As the world prepares to usher in the New Year, local and international church leaders have joined forces in calling for peace and also urged for concerted efforts in building a safe society for children to thrive.
According to Rev. CélestinHazikimana, the Catholic Bishop of Gikongoro Diocese, January 1, is the International Day of Peace as far as the Catholic Church is concerned and that the Pope (Francis) has already issued a global message calling for peace and making the world more kind and favorable for the children.
Hakizimana said that’s the message the Catholic Church in Rwanda will focus on in 2019.
Hakizimana said, “As we close the year 2018 ushering in the New Year 2019, it is my plea to all believers and non-believers to be vessels of peace humanity. We should thank God who has enabled us to conclude this year pledge our part to ensuring a peaceful year ahead,”
The Catholic priest also urged that it is important for the believers to seek penitence of their shortcoming in 2018 such that they enter a new year with fresh spiritual start. In so doing, Hakizimana says, it reflects the thirst to be good people who are set out to carry out humane activities that benefits mankind.
“We should always aim to be humble instruments of God’s work; love our neighbours, do charity work and be ambassadors of peace. It starts from self-examination and seeking repentance where needed,” he added.
Hakizimana also said that it is important for the church and local leaders to join forces fighting malnutrition and domestic violence among other issues facing the Rwandan family setup.
“There many issues that have posed a challenge to families, among them include malnutrition, teenage pregnancies, drug abuse among the youth and domestic violence. These require concerted effort from churches to the government,” he said.
Pope Francis tweeted on Friday saying:, “…let us commit ourselves to making the world more humane and worthy for the children of today and tomorrow”.
Bishop Manasseh Gahima, the Coadjutor Bishop of Gahini Anglican Diocese in Eastern Province, told Sunday Times that 2019 should be a year of “better planning”.
“God has given us a chance to see a new year and that comes with responsibility to be new creations in the way we live, the way we work and relate with people and communities around us. May we plan better and seek new wisdom to be better people,” Gahima said.
He urged people to shun selfish interest and work toward the interests of the community they service, for that is “lasting success”.
“The more we love, provide for the vulnerable like children—orphans and widows—and serve the people beyond our selfish interests, life becomes more easy and enjoyable. 2019 should be able love, peace and service with those around us,” Gahima added.
He also noted that Rwanda’s future will depend on whow the current generation does to sustain the gains and build a better foundation for those to come.
Pastor Amos Kajuga of Christian Life Assembly, Nyarutarama, also said that as people look back at the different achievements registered in 2018, they should do so with gratefulness and give God all the glory but at the same time pray for courage to redeem past mistakes.
He also added that every Rwanda should pray and work towards continued peace of the country.
“Now, as we embrace the New Year 2019, we pray for continued peace and that every Rwandan will be able to pursue their purpose and play their part in national development.”