The Vineyard Rwanda Story

Todd Rutkowski, Aug 22, 2017, 10:34 PM
Todd Rutkowski National Catalyst of Vineyard Emerge

Patrick, Valerie , Joel and Brendan Finnerty set out in 2006 to take up the challenge of spreading the Vineyard Movement into Rwanda.   Their hearts had been set toward crosscultural work and they carried a vision for the  refugee community of Rwandan people they had come to know in Uganda. The Halifax Metro Vineyard scoped out the land with them and sent them on their way with much hope and little clear idea of how the adventure would unfold.  God was merciful and quickly sent along Uwamungu Antoine, a compassionate and multi-talented young man who has journeyed with the emerging Movement ever since and now directs the work in-country.
Meanwhile in Canada, partner and supporting churches came along from Canada, the UK and the United States to join in the Rwanda Partnership that was being established. Larry Levy ([Please enable JavaScript to see this content]) who pastors in Halifax  headed up the International Partnership and annual trips were undertaken with members of the various churches. A clear vision for integrated ministry reflecting the fulness of the Kingdom of God touching all areas of life  was developing. The first church in the Muyange district of Kigali grew up with new and active disciples of Jesus and moved out into their community through initiatives in agriculture, businesses, health and other areas.
The Finnerty's returned home and Rwanda leaders took full responsibility for the local Movement within the international Vineyard Rwanda Partnership. Since then, other churches have been planted in communities where great needs were discovered and leaders have come into relationship and are growing under the care of Antoine and his wife Florence who joined the story along with children Nathan, Serha and  the third child expected soon.  Over the years, the Movement has benefitted from the work of a number of other leaders who have contributed to the work of church planting, acted as directors, developed the school, managed the community and experimental gardens and worked in the sewing co-operative.
The Muyange church is now a vibrant community with leaders who are active and have a great local impact. A good number of young people are part of the church and several of them have graduated from high school as a result of the secondary school sponsorship program that ran for a number of years.  In 2016 the Bana Musange ministry became associated with the Vineyard and is actively connecting young children with Advocates in the US who support their education.
The Movement continues to grow and connect with other Vineyard churches in the East African Region.  The Partnership is currently looking for several new local churches from the US and Canada to join in supporting the current objectives around church planting, leadership development and adequate infrastructure. The US Partners are led by Robert Stovall ([Please enable JavaScript to see this content])  , pastor at Hope Vineyard in St. Louis.  To connect with the partnership, please contact Beth Wood at [Please enable JavaScript to see this content] In Rwanda, please reach out to Uwamungu, Antoine at [Please enable JavaScript to see this content]

Beth Wood