Rwanda: World Relief Recap #5

March 11, 2009 at 12:00 am (Uncategorized)

Thursday was a big day for our team as we were hosting a day-long prayer/spiritual retreat for all of World Relief-Rwanda.  All 75 staff members from across the country came into town to be a part of the retreat we had been planning for months beforehand, which focused on Biblical Inter-Personal Relationships.  Natalie Bingham and myself had the pleasure of organizing the entire retreat and everyone in our group had either a teaching or activity role.  I shall just take you through the different elements of the retreat so you have a better idea of what we taught

Part One – Biblical Basis for Interpersonal Relationships – Activity: Fruit of the spirit; After the teaching session, we handed everyone a small banana and told them to remember what they learned from that session everytime they ate bananas (which they do ALL the time there).

Part Two – Biblical Self Esteem in Interpersonal Relationships – Activity: After the teaching session, we taped a large index card on everyone’s back and they walked around and wrote encouraging notes on their friends and co-workers cards. (see pic below…)


Part Three – Openness and Teachability – Activity: Dicussion in their tables as to things that they felt they needed to be more open about in their departments, and then offered them time to pray through them.


*Rain Storm* – It was the rainy season in Rwanda and we had seen a storm or two during our trip, so to bring people back in from lunch, I used an activity i used in my classroom called “rainstorm” where we sonically created a rainstorm in the room.  It was fun and one of the pastors in attendance, actually used it in his church service the following Sunday!

Part Four – Conflict and Resolution (what is it?) – Activity: After the teaching session, we had everyone grasp hands to arm wrestle and yell at each other three things (1) My point of view, (2) My point of view, your point of view, and (3) your point of view, they started shouting it and progressively got softer a they moved away from them selves to focusing on the other person.  It was an example of accepting others viewpoints in conflict instead of holding to our own.

Part Five – Conflict and Resolution (how do we approach it) – We did a funny skit about taking the plank out of our own eye before removing the speck in our neighbors.  It was quite amusing but drove the point home, then we did our final teaching session..

Prayer Stations – We finished up the retreat with 4 prayer stations following the ACTS acrostic, which ended up being very powerful.  For adoration, they picked up a card with a different name of God and drew a picture of what that meant to them and thanked God for it. For Confession, after reading a few selected passages, they would write down something they wanted to confess and throw it away at the foot of a cross.  For Thanksgiving, they took a little paperkin doll , wrote their name on it, and used hole punchers marked with different sins to punch “sins” in their personal doll to represent their personal sin.  Then they would glue another doll that was the same color over top of it marked “Yesu” (kinyirwandan for Jesus) to represent Jesus covering our sins and then thank Him for it.  In the final station, Supplication, they broke into small groups, shared prayer requests and spent some time supporting each other in prayer.

The prayer retreat lasted the whole day and i can’t begin to tell you how much joy it brought us to conduct, and how much more Joy it was for the staff at WR.  They have never done anything like this before…in fact, it’s rare that they ever have their entire staff together in one place which made it really special for them.  A lot of the activities and lessons we talked about with them, while they seem fairly common in our American church setting, were things that they have never done before.  In fact, just having an opportunity to see how much others thought of you on a simple little card was HUGE for them!  It was a lot of work and preparation for us, but SO worth it and the staff couldn’t stop telling us how much they gained from the day.

It can be a very tough thing to walk into another culture and try to put on an event that is relevant to them and it was only by God’s grace that we were able to get through it.  It’s very different when you have to teach through a translator and remember to have all your materials prepared and translated before you even step on a plane.  But we all learned a lot from it and I sure hope i have the opportunity to do something like that again sometime!  Thus ended thursday 🙂


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