Moses has one of those are-you-kidding-me stories that’s really fun to relay. I interviewed him in English at ACT and then he had to hurry off to class. Photo by Esther Havens.
When Moses was in his last year studying art and design at Kyambogo University in Uganda, his future was stolen. He had his school fees in cash so that he could make his payment for his last semester and secure entry to the final exams. Just before he was scheduled to graduate, someone stole the cash from his room and he found himself facing the prospect of no graduation and no future. A friend took him to a witch doctor to divine who stole his school fees, a common temptation in a culture that utilizes witch doctors to heal, curse and satisfy evil spirits. That night after the witch doctor, he lay in bed and prayed to God, begging forgiveness. He asked God to help him do three things. He needed to sit for his last exam, pay his school fees and get his transcript. When he went to the registrar, somehow his name was on the list of students cleared to take the exam. He took the exam and passed, got his transcript, graduated and began to follow God.
Moses grew up Rwandan in Kampala, Uganda – his parents were born there, too. Growing up as a refugee, he found life and school difficult. He had to be wise to stay out of fights and got used to being called names. Though Moses didn’t grow up with him, his father desired that he commit himself to Islam; that side of his family was Muslim. There were many conflicting cultures and ideologies in his life, but God had great things in store for Moses, as a woman once prophesied to him.
He found his first church in Uganda through a television advertisement that told of a conference featuring a drama about Samson and Delilah. This spoke to him as a young man and an artist, so he went to that conference and found like-minded community. He went to Rwanda in 2003 on a mission to plant churches – a mission home, essentially. He also wanted to see if it was safe and possible to move his life there and he returned there to live shortly after. In 2009, he went to a worship service at New Life Bible Church and later got a job at the Africa New Life school in Kayonza as the computer technician. He loved his two years helping kids learn computers. He came back to Kigali when he was promoted to IT assistant at Africa New Life Ministries. When he heard that ACT was starting, he knew it was an answer to his prayers to finally plant churches in Rwanda and he enrolled. Moses says, “ACT is an answer to many people – servants of God that have a desire to be equipped.”
He loves the environment and camaraderie of men and women all studying together at ACT. Many of his classmates are already in ministry, some are more spiritually mature and they all learn from each other’s experiences and faith journeys. They are the future of the church in Rwanda. “God is doing a great work through the church of transforming broken lives and communities, into life that is modeled together again out of the broken pieces,” he says. “The church is involving itself in citizens that had broken lives, that had no help, kids on the streets, but the church has gone ahead and intervened through acts of compassion, through education.” He likes that he can be a part of how God is moving and that there is also a practical application through ANLM to meet the needs of the people around him. He is also grateful for the resources of the 20,000-volume library filled with books like Systematic Theology and different translations of the Bible. He is currently reading a book about missionaries in China for his mission class.
Moses, now 35, lives alone in Kigali, works for ANLM during the day and takes classes on the same campus at night. His mother still lives in Uganda and his father passed away. ACT is his family and his home. When he graduates, he hopes to evangelize in prisons. He wants to share God’s love with those who are outcasts of society. Rwandan prisons are filled with genocidaires, the men and women who killed people like him 20 years ago. Forgiveness and mercy know no bounds in Rwanda. As a man who was once faced with no future, Moses is acutely aware of God’s faithfulness. He is ready to share the story of how God redeemed his life with those who are living without hope, and ACT has given him the tools to do so.