By Reverend Ed Hird
As you are reading this Deep Cove Crier article, my wife and I are still in Rwanda (note: we have since returned to Canada). This is our first time to Rwanda. Our former youth pastor for fourteen years, the Rev Ken Bell, now the rector of St. Timothy, recently returned from Rwanda with a team from his congregation. This seems to be the year for the North Vancouver/Rwanda connection. Having met with Ken Bell+ before I flew to Rwanda, I became more excited about this trip that I have dreamed about for many years. My wife Janice as a professional musician and director will be meeting with Rwandan musicians to share resources. As a priest, I will be both listening to and preaching in congregations throughout the Anglican diocese of Kigeme which is led by Bishop Augustin Mvunabandi. Many Canadians don’t realize that most Anglicans, in fact most Christians, now live in Africa and the Global South. The African Church is growing at an unprecedented rate that no one would have imagined thirty years ago.
Hilary King, our Rector’s Warden for St Simons’ NV, has lived in the Seymour/Deep Cove area for years, being very active in the North Shore Health Region. Currently in Rwanda with eleven people on our sixth Mission trip to Rwanda, Hilary is having a powerful impact on the health of the mothers of Kigeme, Rwanda. Hilary began initially with the Healthy Mum’s Project where people bought goats for single Rwandan moms so that they could use the manure for fertilizing their kitchen gardens. The results have been very impressive with these mothers being able to give birth to healthier, full-term babies. With the broader name Embrace Rwanda, Hilary has birthed a number of projects, including supporting a Rwandan nurse to work with the local Mothers Unions in their aiding single moms. A film producer made a striking movie entitled Mothers of Kigeme telling this good news story. It looks at the lives of three women living in Kigeme, Rwanda. The film tells about a community nurse that seeks to improve their lives by teaching women how to improve their health while they are pregnant. As they battle poverty, the mothers participating in the project are discovering new skills within themselves, and a new hope emerges as they begin to support one another. This film can be accessed on the Embrace Rwanda website.
So many good things have happened during these six mission trips. In partnership with the Schmidt Family Foundation, two chapels have been built in the Kigeme Diocese and three more are under construction. These buildings will be used for worship as well as providing a much needed facility for the development of pre schools. It is also hoped to use one of the new chapels as a facility where teenage boys will be taught construction skills.
Hilary King’s remarkable leadership proves that a congregation does not have to be a mega-church in order to make a positive difference in the lives of others. We can partner together in doing good for others. You are invited to consider how you might play your part in helping Rwandans rebuild their lives and families through Embrace Rwanda. For more information, please contact the Embrace Rwanda Canadian Office at Unit 301 – 3980 Inlet Crescent, North Vancouver BC, V7G 2P9: Tel. 604.929.1837
The Rev. Ed Hird, Rector
BSW, MDiv, DMin
-an article published in the August 2011 Deep Cove Crier
-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada
-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.
It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).
Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form. Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.
Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version. You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.
To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 1008- 555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC, V7N 2J7, Canada.