Friday, May 2
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May Friendship Day
The meeting room of the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda’s (EPR) Groupe Scolaire Secondary School was filling up with students who had recently joined the school’s new Peace Club, which is supported by PC(USA) World Mission. When I asked the students how the club had influenced their lives, Jean Pascal’s hand immediately shot up. Jean’s English was halting, but it was clear this teenager felt passionately about being an agent of peace. Jean said the club helps bring peace—at school, at home, and in the community. Just before Christmas, EPR pastors skilled in peacebuilding and conflict resolution conducted a two-day workshop to help Jean and his classmates understand conflict and develop skills in listening, communication, mediation, and reconciliation. Jean explained that he had begun teaching others in his congregation about peacemaking. After he returned to school, Jean befriended a depressed student with family problems and encouraged her to make the most of her time at the boarding school. He also helped resolve conflicts between students. In addition, Jean and other Peace Club members are planning a series of all-school assemblies where they will use songs, poems, skits, and debates to emphasize their message of peace.
At the conclusion of the meeting I attended, Jean listened intently to the comments of Mr. Sophonie Rubyagiza, coordinator of the EPR education department. “Peace begins within,” Sophonie told Jean and his colleagues. “You must have peace inside to build peace outside.”
—Elder Nancy Collins, PC(USA) regional liaison for East Central Africa
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) People in Mission
Presbyterian Church in Rwanda: Rev. Dr. Elisee Musemakweli, president, Rev. Dr. Pascal Bataringaya, vice president, Mr. Eustache Musabyimana, coordinator, finance and administration
Presbytery of Kiskiminetas, with the EPR
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
God of peace and unity, fill Jean Pascal and his colleagues with your Spirit, so that they may be agents of peace and unity for all those with whom they come in contact. May they experience fully the peace of Jesus Christ. Amen.