AEE-Rwanda implements a healing and reconciliation program targeting both students and out of school youth. The program also targets the key community groups that have greater influence on youth. The key ones being parents, teachers, grassroots leaders, and pastors.
The youth are the nation. More than 50% of Rwanda’s population is under the age of 18. Preparing the youth to become responsible citizens will break the cycle of violence. Parents probably have the greatest influence in molding the character of their children.
Parents were educated to impart messages of repentance, forgiveness, and peaceful coexistence with other groups.
Pastor Come Rwasibo one of the 14 pastors trained on healing and reconciliation tells his story. Come is the Senior Pastor of Rwanda Christian Revival Church (RCRC), He resides in Mwurire Sector, Ntunga cell, Cyimbazi village in Rwamagana District.
Come shared how he had experienced healing because of the training that helped him to understand that forgiving those who wounded him is the only way to experience healing and completely get rid of wounds of trauma that resulted from the loss of his beloved family members in 1994 Genocide Against Tutsi and the betrayal from fellow pastors in the ministry 10 years ago.
“Being healed of wounds of trauma is a result of discovering personal inner strengths and accepting help from others-willing people. When I was listened to during the training, I felt respected by people who gave me their time in listening to me. I felt safe which gave me the courage to share my past painful and hurting experiences with group members. In the 1994 I lost my beloved relatives who were innocently killed. This wounded my heart, I always found it hard to forgive those who killed my relatives. Ten years ago, I was also hurt by fellow pastors in the ministry. Colleagues unlawfully sued me and broke away with three-quarters of the churches I had facilitated to start in the ministry”, With sobbing eyes, Come narrates his painful story.
“For all this time, I felt bitter and inhabiting unforgiveness despite being a Senior Pastor, but I am now free, my heart is clean. I have understood that many wounded people resent God and hate people which continues to limit their development both economically and spiritually. From the time I made the decision to forgive those who hurt me, I have begun to experience inner peace and I feel restful. From now onwards, I will purposefully listen to people and help them to get healed of their wounds of trauma. Like it has been to me, many wounded people do not want to be approached or share their painful experiences and get healed” said Pastor Come.
Ben Campbell (Sydney) is the CEO Africa Enterprise.