AE Rwanda Evangelist Salim Bakundukize Ndugu was once far from God.
He was born into a complicated family – his father had three wives, and Salim was the ninth child born to his mother, but there were other children too. He describes his life as “weary and burdensome”. Though Salim and his family identified as Muslims, Salim dabbled in spiritualism and experimented with traditional witch doctors practices. He felt no guilt in pursuing a double life of devotion to Islam and evil spirits.
Power and fear were his gods.
“I went to so many witchdoctors that I turned into something like a walking demon because of the evil spirits. I committed adultery – I had evil medication to draw women and girls to me. I even had things to wear (impigi) that protected my body against bullets, and others that made people fear me.”
All these controlling practices yielded a restless, tormented existence without peace – until Jesus met Salim.
Striding into a prayer room, Salim came selfishly to ask for greater power and glory, and for the ability to see into the future – but Jesus was waiting to call him to account and caused him to repent immediately!
“I confessed my sins, and some servants of God prayed for me and from then Jesus had me in his hands. I went home with peace in my heart that I had never felt before. I still have that peace in my heart.”
Salim has nothing but praise for his Saviour, who has since blessed him with a wife and five children and a tongue ready to declare the praises of Jesus to anyone who will listen. He works in the AE Rwanda office, and shared the Gospel with hundreds of people through the recent mission to Kigali, Rwanda.
“He is the true Lord”.
Thank you for praying for AE missions. You truly are transforming whole cities for Christ.
Faith was desperate to escape her family’s impoverishment. She took matters into her own hands, thinking she would be better off alone. Now 17, she looks back on her life with sadness and regret.
“I left my family when I was young, deciding that I could make a better life for myself on my own. What I found instead was rowdy friends who caused trouble and introduced me to drugs and alcohol.
Soon, my life became full of drugs, I cared about nothing else. Then, I began to practice prostitution so that I could pay for drugs. Instead of feeling free and happy like I thought I would when I left my family, I’ve become more and more bitter and angry about my life.
I’ve had no peace of mind and my life has had no meaning. It’s been terrible.”
As Faith walked hopelessly through Kigali one day, she heard a man speaking about how Jesus had restored him from the hopeless life he was leading.
“I felt like he was speaking directly to me – like he knew exactly what I had been through even though I’d never seen him before! I decided in that moment that I needed to be saved and allow Jesus to help me change my lifestyle. I am excited to join the church nearby so that I can get the support I need to live a better life than this. Thank you for coming to tell me the amazing news about Jesus.”
Faith is one story of the true hope found in Jesus through AE missions. There are thousands more!
You can read more stories here.
“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
African Enterprise missions usually aim to reach an entire city with the Gospel during mission week. However, sometimes due to the size of a city, it is nearly impossible to reach the entire population in one week. Not deterred, AE Rwanda developed a plan to reach the entire city of Kigali within three years by reaching the city’s main districts, Gasabo, Kicukiro, and Nyarugene one at a time.
The Gasabo Mission took place in 2016 and reached nearly 79,000 with the gospel 6,900 of them making confessions of faith in Christ.
“The week-long mission brought 10,109 people into the kingdom and proclaimed the Gospel to over 62,987 people!”
This year, Kicukiro was AE’s target and God was faithful! After over a year of preparation and training of local evangelists, the week-long mission brought 10,109 people into the kingdom and proclaimed the Gospel to over 62,987 people!
During this mission, the AE Rwanda team placed a special priority on children and made a concerted effort to reach as many schools as possible. They also held events in parks and other public places with special programs directed at grabbing the attention of children.
Albert, AE Rwanda’s Mission Director explained, “It’s clear from scripture that children are esteemed by God. However, we find that in society children are often forgotten. They are ignored, rejected, abused or taken advantage of in so many terrible ways. Even the church sometimes misses the mark in giving children the right start in life. Along with reaching the lost, one of our desires during this mission was to rekindle ministry to children in Kigali. We have worked hard to develop an intentional and strategic outreach plan to the children of Kigali and we’ve taught this strategy to our local church partners with the hope they will embrace it and continue the work.”
The AE Team spent the week prior to the mission with local Sunday school teachers training them in how to effectively minister to children. The team also taught the children themselves how to effectively share the Gospel with their friends.
As the mission began on June 17th, the children and teachers gathered at a local playground where they performed the skits, games, and songs they had learned in order to attract a crowd. They then shared the Good News with the people who had gathered and 103 of the village children accepted Christ! Praise God!
