A GROUP OF TEN YOUNG PEOPLE and two youth leaders from St Mary of Bethany Church, Woking, packed their bags and ventured to Kigali, Rwanda last month as part of a CMS mission to help build a church and lead youth work in the Kigali diocese.
Over the course of two weeks (from 27 July to 10 August) the team spent time with youth groups, visited community outreach projects and different churches and participated in the dioceseâ€™s work by leading songs and games with the youth group during their youth week.
The group fund-raised to pay for the trip in some very original ways, including taking part in a half-marathon on roller blades, hosting a spring ball and a quiz night, and cake sales.
Team member Helen Allder said: "It was a life changing trip. We found out about the Rwandan culture and the impact that genocide has had on the people.
â€œIt was very moving to be able to bless some of those in real need with practical and financial gifts, and to see the people put their trust in Jesus and have real hope for their future.
â€œIt was also amazing to see around 40 people wanting to become Christians.â€
As well as leading and helping with youth work, the group visited a village named Ntarama, where they helped to build the village church.
Whilst there they saw the genocide memorial. Team member, Eleanor Challis, said: â€œSeeing the memorial was really touching and we learnt about what their people had been through.
â€œOne man told us about how he had a family of 150 before the genocide, but now he has just four left.â€
The group returned to Ntarama village on their last Sunday and gave them 12 goats as a gift from St Mary of Bethany Church to theirs.