Going from Kigali to Rukoma means taking off from the soft tarmac road and travelling on the red earth roads. The General Secretary for Rwanda-Burundy command, Captain Clénat is driving. He is from Haiti. On our way we pick up the Divisional Commander. He is from Uganda. The rest of us in the car are from Rwanda and Sweden. And, by the way, the leaders of the Command Lt. Colonels Nyambalo are from Malawi.
Exchange of officers between countries is just something natural for the One Army when we do mission. It adds challenges but also God-given dynamics. It is good doing things together.
The purpose for our trip is to take part in a ceremony. It will be the formal closing of a development project and the beginning for the surrounding villages to take on full ownership of the programme. It has been a sports- and reconciliation project. The idea has been simple but profound. Together with the local community a football pitch has been prepared and a wall was built around it. Young people, both boys and girls, were invited to form village teams led by a coach. When the different teams played against each other it gathered supporters and everyone had a good time. And, in the pause players and spectators gathered for a seminar on reconciliation.
The reason for that is, of course, the intentional building of a new Rwanda after the genocide in 1994 when 1 million people were killed.
After the football match there was a formal recognition from the executive secretary for the sector, thanking the Salvation Army for what it had meant to the people being part of this project. A committee is formed of local people who will continue looking after the football field and plan activities.
There had also been a competition between different village groups for traditional dance. The winning team involved us all in their performance and received their price. The group consisted of children and adults of all ages. It seemed they enjoyed doing things together.
Before going back to Kigali we Went to Rukoma corps for a meeting. There was more praise and worship to the Lord and a very heavy rain came while we all were in the building. But not a drop had fallen while we were on the football field. It seems like we are blessed by doing things together with God.
The red roads of Rwanda. / The winning football team receives its price/ The winning group performing traditional dance.