR Senior Pastor Brett Shreck spoke of miracles. God had made all humanity in His image. As such we possessed infinite dignity. We also possessed the infinite ability to love. Loving an adopted child with all of one’s being is miraculously possible because of the nature of God displayed in our humanity.

Nyiramatama Zaina, the Executive Secretary at the National Child Commission (NCC) spoke. There was great wisdom and compassion in her blessing of Mugisha. One part of her message stood out to me. Orphanages are not part of Rwandese culture. Families are part of Rwandese culture. It is time to return to the culture of the family.

On Thursday, 29 March we saw Mugisha’s pediatric neurologist in Nairobi, Dr. Osman Miyanji. Mugisha weighs 8.4 kilos (6.5 times his birth weight). The symptoms of cerebral palsy are almost nonexistent. Mugisha is still developmentally behind, but Dr. Miyanji stated, “With help this boy has and will overcome.”

Mugisha is good. In fact, Mugisha is very good.

Shortly after this column is published Mugisha will be in Texas displaying his endearing Rwandese charm. The question will be asked, “How is Mugisha.”

Mugisha is good. In fact, Mugisha is very good.

Some may try to make Jana and I heroes in Mugisha’s story. Please do not. In a nation with a history like Rwanda’s there are many more deserving heroic people. You can find better. If you must have a hero; look to Jesus of Nazareth. All that we did for Mugisha was just a reflection of what He has done for us.

We are visible and provide some leadership in our community. A few lessons to learn – First, this crazy MIGEPROF idea of de-institutionalization is possible. Our families in Rwanda can do this. Two, though it is painful to relinquish Mugisha to another, we would gladly do this again. We’ve never experienced the intimacy of God’s joy like we have the last 10 months. I’ve done the math. I may be too old to raise another child as my own, but I think I can foster at least 10 times more in my lifetime. We’ll pick up the phone if MIGEPROF, NCC, or an OVC District Official calls. Last, we believe in Rwanda. The type of love the Mugisha’s of the world need is abundant in Rwanda. No other nation has the capacity to love so deeply and relinquish so completely. Rwanda can do this.

Many more can respond to the question, “How are your vulnerable children?”

They are good. In fact, they are very good. Quit calling them vulnerable. They and we are blessed


Last week I wrote a column on Talking to our neighbors about Kony2012. In it I asked for young Rwandans and friends in the USA to stop posting Invisible Children’s Kony2012 video and to start loving Uganda as we love ourselves. Shyaka and I had a disagreement. However, there seems to be consensus among most of my Ugandan and Rwandan friends that Kony2012 misrepresents reality, hinders healing from trauma, and stifles investment. Among my American friends the opinions are much more polarized. Since I noticed so much Facebook and Twitter discussion I decided to post my column to my blog on Thursday, 15 March.

On Friday, 16 March the Uganda media was active on Twitter with the news that Jason Russell, the Director of Kony2012, was detained by police after naked irrational behavior and taken to a local hospital.
My pastoral intuition makes me think two matters are being whispered. One is that deep in the jungles of Central Africa Republic Joseph Kony was afraid of Jason Russell and the effects of the Kony2012 video. Therefore Kony turned to his most potent trick, juju. His band of abductees turned soldiers sacrificed an animal (or human), danced, and recited magic incantations. Then boom – Jason Russell went mad. Kony Juju defeated Kony2012.

The other whisper may be calling me a “Great Man of God,” or “America’s Leading Evangelist in Rwanda.” After all a few weeks earlier I compared Westerners who use Africa for self-grandeur with Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezzar who went mad. I also wrote about a time one of my Uganda neighborhood mzee walked home a naked mad young man. Did I prophesy that Jason Russell would go mad?
I think neither whisper is accurate.

My guess is that Jason Russell is suffering from publicity addiction, had an overdose on 15 March, and now it is Africa’s turn to love Jason Russell the way we love ourselves.

Jason led over 80 million people to some conclusions about northern Uganda that are not accurate. My boss one time said, “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, and criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment.” That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor. (Matthew 7:1-5, The Message.)” Now for a season Jason Russell will be judged by the world by the standards he judged others. Many will come to conclusions based not upon the facts of Jason Russell’s life, but upon their wounds.
Jason’s wife quickly responded that he was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Some will think that because we’ve seen drug addicts behave like Jason Russell.

