With the threat of HIV/AIDS rising in central Africa, The Upper Room has worked diligently to bring written prayer and encouragement to persons that yearn for connection with God.
The Upper Room’s publisher and world editor, Sarah Wilke, says we have “a long history of responding to human suffering through prayer and spiritual encouragement.” Our recent work alongside Rev. Marc Baliyanga of Rwanda continues this story.
We have joined hands to help bring encouragement and hope to the people of Rwanda, especially those that suffer with HIV/AIDS and other serious diseases. Rev. Baliyanga in Rwanda and Upper Room staff celebrate the translation and distribution of Prayers for Encouragement: Hope for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Other Serious Diseases into Kinyarwandan, the vernacular and national language of 90% of the people of Rwanda. This marks the twentieth language edition of the booklet of meditations written by those living with these serious illnesses.
Rev. Baliyanga shared with us, “I was assisted by other church leaders in distributing the booklets. Distribution was done in hospitals, health centers, UMC churches, and even a prison. Wherever we distributed, the booklet response was positive.” In all, 20,000 copies were printed and distributed throughout this east-central African country. One thousand copies were left at each location.
The Kinyarwandan translation process was completed in 2014. Beginning in January of 2015, Prayers for Encouragement found its way across the country, in all five provinces of Rwanda and into the hands of those in need of hope in and connection with God. By the end of March, all 20,000 copies were shared.
After receiving a copy of the booklet, the secretary of University Teaching Hospital of Butare in the Southern District shared that, although times may be difficult for many Rwandans, “people like you and materials like this booklet convey a message of comfort and hope.” The Secretary hopes to see an uplifting of spirit in the Hospital of Butare with the coming of Prayers for Encouragement.
The booklet was positively received at Nyamata Hospital in the Eastern Province of Rwanda, where Chaplain Madeleine commented that she has been reading the booklet continuously, finding it “a source of encouragement,” making sure she will “read every page of this booklet with other people, too.”
Umusógongero w’îtsí ni ûmubâno.
This Rwandan proverb roughly translated means “Savoring the world only takes place when you get along. The world makes no sense without friendship.” In order to continue the translation and distribution of Prayers for Encouragement, The Upper Room relies on the funding of friends. If you would like to support our global ministry dedicated to the spiritual and prayerful development of Christians pursuing a life with God, please consider a gift today and visit our online giving page.
Prayers for Encouragement brings hope to people in need, as it has for the hospitalized, imprisoned, and churched in Rwanda. The Upper Room would like to thank Rev. Baliyanga and all who helped in this God-glorifying process. If you would like to purchase copies of Prayers for Encouragement (sold in sets of 20), or for more information, please visit here.