COVID-19 shook pastoral ministry in Rwanda following frequent lockdowns and different restrictions that limited religious gatherings and fellowships. During this time of the uncertainty and ambiguity, Pastor Deogratias Rwabuyonza was privileged to undergo training on Home Based Evangelism (HBE) facilitated by AE- Rwanda. He recounts that it was a great time to figure out the new way of continuing the ministry in new environment and circumstances.
After the training, Pastor Deogratias, 55, decided to do ministry in his family – with his wife and 6 children. This was a dynamic transition for the pastor who serves with Pentecostal Assemblies of God, Rwanda.
“I have been in ministry for the last 25 years. I have been an interdenominational pastor as a coordinator of local churches in Kabarondo for 15 years now,” he says.
In the family ministry, Pastor Deogratias used to have fellowships on daily basis at home with his wife and children.
“We enjoyed moments of fellowship together as a family, where we used to have time for the word, sharing testimonies, thanksgiving and we got time of open confession to each other. My wife and I as parents were free and open to our children and they were open to us. We experienced brokenness in our midst,” the pastor said.
The family took time to build each other by encouraging each one to keep up on the areas they were doing well and also highlighting areas that each one needed to improve in. They came up with a plan of evaluating every one’s development; and the outcome of the family fellowship was confessing to and forgiving each other.
In the fellowship, the members of the family used to give offerings for helping the needy outside the family. The family also decided to do evangelism through humanitarian activities.
“We managed to help 6 children who were underserved and 2 of them came to faith in Jesus Christ. The 6 are still coming to our church and we are trusting God, the other 4 will come to the faith as well,” Deogratias recounted.
As the pastor, Deogratias continually helped the 6 children by buying them books, paying money for shaving their hair, hosting them at his home and sharing meals. The family is now looking forward to do hospital ministry where they will cook food for the needy patients and pay medical insurance for the poor.
“In the spirit of Home Based Evangelism, I have tried to reach 3 street children, where I give emotional care by bringing them home to share meals. My target is to bring them back to their homes so that they can be helped to continue with their studies,”
Pastor Deogratias remarked.