The members of the church in Rukumberi met for the first time under a cover of tarps hobbled together to give protection from the sun. Last summer, church members began working together to make all of the bricks for a church building. They now have a beautiful, safe place to meet protected from the elements. The church is also surrounded with gardens that are used to help provide for the community.
In Jarama, we have a church and water project that provides clean water to those living nearby. The people are so grateful to have clean water and because the church helped to bring in the well, they have started coming to the church to hear the word of God. The church has grown from 150 members to 300 this year.
Meet one of our church members in Jarama. Her name is Nyirabazungu Peresi. She has lived with HIV for many years. She had no hope to live after she received the news of her diagnosis.
In 2013, when we went to Jarama to start a new church, we met Nyirabazungu when she attended a seminar where we shared the Gospel. The pastor told the people that the impact of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life. She was very touched by that word, but did not accept Christ that day.
The next day, I was there with other members of our ministry. As I left, she stopped my car on the road and started to ask me how she could have eternal life. She told me that she was dying. I asked who told her she was dying and that no one can know the time they will die. She answered with two things – I am living with HIV because my husband frequented prostitutes. When he died, I began prostituting so that others would have the disease too. I do not have peace in doing that. Also, I am drinking too much, and sitting with people that are no good.
We prayed together, and now she is a Christian. She helps in our Sunday School classes and is also the secretary at the church. We praise God that she has turned from her wickedness and is living her life for the Lord.
On the last Saturday of the month, we go to visit with those who are in the hospital. We give them clothes, food, soaps, and other items depending on what we are able to get every month. We also spend time praying with them.
Nyiramivumbi was very seriously ill, without someone to help care for her. People from our church continued to visit her in the hospital for months, praying with her and sharing about Jesus. God answered our prayers; and finally, Nyiramivumbi was well enough to go home. She began attending our church services and accepted Christ as her Savior last year. She is 83 years old and is very proud of being a member of the church that cared for her while she was ill. We continue to help her as different needs arise, and she is faithful in praying for others.