Out of Africa
Since Church of the Redeemer was planted in 1998 we have enjoyed a special relationship with leaders in the Anglican Church of Rwanda. It became clear over time that this vital relationship was a part of some larger move that the Spirit of God was orchestrating.
Early in our story we connected with Claire and Clemantine, two sisters who were refugees from the Rwandan genocide. We helped them to relocate to Chicago and they further connected us to the Rwandan situation.
Then Bishop John Rucyahana asked us to stand with him as he launched Sonrise School, a boarding school for the poorest of the children in Rwanda, many who had been orphaned by the horrors of the 1994 genocide. Church of the Redeemer has mobilized support for Sonrise since its opening, and Father Jay serves on the U.S. board that provides oversight and support for the school. Our partner parish, St. Michael’s, is located on the Sonrise campus in Musanze, the beautiful mountain district near the famous gorillas. Sonrise has recently placed as one of the top schools in the country, and graduated its first class in 2011.
In 2011 we sent two of our own, Dan and Kari Hanlon, to live in Rwanda as a direct link for us in the country. Dan is involved in training pastors through the Kigali Diocese. And early in 2013 Renjie and Heather Abraham departed Church of the Redeemer to live in Kigali, Rwanda as teachers at the Kigali International Community School–so the bridge between Redeemer and Rwanda continues to strengthen, a testament to this unique relationship that is God given.
The energy and vitality of the Christian church is shifting ‘southward’ across the globe, to Africa, Asia and South America. This unique relationship, which we cherish, is a work of the Spirit in our midst to join us to that renewing reality that we seek to know in our own context on Chicago’s north shore.