The team also reached out to many schools and universities. “The age of self-discovery for teens and college students is a vital one”, Albert said. “We took the Gospel to schools and universities across the city because we believe that the Gospel is a strong foundation for them to build their lives on.”
In one school, the team met Martin, a self-described hooligan. “I’ve always been proud of being wild; being feared by the other students,” Martin told us. “I’ve never before felt remorse for my actions. That is until the AE missions team arrived at my school.”
In a school of 310 students, Martin was renown for his wild ways. “When the mission team came this morning, I wasn’t too interested, but when they began speaking about the Gospel and the love that Jesus has for me, I was immediately convicted of my sins and I knew that I needed Jesus in my life.”
“Martins humble response to the Gospel touched the hearts of many other students who then also felt emboldened to raise their hands to receive salvation.”
As the AE team called for people to raise their hands to accept Christ Martin was among the first to respond. Upon seeing his hand in the air, a gasp went up among the other students because they couldn’t believe that the boy they had feared was responding to a call for salvation! Martins humble response to the Gospel touched the hearts of many other students who then also felt emboldened to raise their hands to receive salvation. In total, 300 of 310 students responded to the call for salvation at Martin’s school!
Throughout the Kicukiro Mission Week, people heard the Gospel ringing through neighborhoods, marketplaces and, slums. Open air outreach in these places brought many to their knees in the knowledge that they needed Christ in their lives.
“My life is in disarray.” Jeannine (19) told the team. “When I lost my both my parents at a young age, I was left feeling alone in the world. I thought that relationships with men would help me be fulfilled. So, for several years, I’ve thrown myself into multiple relationships and affairs but instead of finding the affection and care that I wanted, I’ve only found frustration, dismay, and pain.”
“As I was walking through the market, I heard someone preaching the Gospel through a speaker and their words struck me to the heart. I was compelled to stop and listen and I made a decision to follow Christ right then!”
“As I was walking through the market, I heard someone preaching the Gospel through a speaker and their words struck me to the heart. I was compelled to stop and listen and I made a decision to follow Christ right then! I felt instantly free and light! I want my life to be transformed by God. I am determined to follow Christ and lead a life that honors him. Thank you for coming to tell me about Jesus today.”
These are just a few stories from the many thousands of lives that have been changed by the Gospel through the Kicukiro Mission. Now the church must continue the work by reaching out to those who have made confessions of faith and starting them on the long road of discipleship. Please pray for the local Kicukiro churches as they begin this very big task.
Please also pray as the team begins preparation for the Nyarugene Mission. Ask God to provide church partners who are passionate about reaching their communities with the Gospel.
You can support the Nyarugene mission one of the many other missions that happen throughout the year praying and giving. Download our prayer diary and give today so that you can partner with us in bringing thousands into the Kingdom of God every year!
Living with the Shame
The Ndjamena District of Kigali is known as a hotbed of illegal activity, prostitution, and drug abuse. As the AE Mission committee planned the Kicukiro Mission, they made sure to give special attention and prayer to this area because the need for the Gospel is so great.
Saba often spends his days in the Ndjamena markets. “I have been leading a messy life,” he told the mission team. “My life is only about drinking, smoking and taking drugs. I’ve been involved in sexual immorality and so many other things I don’t even wish to tell you about because I feel such shame.”
“I’ve been involved in sexual immorality and so many other things I don’t even wish to tell you about because I feel such shame.”
As the mission team arrived for ministry, they set up some equipment and begin to play music to draw a crowd. People soon began to gather to enjoy the music and see what the commotion was all about. Seeing the people begin to gather, the mission team started to preach the Gospel.
The Surprising News
“I’ve never had any interest in church or religion. I’ve never felt like those things applied to me. But when I heard the people singing in the marketplace I was compelled to come close and listen. Then the preacher started talking about something I had never heard of before. He was talking about God’s love for me and that God has a purpose for my life. I was so surprised to hear that and I began to feel disgusted with the kind of life I have been leading. I went forward to receive Christ right then and I am determined to begin living differently. I only hope I can get a Bible soon because I don’t have one.”
“I began to feel disgusted with the kind of life I have been leading”
Many more like Saba accepted Christ that day. In fact, the rallies that took place throughout the city that same day ushered nearly 1,300 new souls into the Kingdom! Praise God!
Thank you for praying with us and supporting AE missions. Because of you, young men like Saba have the chance at a new beginning with Christ. They’ve been rescued from the depths of despair and shame by the saving hand of Jesus.
A Confused and Hopeless Man
Pius has always been very proud of his status and success. A lawyer by profession, well-educated and married with eight children, six of whom live in America, he has a lot to be proud of. However, if you were to ask Pius to describe himself he would tell you that he is “a confused and hopeless man, looking for something but never knowing what”.
