Nancy was full of energy and on her feet for the entirety of her 2-week stay in Rwanda. She touched lives everywhere she went, reunited with old friends, and demonstrated her love and dedication in countless ways. She spent time with her beloved widows in PFR’s HIV/AIDS Women’s Cooperative, with the 85 children and youth in Pastor Deo’s Street Children and Youth Ministry, with villagers in PFR’s Mbyo Reconciliation Village, and with prisoners.
A highlight of Nancy’s visit for many Rwandans was the Goat Dedication Ceremony, which took place in Mbyo Reconciliation Village on March 21. Before boarding her flight for Rwanda, Nancy worked hard to raise funds for the purchase of 60 goats to be dedicated to 60 households in this village, one goat to each household. The goats were dedicated in honor of retired Bishop John Rucyahana.
Goat ownership is known in Rwanda as a sustainable source of nourishment and income: villagers are able to provide meat for their families and sell it in local marketplaces.
The ceremony will be remembered by all in attendance – it was full of laughter, tears, hugs, and great appreciation. Nancy presented each of the goats to the new owners on behalf of the donors. The event was aired on Rwanda national television.
“The extreme reconciliation and radical forgiveness taking place here are a light to the rest of the world,” says Nancy. “These goats are a symbol of hope, nourishment, prosperity, and peace. They are a gift of love.” Immediately before giving the goats, Nancy looked out at the audience in the village and said with deep gratitude, “You have taught me peace.”
Several prominent Rwandan leaders attended: retired Bishop John Rucyahana, who continues to serve as the President of PFR and the President of the National Commission of Unity and Reconciliation in Rwanda (the purpose of the Commission is to bring healing to both victims and perpetrators of the genocide); Pastor Deo Gashagaza, the Executive Director of PFR; the Executive Secretary of the National Commission of Unity and Reconciliation in Rwanda; the Vice Mayor of Social Affairs in Bugesera District; and the Executive Secretary of Mayange Sector. Laura Waters, team member of the Mustard Seed Project based in the USA, as well as many residents of the village in Mbyo, were also in attendance.
The event featured breathtaking opening and closing performances by a group of traditional African dancers, a moving speech by Bishop John, and celebratory words delivered by the aforementioned leaders.
PFR thanks Nancy and all in attendance for a wonderful event that blessed many people.