Kigali

The preparation in March

A small group of brothers has just spent four weeks in Rwanda. One of them, who lives in Kenya, writes:

“The rainy season is generous in Rwanda. In the fertile soil, at the foot of the volcanoes to the North, there are regularly three harvests of red beans and four of potatoes! We hope that the hospitality at the meeting will be as generous as nature! Welcoming and taking care of the 6000 participants expected to come from outside for the next stage of the pilgrimage of trust, in Kigali, are a real challenge. Expectations and mobilisation steadily increase as preparation teams are set up in various parishes and their offshoots. For four weeks, we criss-crossed the capital and its surroundings as we brought the young people together.

We are received with great seriousness. Each local community organizes three committees: ’’welcome and accommodation’’, ’’liturgy’’, ’’visiting people of hope’’ which will be the part of the morning program. Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian and Methodist Churches are taking part.

The different meetings also help us to identify the questions and challenges of the youth that could be proposed during the afternoon workshops and reflexion groups during the November meeting. Here, borders seem to vanish as we discover the same deep interrogations as elsewhere in the world: Faced with the deep changes in our ways of life, how can we deepen our roots in Christ? In a context of high unemployment how is it possible, with limited means, to become self employed? How can I recover trust after a personal trauma, a breakdown in relationship? What is the Christian vision for the couple, the family; what is the meaning of persevering in a commitment? Looking for personal success in life or discovering the joy of living for others? Protecting oneself or taking the risk of giving one’s life for others? Letting ourselves be caught up in a logic of competition or in one of service of other people?

Logistic aspects are also on track: meetings have taken place at the Ministry for Youth, the City Council, the exhibition grounds where prayers will take place, Kigali bus service, cooks... We have to buy maize already at harvest time and store it.

In the neighbouring countries, groups have also started preparing to take part the pilgrimage, in Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. There are also smaller delegations from South Africa, Madagascar, the Middle East, Hong Kong, Europe, and America.

Our team came back to Kenya on 15 March. We shall facilitate retreats in Mombasa at the end of the month and after Easter at Mji wa furaha, Nairobi. Our next stay in Rwanda will be in June. »

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