Friday, November 26, 2010

Construction Nearly Complete In Rwanda

The final stages of construction on Crimson Academy will be completed by the end of November. A covered veranda and bathrooms will conclude the year long construction project in time for the schools opening on January 17, 2011.

A headmaster, four teachers and a treasurer have been hired. Registration of 200 students for the inaugural class of Crimson Academy will begin this month.

Mark and Renee Maynard, founders of howFar, will travel to Rwanda along with Phillip Haynes, the project architect and financier, for grand opening ceremonies to be held on January 14, 2011.

Click here for more on Crimson Academy.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Pastor of the Month - Meet Renovat Barutwanayo

Pastor Renovat of the Murumvya Church (center)

Driving Through Burundi 2007

The terrain was much different than I had expected it to be. Rolling mountains separated by thousands of fertile valleys accessible only by footpaths carved into the mountain sides from centuries of use - that is northern Burundi. Living as squatters and sharecroppers, on lands belonging to the Hutu's and the Tutsi's are the Batwa Pygmies. The Twa comprise less that 1% of the tiny countries total population of nearly 10 million. (Burundi is only slightly larger than Maryland with double the population).

Mud Homes with Thatch Roofs

(Click on photos to enlarge)

In 2007, we first visited the Batwa (Twa) village near Murumvya, Burundi to share the Gospel of reconciliation. That day several came to salvation. The next year we installed a young pastor to shepherd the growing flock.

Pastor Renovat Barutwanayo is teaching, loving and discipling the young group of Batwa believers in Murumvya. His desire to see the Batwa, and surrounding people groups, has been a driving force behind the growth of the church at Murumvya.

Temporary Church Building

In 2008, The How Far Foundation provided bean and potato seed for the Batwa. They have land to cultivate but no funds to buy the seed.

Pastor Renovat Distributing Assistance

Pastor Augustine, the Head of our Churches West of Lake Victoria, and Phillip Haynes (R), Crimson Academy Co-Founder, Show the Potato Seed

Some Members of Gihara Church

While in Burundi this past July howFar was able to purchase several acres of land for a new church compound. The final deed will be given to us in January 2011 and construction will begin.

Inspecting Land for the howFar Compound

Pastor Barutwanayo is married and has five children.

Prayer Requests:

For God to supply funds for Pastor Renovat to live on.
For spiritual protection for the church members.
For the witness of the church to impact the region.
For the proper paperwork to deed the land to the church in January 2011.
For many Batwa (Twa) to come to Christ