Some have guessed he suffers from manic episodes, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder. Again, probably because we’ve seen people with these types of mental illnesses act as Jason Russell.
Some will assume his mind just snapped. We’ll do this because we know that stress and lack of sleep will eventually drive us all to a psychotic episode.
Jason Russell
Angelo Izama and I compared Kony2012 to pornography. When I first saw Kony2012, I thought this was produced by a sex addict. I did this because in pastoring I have several times seen families destroyed when the early signs were communication styles similar to Kony2012. The director of Kony2012 was a master at the internet hype, could not separate fantasy from reality, and had no conception how much relationship damage he would do in Uganda, plus he ran through the streets naked. These are all classic marks of a sex addict.

Another theory could be that Jason Russell is another flamboyant American entrepreneurial personality that thrives in extreme adversity, but simply snaps when life becomes ordinary (Such as Meriwether Lewis.) Again, we come to these conclusions because we have seen these types of events happen before.
All this gossip is just human nature. My boss was convinced it was the consequence of publicly embarrassing others.

When my Uganda neighborhood mzee walked his naked neighbor’s son home the village gossiped. Some of the theories had elements of truth. There was some neighborhood jealousy. Someone may have cursed the boy. The young man had experimented with alcohol and drugs. The young man had traveled abroad and had a difficult cultural adjustment both abroad and home. Witchcraft, drugs, and stress may have all contributed to the boy’s “madness.”

Yet, the mzee chose to love his neighbor’s son as he would have wanted his own son loved. He chose to deflect the gossip. It seems our Ugandan neighbors are treating Jason Russell with the same grace. While the Kony2012 video is still up on YouTube, not even The Red Pepper has posted photos of Jason Russell on San Diego’s streets. In Africa when our neighbor is in an embarrassing situation, we respect their dignity. After all we may too find ourselves in such a situation.

Last week as I discussed African neighbor’s love besides respecting dignity I wrote of two other matters. First, we help our neighbors in crisis. Second, we help our neighbors in opportunity.

I once watched my neighborhood mzee at a kwanjula where the bride was obviously pregnant. He gently insisted on a goat for a fine. Family honor had been offended. Good African neighborliness will insist in Jason Russell’s crisis that we keep the focus on northern Uganda. Jason’s feelings are irrelevant for both his and northern Uganda’s healing. In order to heal Jason will have to face reality. As he does this, the Kony2012 video should be removed from YouTube. Also, Jason should find a Ugandan mzee to hold his hand as he returns to Uganda and apologizes. This is how good African neighbors help someone in a self-imposed crisis. They respect dignity, speak gently, forgive magnanimously, and still insist on accountability.

After the goat was paid both a Catholic priest and Balokole pastor saw an opportunity to preach. My mzee took the microphone away and made a joke. The fine had been paid. Honor was restored. The bride only would have a kwanjula once. She deserved it to be the best possible. In a few months we would have a child. The child deserved to be desired, loved, and nurtured without carrying a community’s offense. The crisis was past. Now we needed to put our energy into the opportunity.

All Africans I know conclude justice should be pursued in Congo and Central African Republic. They also conclude northern Uganda needs better schools and businesses. If we love Jason as we love ourselves, after he apologizes and we publicly forgive him, we should invite him to bless northern Uganda with better schools and businesses. When Jason heals from publicity addiction he will be part of our community again. I long for that day because my boss told me to love my neighbors as I love myself.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Dear CCR Family and Friends,

This coming Sunday will be one of the most unique we have ever had at CCR. We will have a Hand Over of Mugisha Gabriel from our family to Mark and Chelsea Jacobs. It has been a community journey with Mugisha. It must be a community that blesses his transition.

It is hard to believe all Mugisha has taught us. It seems ages ago that he came into our lives. It does not seem there was ever a time he was not part of our lives. Yet we do remember a child we first saw weighing only 1.4 kilos. No matter what he had been through, Mugisha was Spoken For.

He has overcome a brain injury that at one point last year brought on 3 convulsions per day. Today has been his 33rd day without a convulsion.

Yesterday, Monday 19 March the KACYIRU court finalized Mugisha’s adoption. He is now Mugisha Gabriel Jacobs. We have done the civil. Now we must do the cultural and church ceremony.

This coming Sunday we will only have 1 service at CCR. It will begin at 10:00 a.m. We anticipate our crowd will be large so you may want to arrive early to get a good seat.

We will also have a special contribution that will go towards the Spoken For Ministry. Besides your financial contribution feel free to bring baby items such as formula, nappies, and clothes.

