Shyaka urges churches to focus on family, youth

Minister for Local Government Prof. Anastase Shyaka (left) shakes hands with Rev. Andrew Mukinisha, CLA’s senior pastor, after revealing the 20th anniversary commemorative stone. / Faustin Niyigena

Faith based organisations in Rwanda, have been urged to recommit their efforts towards improving the wellbeing of families and the youth.

This was during the celebration to mark 20 years anniversary of Christian Life Assembly (CLA), a local church located in Nyarutarama, Kigali.

The minister for Local Government, Anastase Shyaka, who commended the church’s contribution in the education sector, health and other social empowerment schemes that have benefited different communities, urged the church to have a solid consistent focus on family, youth and empower communities.

“Transformation, which we believe has been a key driver foryour (CLA) interventions, is an imperative catalyst to make our own choices alive. We need transformation so that togetherness, can happen, accountability can prevail and thinking big can become a reality, “he said.

In line with Rwanda’s vision 2050, which aspires to achieve a high standard of living for all citizens,he added that the church’s contribution is paramount, and that they need to get involved in more communities and participate more and more in the socio-economic transformation of our people.

“In doing so, we will have complied with that very imperative of staying together as a country that has a bright future and mission to be a country where it is good, to live, to visit and to stay, for everybody. This country has had a tragic history and it is our responsibility to give it a future we want,” he added.

Christian Life Assembly (CLA) was started in 1998 by Pastors Elmer and Sherry Komant, missionaries with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (PAOC). They led the Church from its founding until June 2012 when they handed over its leadership to a national team, headed by Andrew and Prisca Mukinisha, the current senior pastors.

The commemorative stone. / Faustin Niyigena

CLA's founder Revland Elmer Komant (R) shares a light moment with current senior pastor Revland Andrew Mukinisha together with their wives Sherry Komant and Prisca Mukinisha. / Faustin Niyigena

The church has since undergone rapid expansion and currently has operations at four campuses, including three in Kigali and one in Nyagatare District in Eastern Province of Rwanda.

Currently, the main CLA campus at Nyarutarama has a congregation of about 1,800 people of all ages from different nationalities and cultural backgrounds.

As a result, so many lives have been impacted through the various ministries in the church such as the Kids ministry its flagship ministry, Mercy Ministries that sponsors 125 children’s education, Youth Ministry, Women’s and Men’s ministries.

Part of the congregation during a session of worship yesterday at Christian Life Assembly in Kigali. / Faustin Niyigena

Andrew Mukinisha, the senior pastor at the church said that in as much as the church has come a long way, its leadership will continue to consolidate and improve the gains made over the past years and put a more prominent focus on the children, the youth, the family and the marriages of this nation, which he believes is where the future is.

“We are going to invest more time, resources and more finances and have more people recruited to make sure this area is well looked into because it assures the church of the future and continuity of the community.

We are also going to be more intentional in reaching out to the marketplace people and take the gospel to where people are and focus in the area of missions, outreach and planting churches. We are a product of missionary work it is therefore expected of us, by the law and even our own consciousness that we must give back,” he said.

Usta Kaitesi, the acting CEO of Rwanda Governance Board commended CLA on their contribution to the families which is basic foundation of the country, but added that there is still a lot of violence in families, drugs among the youth and teen pregnancies and urged them to bring the youth, teen girls and families to be stay in unity.

“It’s a great opportunity to serve in Rwanda today as a church because there is a lot of consistency between the values of the church and the values of the country, a strategic clarity has been made since 1994.

Rwanda celebrates the transformational leadership and I think CLA should equally celebrate the leadership that stays in the focus of the vision and was never taken away by the challenges of the journey, she said.

Guest of honor Prof Shyaka poses in a group photo with other ministers and pastors after revealing the 20th anniversary commemorative stone. / Faustin Niyigena

She further reiterated the commitment of the Rwanda Governance Board to partner with the church in the transformation journey.

“It is part of the leadership of the country that we continue to consistently find consensus on methods of doing things and things that transform the lives of people that we reach. So as we consistently continue to pursue dignified life of the church and of the people of Rwanda, we will stay very relevant partners to the church, she said.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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