Members of the First United Methodist Church based in England will deliver “about 1,000 pounds” of supplies to Kibogora Initiative, located South West of Rwanda, on the shores of beautiful Lake Kivu on February, 15 2013.
Reverend John Wesley Taylor says the Westborough church is forming a “sister relationship” with that community, symbolized partly by a banner the 13 mission participants will bring.
The Kibogora Initiative began in 1998 after an appeal from Sheila Etherington OBE, the Hospital Administrator of Kibogora hospital (originally from Preston, Lancashire).
The objective was to help children who were homeless following the closure of the local orphanage.
“I’ve been praying about connecting to Africa for years. I hear about what’s happening as far as church and faith and how the church is growing and how faith has really helped a lot of African countries,” Taylor says.
“Personally, I think we in our area, New England, Massachusetts, Westborough, we’re sort of in a mission field. And I think spiritually, we’re a little bit impoverished, where they’re rich in the spirit. I know they have something we need.”
The mission trip to Rwanda is the second the church has supported.
Church member Mark Neil and his family visited Rwanda twice last year, once sponsored by the Westborough church, Taylor says.
Neil grew up as a missionary kid in Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the pastor says.
“I already had a video greeting from our church that Mark brought in the summer. They saw me on his iPad. He brought one back from them. So now, it’ll be in person,” Taylor says.
The proceeds from a First United Methodist fundraiser later this week will go toward the church’s donation to the Rwandan village.
The church will host “Africa-dabra,” featuring magician Tommy James, on January 26. Tickets are $10, and $40 per family.
According to Taylor, the mission members will bring with them”about 1,000 pounds of school supplies, crutches (and) medical supplies,” all donated, to Kibogora. One company donated 500 eyeglasses. Children’s books have been donated as well.
“They’re really pushing for English besides their native tongue. But they don’t have English books,” Taylor says.
The mission group will volunteer at an orphanage and a hospital for the deaf, he says.
And Taylor will preach to about 1,000 people on Februay 24, 2013.
“I hear I have to preach a minimum of two hours,” he says.