Andre Sibomana serving in Rwanda
We have the great joy and privilege of serving in Africa with a passionate and gifted group of colleagues. Over the next few months, we are excited to introduce you to the members of Canadian Baptist Ministries Africa team through the blog. If you are a regular here, their faces may be familiar to you, but you may be surprised by their stories and the breadth of ministries that they are each leading.
This month, we are talking with Andre Sibomana, who lives with his wife Musabyimana Marie Therese and their 5 children in Kigali Rwanda. Andre, or “Sibo” as he is often called, has been the head of community development for the Association of Rwandan Baptist Church (AEBR) since May 2013. Prior to this responsibility, he served as CBM’s Integral Mission facilitator in Rwanda since 2011, having previously managed the AEBR Guardians of Hope program and food security programs from 2007 to 2011. Along with these leadership responsibilities, Andre is completing his MBA at Mount Kenya University. Through his studies, Andre has been instrumental in helping the AEBR assess its organizational structure and working with the church leadership in diserning what AEBR can do to overcome issues around planning, accountability and transparency.
For anyone who has visited the AEBR and the ministry of CBM in Rwanda, no doubt they have been impacted by the genuine love and booming laughter of Sibo.
Please tell us about your ministry passion.
Based on the scripture in Luke 4:18-19 I understood how the mission of Jesus is the one left to the local church today. The local church is best fitted to bear witness to the love of God. The salvation through Jesus is offered holistically and the local church should always consider this integral Mission. I understood that the true love of God should be displayed to my neighbor. The local church should transforms the lives of the communities in a holistic way and through integral mission, the proclamation of the word should go with demonstration through deeds. I discovered that God, through his word, offered all of the ways that people can enjoy a holistic salvation. While in this world every person should have dignity as people of the Kingdom and when they die they are promoted to the glory, hence we believe in life before death. I get my true joy when I am working in the community, I feel happy when I see a poor person make a progress in his life, I feel uncomfortable and sad when I see the human dignity despised because they are my neighbors, they are like me, they feel pain as I do. I feel diminished because they are part of myself; they are part of my joy!
Can you tell us about the joys and challenges that you face ministering with CBM in Rwanda.
CBM, through Integral mission, incarnates the true gospel. The gospel that has a meaning and sense both today and for the future. Personally, the Integral mission makes the gospel sustainable and valuable. Hence I feel confident in what I believe; I do not need to speculate in order to explain my faith. My joy is that I believe in a full gospel that can be proclaimed and demonstrated. This aspect matches with my sense of true love that intends to bring transformation into my neighbor’s life. Ministering with CBM is half job and half passion, because through this ministry I fulfill and get satisfaction in what God called me to be.
The challenges I face while ministering with CBM are relating to cultural and work environment background, where there are some unbalanced expectations between Rwandan church partners and CBM in terms of values, sense of Christianity, and performance. However, though there are those differences, the word of God, the Bible is a good reference to determine the standard Christian values and ethics….Our culture has good and bad things hence I feel open to be challenged and learn from the Bible and other good people around me.
How do you see or experience God at work in your community or ministry?
I am convinced that God is at work in my ministry because I see transformation and changes in the lives of people. God is speaking into the heart of leaders and they understand the meaning of integral mission, and they are fully convinced that this is the initial way through which God has intended to bring full/holistic salvation to His people. Leaders now believe that life in Christ is full and is possible.
How can the Canadian Baptist Churches be praying for you?
Please pray for me to have more wisdom, discernment and strength: As a young person, a husband and father; a responsible person of my family, I may have my own aspirations….. And this can create unbalance between ministry and my family (from any of both ends).
Pray for my family specifically: for my children as they study and grow older, to be humble and God-fearing. My wife is not employed; this is creating a feeling of under estimation to her and a gap in a way of understanding things. She graduated from a theological seminary; she is passionate for the ministry as well.