We look forward to your presence blessing Mugisha’s transition.



Dear Youthful Friends,

You may have heard that my family will be returning to the USA on 4 June. With just a few months left we want our time to be spent on the most important matters. My greatest hope is that the Lord will call us in a few years to return to Rwanda. I want to see Rwanda when your generation is providing her leadership.

I had lots of fun with you discussing ghost students. I hope you got the point - Truth matters. You cannot lead in Rwanda’s development if no one trusts you.

I have one more point. Compassion matters. We have on ongoing crisis in Rwanda with abandoned and orphaned children. If they are not raised in families it will be quite difficult for Rwanda to reach her vision of being a middle income nation. There is one simple answer. They must be incorporated into families through adoption with the full legal and relationship rights as biological children.

My family for the last 10 months has been blessed to go on a journey with a brave Rwandan child named Mugisha Gabriel. He has grown from 1.4 kilos to over 7 kilos. He has gone from 3 convulsions per day to now not having a convulsion in 33 days.

Yesterday, the KACYIRU court finalized his adoption to Mark and Chelsea Jacobs. On Sunday, 25 March at 10:00 a.m. our community will bless Mugisha and the Jacobs through a Hand Over Ceremony at Christ’s Church in Rwanda, 2020 Vision Estate, Gaculiro. I hope you will be able to attend.

My hope is that the Hand Over will begin a new culture among Rwanda’s youth of embracing the adoption of orphaned and abandoned children.


Thursday, March 15, 2012


Last week on Twitter I noticed the Uganda media abuzz with some strange KONY 2012 video conversation. I started following the links and found 20 million hits ( As I write there are 78,901,889 hits. My first thought when I noticed it was 29:58 minutes in length was, “Why would I want to spend half my day in Rwanda downloading a video about Kony?” A Ugandan friend of mine downloaded the video. I watched 4 minutes and wanted to crawl outside of my white skin. After 19 years of adult living in the Great Lakes Region 4 minutes was as much as I could stomach. Anymore would have been like being forced to watch violent pornography.

My concerns about KONY 2012 have been adequately addressed by the Uganda media. (For some good starters check out and I can add no more useful commentary. Uganda voices should be the first voices we hear related to Kony 2012.

Yet, I am watching a disturbing phenomenon on line. Rwandan youth are twitting and Facebook posting KONY 2012 without listening to our Ugandan neighbors. American youth are twitting and Facebook posting KONY 2012 without listening to our Ugandan neighbors. My boss instructed me to teach a simple ethic. We must love our neighbors as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:39). He was not alone in his thinking. All great religious and philosophic leaders have spoken the same message.

My question today, “Is how should we speak about our Uganda neighbors?” Let me tell three personal stories from our Great Lakes Region.

My house was once on fire at the top of Konge Hill in Kampala. My house keeper, Jane Naziwa Mukamongi shut off the electricity, called me on the phone, got our children out of the house, and raised an alarm. I drove as fast as possible home. As I came home, my neighbors were running with jerry cans and buckets. Together, we stopped the fire. In Africa we speak for our neighbors in crisis and rapidly do all we can to alleviate the crisis. After all the tragedy of one in our community is the tragedy of us all.

Another time, my daughter, Sophia was admitted to a prestigious university, Wheaton College; but our family was about $10,000 short of the required tuition. Our Kigali community remembered our years to the East and threw a Harambee. Sophia got through her first semester. In the second semester she received a grant that paid almost her full tuition. In Africa we speak for our neighbors’ opportunity and do all we can so they can thrive. After all the success of one in our community is the success of all.

Lastly, I was once with a neighborhood mzee when a neighbor’s child “went mad.” The child was an adult male. He was naked and lying across our road. The mzee stopped his car, got out, knelt by the young man, and gently spoke to him. The young man remembered the mzee, held his hand, and walked home with him. At the neighbor’s home, the mzee made sure the young man was cared for, and then he quietly left. I overheard the neighbors gossiping about the young man. The mzee redirected the conversation. In Africa we respect our neighbor’s dignity when they are in embarrassing situations. After all, we too many need our community’s care and discretion.

Why do I find KONY 2012 repulsive? Because my boss told me to love my neighbors as I love myself.

