This past weekend, we (the East African congregation at Church of the Redeemer) had the wonderful opportunity to host an East African Revival for East African refugees in churches from Charlotte, Chapel Hill, Durham, High Point and Greensboro. It was officially called a Women’s Revival, and started Saturday morning with a group of women worshipping and praying and sharing with one another, but the revival was for everybody.
For 2 days we spent time together worshipping and learning. We heard teaching from Rose Mapendo(pictured above with Rev. Munyakazi’s wife, Anastasie), a survivor of the Congolese genocide who is now a global activist for the ongoing violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The seminar for the ladies focused on how our women can better understand the American system, and how they can take care of their families and live into their Christian faith in an American context. There are lots of misunderstandings with how women can and should act in this culture that is unfamiliar, so there was plenty of time for questions and discussion and encouragement. Our community still needs a lot of teaching on how to live in this country as Christians, and how to also remain connected with each other. We hope to have more teachings in the future on different areas that need growth – marriage, youth, children, and more.
Rose also taught on how to give and remain generous in this culture of materialism. Even though many of us make very little money, and women who didn’t have to work in Africa have to work here, it is our calling to focus on the growth of God’s kingdom. It is the spiritual life that is important. Rose raises money with her foundation in order to support the widows and orphans still experiencing violence and hardship in the Congo, and called for us to give to the cause.
At the end, we had a time of testimony where people could share how they had learned and how they had been encouraged by the teachings. We as a community were able to give over $2,000 to Rose’s foundation, which is astounding. Pastor Jonathan Munyakazi said, “I couldn’t understand how people were able to give that much – it was amazing for us! Now we have an image of how to help people and give.”
It was a beautiful time together. Pastor Jonathan asks for prayer for the East African refugee community, and for their church members. “We want to stay connected with God and each other, as well as maintain our Christian culture here in America.”