Liliose Kaligirwa Tayi is the eloquent and inspirational Founder of Omega Ministries and Senior Pastor of Omega Church located at Rubagura’s building. Established in 2004, several Kigali dwellers have benefited from the living word of truth preached and shared under her leadership.
At 50, Pr. Kaligirwa says she is thankful for having obeyed God’s call on her life—something she says was revealed during a prayer.
“Being a woman Pastor is not easy and it comes with several challenges but with Gods grace and divine intervention it’s an amazing calling. I attained a lot of training from the Bible and School of Ministry and I was ordained as Pastor in 1995 while in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” she says.
“In December 1990, I was about to get married to my husband, but he was not able to come to Rwanda because of the politics at the time. He was in Zaire (DR Congo). We had met in Brussels and instantly fell in love. Getting married in Rwanda seemed impossible because he was never allowed to enter the country and so my family had to send me to Zaire with a few girls and no man as an escort to give me away officially,” she said.
Back then, several men were not allowed to return into the country once they left.
“Before leaving, I went down on my knees and prayed to God to unite us and at that moment I heard a voice telling me that, I’m a woman who will have to serve Him and that He would bless me with a family and would take care of it while I’m serving Him. I will never forget that moment,” Kaligirwa explains.
Born in Kanombe in Kigali, she attended Remera Catholic Primary School before joining Lycee Notre-Dame de Citeaux where she trained to become a teacher.
“I was miraculously able to get a scholarship from UNHCR and got the chance to study in Mombasa, Kenya at the Electronic Data Processing Institute where I did an 18-month course in Computer Science. At that time, some of us were not able to go to university here in Rwanda because of our ethnicity and we had no rights at all besides going into the teaching profession, whether we liked it or not”, Pr. Kaligirwa explains.
“I remember those three months that I spent crying and I refused to go to school because I was given education studies in A’ Level which I never applied for. But God is great for He changes bad intentions into good, when people think evil about your life, God transforms it into good, as the Bible says,” she says.
As a child, she says she always hated injustice and always tried to resolve conflict. As an adult, she offers counsel and advice.
“Today after my family, my first ministry is teaching since it was my first qualification. But my greatest devotion is being a voice for the voiceless and fighting injustices; I’m living my childhood dream,” she says.
The woman of God says she has been able to overcome most social critics regarding her female status as a Pastor, thanks to the support of her husband.
“My husband has always made sure that I fully become what I was called for. First, I have a calling upon my life and my husband understands this. He has helped me achieve and embrace my calling. My husband is the one who greatly showed me that I am capable of being a leader. He recognises that I’m able and he always wants me to impact people’s lives,” Kaligirwa emphasises.
She also said that many Christians in society still hold on to the mentality that women are not capable of doing great things.
“People don’t openly say it, but somehow, one can see it when things don’t work out as planned. The first thing they say is ‘You see it’s because it’s a woman leading,’ but at the end, when they see the results, they only prove that women are also capable,” she says. “I was able to overcome such challenges because of the Gospel in the Bible since it teaches me that I am able, I have a gift, and I have the potential to use it for God’s glory.”
She also said that when a woman has a supporting husband with good leadership traits, they are capable of achieving anything they put their mind, effort, and time to.
“I decided that if God is on my side and my husband respects what I do, I will never let anyone try to put me down or discourage me. We all make mistakes as men and women but we always have to fully use the opportunities we have, backed up with the Word of God,” Kaligirwa explains.
According to Gregory Tayi, Kaligirwa’s husband, being a Christian made him understand his wife’s calling.
“I’m also part of the calling. Everything happened gradually. I am a businessman but I also find time to be involved in church. I also work in church. There is no problem with her being Pastor as I am happy about her calling in life. I support her always since it’s my responsibility as a husband to support my wife,” Tayi expresses.
He further said that men should always support their wives instead of conflicting with them.
“It’s a blessing to the family and a home if a wife is serving people and impacting lives around her. I think every man would want that. If we as men can’t do it, let’s give our women the opportunity to do so,” Tayi advises.
Omega Church is currently hosting a series of conferences on Leadership that involve all Rwandans of all age groups with guest speaker, Apostle Bertril Baird, a religious leader from Trinidad and Tobago.
“It’s a vision God gave me in 2010. Every year after the 100 days of commemorating the people who died during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, we unite all churches and pray together for the nation of Rwanda. After the tears, we are supposed to raise hope; therefore this year theme is ‘Righteous Leadership Exalts a Nation’,” she says.
Quoting the Bible in 1Timothy 2:1-2, Kaligirwa shows how the power of praying for leaders brings peace and prosperity in terms of economic and social development within a country.
“We have to pray for our leaders always. If we want peace, we have to pray for our leaders. I also tell the people at church to pray for me to lead them well and make the right decisions. The Holy Spirit helps people to make the right decisions. What matters is how we impact people but above all, we have to impact our families before we can even impact the outside world,” she emphasises.
Following the trainings women, men and youth, will gather on Saturday 21nd, 2012 at Kigali Serena Hotel, to pray for the nation.