I only lived in Uganda for 11 years. My language skills and historical understanding are still childlike. I made many mistakes there, but had many gracious friends who gave me new opportunities. For those who may not read the Uganda media or have Ugandan friends let me make three points about KONY 2012 that I think would represent the consensus of my independent minded Ugandan friends.

First, the best political solution is found in old Pan-African ideals. One way to understand Uganda is to see her as a nation violently divided between the Southern Bantu and Northern Nilotic (Luo). Post-colonial history bears out the violent division theory. The theory excuses bad neighbor behavior and dehumanizes northern Uganda. However, it also has significant linguistic and historical oversights. Luganda uses a Luo greeting, “Erade” when an intimate visitor arrives from a distance. The Bunyoro / Toro pet names are Luo based. When Bunyoro King Kabarega fought a guerrilla war against British colonialists Langi warriors joined him. The Baganda kings had Acholi advisors and guards. Uganda at its best practices Jesus’ ideals of loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. Joseph Kony survived in Uganda when Kampala boomed while northern Uganda collapsed. The first point is that Kony must be dealt with by Pan-African historical ideals of unity and contemporary repentance for being so neglectful of northern suffering. Good neighbors seek compassionate unity.

Second, the Uganda government is responsible. My Acholi friends bit their tongues on many matters, but courageously pointed out if the Uganda People’s Defense Forces are some of Africa’s most disciplined soldiers, “Why were they unable to stop Kony?” New Vision repeatedly ran stories promising an end to the Kony war. Deadlines passed. The war continued. Some Acholi friends murmured that the war was in some people’s best economic interest. Then we began reading newspaper stories of “junk helicopters,” and “ghost soldiers.” Thankfully, the season has come in which Kony no longer terrorizes northern Uganda. It seems now is the time to thank the Ugandan military, but if we must deal with the total past, we must deal with the total past.

Now is the season to build northern Uganda. Again, the responsibility falls primarily with the Uganda government. Invisible Children displaces the responsibility for Uganda to the International Community and particularly the United States military. Good neighbors are responsible.

Last, enduring peace in northern Uganda will come with enduring prosperity. Three institutions are fundamental for prosperity endurance. Kony was the child of Alice Lakwena’s Holy Spirit movement. Lakwena thrived in a climate of superstitious fanaticism. Northern Uganda needs better institutional churches that have no tolerance for superstitious fanaticism. Fanaticism thrives in a climate of non-literacy. The answer to non-literacy is the solid institutional schools. Non-literacy creates poverty. Wealth is generated by the institution of business. Good neighbors build enduring institutions.

My youthful friends in both America and Rwanda, it is time to stop twitting and Facebook posting KONY 2012. It is time to treat Uganda as our neighbor.


In September of this past year, Jana and I announced that we sensed God had called us to return to the USA to build ROC as a missionary sending organization. Since then a question in many of our minds is succession. How will CCR be led in our absence? If you have been with us at CCR we are preaching a series on “Calling.” In that series you are getting a sneak peak at the Bible texts our leaders have been wrestling through. We have been praying and meeting in small groups and as individuals to craft a succession plan. The time has come to reveal the plan.

Please turn with me to the book of Acts. Jesus tells his apostles “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).” Then the journey begins. Through the power of the Holy Spirit the Good News of Jesus’ resurrection is proclaimed through the world. Chapters come and go.

Acts closes with an awkward moment in Acts 28. Paul is under house arrest waiting trial in Rome. We are never told in Acts what happens. Our journey of faith is like this. My favorite commentators write that Acts closes with an unfinished story because we are still living in this age of unfinished stories. Paul closes with these words, “Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen (Acts 28:29!”

This is the message. The gospel is being proclaimed. Human beings will move. We will come and go. Yet the Gospel will continue to be proclaimed until Jesus returns to this earth. Now we are in an awkward close of a chapter. The story is not over, but the journey continues. We live out the closing chapters of Acts today.

Steve Clark from our ROC Board in Oklahoma City is with us today. ROC is a young missionary sending organization. In many ways we have yet to fully discover what God has called us to. However, it is obvious we are too few and have too little resources for all that God has called us to do.

Let me ask for the ROC team to stand. You will notice we are just five missionary family units – Jamie Boiles, the Hixsons, the Jenkins, the Lindens, and the Shrecks.

This is the reason my family is leaving Rwanda. In order for all God intends to do to be accomplished we must leave and another must rise. Also, we must find more people and resources to join us in Rwanda. One of the primary reasons my family is locating in Chicago is because it is a city where Diaspora cluster. We hope we will grow partnering with Diaspora to build Rwanda.