“I have been living a dreadful life,” he told us. “I feel enslaved by drugs and alcohol. I thought they would help me find my way, but I’ve only felt more lost and alone. I thought that having status in my community would make me feel complete, but I only feel more empty.”
Night Gospel Rallies
As the Rwanda Mission continued throughout last week, the evenings were filled with neighbourhood gospel rallies which aimed to reach people with the Gospel as they came home from work. The AE teams played loud music and as people gathered to dance and sing with the team, they began preaching the Gospel to the crowd. Many people accepted Christ at these rallies throughout the week. Pius was one of them.
“When I heard them preach about Jesus I realised that my life can be better; that I’ve been living for the wrong things.”
“When I heard them preach about Jesus I realised that my life can be better; that I’ve been living for the wrong things. When they were telling us about sin, I felt it so clearly in my heart and I knew I needed forgiveness. I came forward to confess and pray for Christ to save me from my sin and I am determined to follow God from this day on.”
“I’m so thankful for AE coming into my neighbourhood because it had never before occurred to me that the answers to my suffering could be found in a church. Now I understand that God has a wonderful purpose for my life and I’m excited to tell my wife and children about the changes in me.”
People accept Christ during Marketplace Evangelism
Faith Comes Knocking
Poverty was a powerful force in Faith’s life. Desperate to escape her family’s impoverishment, she took matters into her own hands. She believed that she could do better on her own. Now 17, she looks back on her life with sadness and regret.
“Instead of feeling free and happy like I thought I would… I’ve become more and more bitter and angry about my life.”
Faith told us, “I left my family when I was young, deciding that I could make a better life for myself on my own. What I found instead was rowdy friends who caused trouble and introduced me to drugs and alcohol. Soon, my life became full of drugs, I cared about nothing else. Then, I began to practice prostitution so that I could pay for drugs. Instead of feeling free and happy like I thought I would when I left my family, I’ve become more and more bitter and angry about my life. I’ve had no peace of mind and my life has had no meaning. It’s been terrible.”
“As I was walking through the market today, I heard a man speaking into a microphone about how Jesus had restored him from the hopeless life he was leading. I felt like he was speaking directly to me like he knew exactly what I had been through even though I’d never seen him before. I decided in that moment that I needed to be saved and allow Jesus to help me change my lifestyle. I am excited to join the church nearby so that I can get the support I need to live a better life than this. Thank you for coming to tell me the amazing news about Jesus.”
“He called a little child to him and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matt 18:2-4
AE’s Kicukiro Mission in Rwanda is underway and the Lord has already shown his faithfulness! Over the weekend, approximately 1,300 children were reached with the Gospel from the four major areas of the city.
This comes as a follow-on to AE’s children festival with launched on June 10th with the specific focus of reaching children with the Gospel. The AE team have been training Sunday School Teachers and children from local churches in how to effectively share the Gospel with other children.
A Strong Start
The Kicukiro mission kicked off on Saturday, 17th of June with children taking to the streets to minister the Gospel! They gathered at a local playground where they performed the skits, games, and songs they had learned in to attract a crowd. They then shared the Good News with the crowd and 103 children accepted Christ! Praise God!
One mission organiser told us, “Children are so important to God and having Him at the foundation of their lives will make all the difference for them as they grow. We’re passionate about seeing children make decisions for Christ from a young age because we know that it will change their lives and also transform our society.”
We’re passionate about seeing children make decisions for Christ from a young age because we know that it will change their lives and also transform our society.
The mission continued on Sunday with the mission teams visiting local churches. In all, they preached to 1,100 people during local services and 45 committed or re-dedicated their lives to Christ.
Seeing is Believing
On Monday, the team visited two schools where they shared the Gospel. The team demonstrated how Christ can wash away your sins using a fun science experiment which was seen by 983 students. When the team gave a call to salvation, about 60 students raised their hands.
Teddy (10) was one of those students. He told the team, “I used to always be afraid of things like the dark or dogs, but now I know that when I have Jesus in my heart I can face all my fears!”
Olivia (13) also made a confession of faith. She shared, “I’ve heard the Gospel before but when I saw the experiment display how Christ removes our sin, it made me want to be clean again. Everything made sense for the first time. I think sometimes it is better to see than to hear.”
Everything made sense for the first time. I think sometimes it is better to see than to hear.”
Please pray for the Kicukiro Mission as it continues throughout this week. The team is working hard to reach the city and we know that many will be saved! Pray for us!