UB in Giti

Wednesday, April 12, 2023
Kigali City, Kigali City, Rwanda
We left the hotel at 7:45 this morning for the two-hour drive up to the village of Giti. Myriam and her daughter, who live in Kigali, came to the hotel and rode with us. The road was dry but, as I suspected, heavily rutted and rough. It was not a smooth ride. Along the way we saw colorful examples of Rwandan life. Bicycle caravans transporting milk, charcoal and other wares to market. Masses of people walking, who knows where, along the side of the roads.
We were to begin the service at 10:30. We arrived about 9:45. There were already members present, we spoke with those with whom we could communicate. Myriam especially enjoyed talking with Marjolaine and motherhood and its challenges. 
The van from the west didn’t arrive until 10:45, so we began the service about 11:00.  We had hymns and a prayer, and they passed the basked for the offering. Then I gave a news update before introducing the blessing of the little children. Since I’m only able to come a few times a year, we have this ceremony whenever there are new baby’s born, which is pretty regularly. There were four to be blessed this time, so I alternated with Mr. Mundeli for the blessing. There was special music and another hymn.
I gave the sermon which was interpreted phrase by phrase into Kinyarwanda. Very few of the members in this country understand enough French to follow a sermon, perhaps 10 out of 80 people, so we must interpret.
Following the service, we had a Q&A Bible Study for about 45 minutes. Some of the questions included:
·         Are there any alcoholic beverages that cannot be consumed during the days of Unleavened Bread? Answer: No. There is a kind of fermentation but not the kind that makes dough rise. It’s not the Feast of Unleavened drinks.
·         Can a person with Alzheimer’s disease take the Passover? Answer: A baptized member who knows enough to with to take the Passover can and should do so.
·         Will the Church accept offerings if the money might come from a dubious source? Answer: The Church generally doesn’t do investigations into sources of donations. If God shows us something was illegal or immoral, the Church would intervene in such a case, but we don’t approach offerings suspiciously.
·         But what if the money came from prostitution? Answer: I have never heard of a prostitute wanting to be in the Church or give an offering to the Church (laughter).
·         What about young people who want to marry, but don’t find a fiancé in the Church? Can they marry outside. Answer: The Bible says we should marry “in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:39), which we believe means in the Church, and that it what we teach. But if someone marries outside the Church they are not excluded from our fellowship. It is a personal responsibility A better way to go thought is to pray that God will call someone into the Church. I shared the example of my wife and I. We both prayed in our single years that God would choose a mate for us, and we sought His will. We believe He answered those prayers.
We took some group photos outside in the plesantly cool air. We're about 4000 feet high here which makes the weather pleasant, when it's dry.
After this the food was prepared. They call it a picnic because the food it all cold, but it’s still a fairly copious meal with meat. It will be their best meal for months. We fellowshipped until about 4:00 pm, when we wanted to start down the mountain. It’s much more dangerous to drive at night, and there was still a chance of rain. So we said goodbye to everyone and drive back to Kigali, arriving just after sundown.
For our last dinner in Rwanda, Marjolaine and I ate in the top floor restaurant at the Mille Collines. It is open to the air on the side facing the city, so the views are splendid. The climate in East Africa, at least on the plateaus in wonderful. Kigali is about 3000 above sea level, so even though we’re nearly on the equator, the days never get unbearable hot, and the nighttime is pleasantly cool. I was in shirtsleeves, Marjolaine needed a light sweater. I have many memories associated with this hotel and this restaurant. I remember an English woman being interviewed by Rwandan TV around the 10th anniversary of the genocide, who had written a book very critical of the United States. She claimed it was mostly America’s fault because we had evacuated our embassy. It’s always America’s fault….
But I have pleasant memories here too, I often will take visitors here for a meal even if we stay elsewhere. It was a lovely way to end our short stay in Rwanda.
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Tess Washington

Refreshing to know that you got some relief from extreme heat in the area! Thank you for posting the bible study questions & answers and all the photos!


Always a pleasure to see photos of the brethren in Giti and know they had a wonderful occasion together with you. Interesting to see photos of the cyclists and think about their hard work to transport milk and charcoal.