As you can see these five families are far too few to do all the required work. ROC needs at least 10 to 20 missionary family units. In order for that to happen ROC needs a Team Leader responsible for nurturing the team and building a broad vision. I believe Bryan Hixson is the best choice to serve as the ROC team leader. I believe Holly’s passion for prayer and worship will nurture the team.

Also, since Alexis Hixson is with us let me say a word of blessing. Watch Alexis Hixson. History tells us that it is usually the children of missionaries who God uses to most show His glory. Watch Alexis Hixson. I believe God will work powerfully through her future life.

If you agree with me that the Hixsons are the best choice to serve as ROC Team Leader please join me in saying, “We need you mzee.”

“We need you mzee.”

In coming weeks you will see in certain ways less of Bryan and I. I will preach less. ROC needs to grow. In the process we will be less so ROC can be more. I will fulfill my constitutional responsibility at CCR and then relinquish CCR leadership to others.

Leading ROC is not the same as leading CCR. Churches thrive when they have a Vision Bearer. They struggle when no one is empowered to chart a vision forward. I believe in order for CCR to thrive it must have a Vision Bearer. I believe Brett Shreck is the best choice to lead CCR forward as the Senior Pastor.

The founding idea of CCR was a conversation Jana and I had in 1999 with the then Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Angelina Muganza. Her suggestion was for us to plant an English based church with a good children’s and youth program for Rwandans who had been scattered and returned to Rwanda. This was our founding vision. Brett and Keli have made that vision a reality by shepherding our children’s program.

Core to the CCR Vision is the idea of Spoken For. Can CCR develop a network of families who can immediately foster children in vulnerable situations until a long term forever family is found? Brett and Keli have taken this vision on in a very practical way. When a child was abandoned outside of our estate, the Shrecks said, “Yes, we will help.”

The future of CCR is in our youth. I believe CCR needs to be led by men with gray hair who embrace Rwanda’s youth and simply ask them to follow. A little less than two years ago, Brett was playing basketball and tore his Achilles tendon. For the last few months you will find Brett in the evenings at CCR playing basketball with young men. This takes courage.

You will notice that Brett and I have different personalities and spiritual gifts. This is how God makes us and it is for His glory. Brett is a skilled administrator. If you look in my office you will notice clutter. I believe CCR needs leadership that can provide greater organization. I believe Brett Shreck is the best choice for the role of CCR Senior Pastor.

If you agree with me that the Shrecks are the best choice to serve as the New CCR Senior Pastor please join me in saying, “We need you mzee.”

“We need you mzee.”

Next I would like to draw your attention to some other areas of essential CCR growth. First, we need to do a second service to handle growth. On our big attendance Sundays it is almost impossible to comfortably fit everyone. Our youth prefer a worship experience a little different from those of us a bit seasoned. Some also prefer to come to CCR at a different time. Though stretching us our second service is essential. Our second worship service at CCR would not have happened without Rusty’s leadership.

Also, as our numbers have grown we have a much greater need for community groups. Our pastors on staff cannot shepherd all the people who gather at CCR. Nor can all of us be known without a smaller more intimate gathering. I believe Rusty Linden is our best choice to lead CCR in areas of worship and community groups.

Some may see Rusty as young. However, he is the age I was at when people in this region first started calling me, “Mzee.”

If you agree with me that the Lindens are the best choice to serve as the CCR Pastor of Worship and Community Groups please join me in saying, “We need you mzee.”

“We need you mzee.”

Now let me share a secret with all of you. When our CCR leaders are meeting the one with the greatest spiritual gifts of vision bearing is our Youth Pastor, Moses Mbabaali. He has the greatest ability to sit quietly in a discussio

n, and then explain where Rwanda is going, what CCR must look like to meet Rwanda’s Vision, and practically

what CCR must do today to reach our future vision. Moses continues to convince me that the future of Rwanda led by our current youth will be very good. Those of us with gray hair must nurture the youth of Rwanda.

Moses will continue in the role of pastoring our youth, but will be nurtured for even greater leadership. He will preach more often and offer more vision guidance. We will place more leadership

responsibilities in his hands. We will also do this for our CCR youth.

If you agree with me that the Moses represents the future of CCR and we desire to nurture his leadership gifts join me in saying, “We need you mzee


“We need you mzee.”

I present to you, your new CCR leadership.