Date & Timestamp : JAN 2014
16 January 2014
They were shouting, dancing, and clapping as they waved their certificates in the air. This was the scene a couple of days ago as 21 public school teachers graduated from an intensive 10-day entrepreneurship training in Kigali, Rwanda. I wish I could have beamed you there to see the hope and excitement on their faces. In that moment, I made a mental note to write you and talk to you about ripples.
A ripple is a small wave: energy moving through a medium being transferred from one particle to the next. This is what I see happening in Rwanda, where we have been working since 2010 to see the Kingdom advanced and the nation transformed. I am marveling at the ripples – God has privileged us to have an impact in the lives of 250 entrepreneurs who have gone through our training there. Those stories are amazing, but it’s the ripples that astound me. I would like to share a couple of brief stories to give you a sense of the ripples that your prayers and support have helped generate. These are the stories of two of the teachers who went through the training last week.
In a sense, this training was a ripple. It was sponsored by the School Entrepreneurship Network, an organization started by one of our graduates, Patrice Habinshuti, when he finished his training at the BDC. In telling these stories I hope you are encouraged and that you get a sense of what can happen when we dare to take the plunge into what God has for us.
Stanley has a contagious smile and easygoing manner. He seems too young to have accomplished all he has and his dream is awesome. He is currently a school teacher who is leading the effort to promote entrepreneurship in his secondary school. He comes from the Eastern province, Kirehe district (about 94 miles from the capital city of Kigali, and nestled up against western Tanzania). I got to know him Sunday a week ago when he joined me and a few others who gathered to have church and do a Bible study on Kingdom Business. Stanley started a Rwandan non-profit called Lifting People in Poverty Initiative and his project is to begin a vocational training center to train people in his district in carpentry, sewing, and general construction. His heart is to touch lives, build his community, and to do his part to transform his nation for Christ.
Callixtste was another brother who attended our Bible study on Kingdom Business. His eyes brightened when we studied Genesis and talked about the concept that God created work, and that business was God’s idea, and that if we do business according to the Bible it can be a great source of blessing. He struck me as one of the sharpest learners during the training. Older than most of the teachers, he had a lot of wisdom and experience. This will serve him well because his vision is to start a business incubator and mentor other entrepreneurs in the northern province Musanze district where he lives and teaches secondary school (about 64 miles from Kigali and nestled up against Northeastern Congo). He wants to take his experience and the things he learned in this training and help start businesses and create jobs in his area.
What struck last week in Rwanda, is the way that God uses our efforts – the efforts of ordinary people – to touch lives that in turn touch lives and extend His Kingdom around the world. Thank you for the ripples!