A special friend of Redeemer, Archbishop Laurent Mbanda, entered his new role as leader of the Anglican Church of Rwanda this summer, and with it took up the leadership of the Gasabo Diocese. According to the canons of the Rwandan church, Archbishops assume leadership not only of the Province, which covers the entire country, but a local diocese, as well. After eight years in the Shyira Diocese (where Bishop Sam Mugisha is now serving), Mbanda starts his work in the Gasabo area, north and east of the capital city of Kigali. This diocese covers a large area that is both urban and rural, and the heart of it relates to Rwanda’s own history as a country.

Beginning around a thousand years ago, the ancient kings had their home in the majestic hills of Gasabo. Centuries of conquering surrounding areas have given us the country as it is today, and there are a number of locations in Gasabo that are important to this history of monarchy. The parish of Bumbogo is right in the center of this historic area, with sweeping vistas of beautiful hillsides and farms. One of the oldest in the country, it dates to 1930–around the time of the East Africa revival.

This is one of the parishes that Archbishop Mbanda is looking to strengthen as people move out from the city to purchase property and build homes in what was once a rather remote region, but now desirable as housing prices in the city soar. Churches bring development such as social connection, education and medical care in addition to spiritual health—no distinction is made here between them. Strong and vital parishes will bring advantage to impoverished local residents, and a place of welcome to those moving into the area.

Pray for Archbishop Mbanda and those who work alongside him, and for the resources they need to build and strengthen churches and establish a pattern of sustainability.

-Canon Jay