Building a Hopeful Future After Civil War
Community Members work to clear a plot of land for the dispensary.
Imagine you had survived a bloody civil war a decade ago that pitted neighbor against neighbor. Now imagine your community had to choose between health care or clean water.
When villagers of Mumeya faced this choice, the Lutheran Church of Rwanda helped them reach consensus.
A grant from ELCA World Hunger helped the Lutheran Church of Rwanda’s general secretary, the Rev. John Rutsindintwarane, train a group of 22 individuals to carry out one-to-one interviews with women like Françoise Nkubana and her neighbors.
“Even though we do not have water nearby our fi rst priority is to have a dispensary,” said Françoise, a mother of four. “We need it; our families suffer from various diseases.”
The nearest hospital is 35 kilometers away in Tanzania. Pregnant women, babies, and others have died making the dangerous journey across the muddy Akagera River and steep hills.
These conversations served as a basis for assessing and addressing the community’s needs. An ecumenical committee—including men and women, youth and elders—established hope-fi lled goals to bring health care much closer to home.
As a result, 500 people in Mumeya joined together to split 240 metric tons of rock and lay a foundation for a much-needed dispensary (clinic and pharmacy). Once the foundation is laid, Françoise will help build the dispensary building.
Like the Good Samaritan, we recognize neighbors in need, even if they live across the globe. We respond to them, and we remember them in prayer. Together we “go and do likewise” (Luke 10:37).