A Philanthropic Mission to Rwanda

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Rwanda Chief Investment Officer, Guy Baron (centre), flanked by Reverend Mother Esther Abimbola Ajayi and “ husband, Reverend Dr Ademuyiwa Ajayi in Kigali, Rwanda

Known for her philanthropic prowess, world renowned Evangelist, Reverend Mother Esther Abimbola Ajayi, recently went on a mission to Rwanda, on the invite of the Rwanda Development Board and Solace Ministries, a non-profit, non-denominational Christian organisation dedicated to comforting widows and orphans in response to the overwhelming needs of traumatised survivors of genocide, especially HIV/AIDS victims

Nigerian politicians have been urged to stop playing ethnic cards and learn from 1994 Rwanda experience where over a million people were massacred during the Genocide.

A world renowned Evangelist and philanthropist, Reverend Mother Esther Abimbola Ajayi who spoke at Kigali Genocide Memorial Arcade in Rwanda where the victims were buried noted that 25 years after the ethnic war, many families are yet to recover from the effects of the war.

She said she would have loved most of the Nigerian politicians fanning the embers of disunity to visit Rwanda and see the effect of what they were preaching.

Mother Ajayi said Nigeria and indeed, Africa needed leaders that would preach love, peace and unity amongst their people and canvass for votes on what they have to offer and not on ethnic sentiment.

She said, “Twenty-five years after genocide, I can still feel the impact among the people. The memory was still fresh and their tears are yet to dry. I pray such heinous crime against humanity would never happen again in Africa, especially in Nigeria.

“We must continue to pray for Nigeria for peace to reign. Our religious and political leaders must preach love and peace at all times and we must be our brother’s keepers. God is love and whoever that does not love his or her neighbour does not know God.

“But the good thing I see in Rwanda is the good spirit to forgive and march on. Though they didn’t forget the incident and that made them to resolve that never again would they allow anybody to divide them. No more Hutus or Tutsi but they see themselves as Rwandans. This should be a great lesson to Nigerians.

“We also notice good governance here. President Paul Kagame and his team seem to know what they are doing. They are attracting a lot of people and International conferences to their country.”

Mother Ajayi and her husband, Reverend Ademuyiwa Ajayi were invited to the country by the Rwanda Development Board (RBD) and Solace Ministries, a non-profit, non-denominational Christian organisation dedicated to comforting widows and orphans in response to the overwhelming needs of traumatised survivors of genocide especially HIV/AIDS victims.

Apart from helping Rwandans to heal their wounds, the organisation is essentially committed to reconciling them with Christ.

A leading religious sect in that country had during the war, disappointed the faithful by allegedly played obnoxious roles in the gruesome killing of thousands of their members that sought refuge in the church. 90 per cent of Rwandans are confessed to be Christians.

Welcoming the Ajayis to Rwanda, the Chief Investment Officer of RDB, Mr Guy Baron appealed to the family to invest in the country, especially in the real estate and agriculture.

Mother Ajayi promised to study the proposal and get back after the family might have decided on what to with Rwanda.

She also commended Solace Ministry for providing for the welfare of the orphans and widows of the genocide.

Solace Ministries, founded in 1995 by Jean Gakwandi, has practically taking over Rusoro District, about 20 kilometers to Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda by not only providing spiritual therapy for the traumatised Rwandans but providing hospital and means of livelihood to the community inhabited by over 50,000 families.

After visiting the patients in the hospital and its new structure under construction, the Ajayis and their entourage joined them in the fellowship to praise God for the lives of the survivors.

Welcoming the Ajayis to the church, Gakwandi, who narrated how he survived the war by miracle and special grace of God said, “Today is a special day for us. Though we are small but we have a very big God. I heard of what Rev Ajayi is doing around the world but I thought we are not in the category of people she could have time to visit, but she is led by Holy Spirit to visit us today.

“I was told of what she did in Liberia, but her coming here should be seen as her love for Christ and Christians. 25 years ago, devil struck but you have come to see what you might have watched on TV or read on newspapers.”

Mother Ajayi who had been so much elated with the hymnals, “Pass me not by gentle saviour” and Nearer to the my Lord” sang in Kinyarwanda, Rwanda local language, charged them not to be hopeless but look onto Jesus who is able to wipe off their tears.

Her powerful and spirit-filled 30 minutes ministration saw one Madam Nyinawabega Xabena who lost her seven children to the war, clapping and praising God but reaffirmed her faith in Christ.

Mother Ajayi said, “Devil will always want to remind you of yesterday to get you stuck in pains but forget yesterday and thank God for today and be assured of greater things God will do for you tomorrow. Jesus is the great healer, believe in Him and whatever that has happened to you will end in praises”.

She used the story of her life, as once an homeless and jobless prophetess in England, but now with abundance of God’s favour and mercy to assure them of greater tomorrow.

She said, “It is only the person who had suffered that will understand what you are passing through. There was a time in London, I was a prophetess without any work, and my husband who was working became sick, we were sent packing by the council and became homeless with four children. If God can change my story today, He will surely visit you and give you reasons to smile. Do not despair, Jesus is alive.”

During the ministration, she said God told her that some of them were with no hope of “what to eat this afternoon”. The number of people who raised up their hands with tales of woe spurred the human kindness in her and she gave each person in the church some dollars that brought out tears of joy from many widows and orphans.

She said, “In this kind of situation, you don’t just preach to hungry people, you have to demonstrate the kindness of God by providing succour to them.”

Mother Ajayi also donated hugely to the completion of a new structure in the hospital.