Pastor John is the founding pastor at Eden Temple. He and his wife, Blondine, have three children. Pastor John came from a dirt poor family. He got a scholarships to study law. He felt a strong calling from God to give up his thriving law practice to go into ministry. He now has two Eden Temple locations and a Christian radio program.
Pastor John invites us into the sewing room. A half dozen women sit at machines manually operating them with foot pedals. The room is lit only from the natural light of one window. The church trains single mothers as tailors so they can raise their children above the level of destitution that was their lot in life. The women work seriously until we greet them then their faces light up with smiles. They are happy to hear about the new water tank. They can take water home with them after class. It will make their lives a little easier.
In the church sanctuary, forty-six 3 year olds sit in a semicircle on wooden benches. They are learning a song from two young women in their early twenties. The young women, Rosette and Jeanne, volunteer as preschool teachers. It is the first day of the new year and the first time at preschool for most of the children. The kids are shy and reserved and very well behaved. I introduce myself and learn some of their names: Casungo, Gloria, Dorcas, Belize, Obed, Christella, and Elise. Rwandans are eager to learn English so I teach them “Head Shoulders Knees and Toes.” The teachers have no books or pictures or supplies – nothing but their time, energy, creativity, and love. They are grateful for the new water tank that will make preschool a little more comfortable for everyone.
We hear singing from a smaller building behind the church. We walk down and find a group meeting to study the Bible. I share that we are with the PEACE Plan working on the new rainwater harvesting tank system. Everyone starts clapping. They shower Rwandan blessings on me and send their greetings to the people who have helped them so much with this gift of water.
Eden Temple is an example of how much a church can do with a good leader and a little help from some friends. Thanks for sharing the water of life!