Overview of Gisenyi Gospel Festival

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:17-18).

Dear Friends, November 11, 2014

Obedience & Provision Seven days prior to our departure, we lacked $20,000 in funding. To make matters worse, my dad was admitted to the hospital with an internal bleed. I can’t begin to explain all the doubts and anxieties that I was having. Could I raise $20,000 in a week? Should I go to Rwanda leaving Dad in that condition? During that one week, the Lord provided $19,500 and my dad’s health status improved rapidly. The final $500 came in while we were serving in Rwanda. I learned that, if we obey, God provides.

Gisenyi Pastors Conference The pastors of Gisenyi welcomed us wholeheartedly. For the past four years, DCMi held three pastors’ conferences each year and this was the last conference before graduation. The pastors rented academic graduation caps, gowns and tassels and invited all their family and friends to the formal celebration. We were thrilled to see how the morale and confidence of these pastors skyrocketed after their graduation. They were ready to bring their city to Jesus!

Gisenyi Gospel Festival After the graduation ceremony and banquet, the Gisenyi Gospel Festival began in Umuganda Stadium. The hard rains kept many people away from the festival on the first day; however, the rain dwindled each time I came on the stage to preach. Antoinette and others had faithfully interceded for the rain to stop for the preaching of the Word. There was no rain on the third day and the stadium was packed with people. As I started to preach, the rain came down, but rain could not interfere with the heart of the Father who compassionately sought after his lost children. At least 200 people came forward in response to the invitation on the first day and 700 on the second day. On the third day, I could not ask people to come forward because there were simply too many people at the stadium. Instead, I asked people to raise their hands to indicate their desire to accept Christ into their hearts. While it was impossible to accurately count the hands raised, at least 3000 people gave their lives to Christ in Gisenyi that week and possibly many more. Please pray with us that the local churches will follow through with every decision, helping each person plug into the local churches and grow as disciples and leaders.


“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:17-18).

Children’s Ministry The people of Gisenyi truly appreciated our outreach to children because adults are typically the focal point of every social event in that culture. On the first day of the festival, as Agnas gave an invitation after a fifteen-minute children’s message, some 300 children ran forward to accept Christ into their hearts. When she led these children in the sinner’s prayer, some children wept while some others laughed with joy. The children of Gisenyi were drawn to the gospel and Christian church through the games, sports events and gifts we prepared for them.

Medical Mission Local bureaucratic processes delayed the start of the medical and dental clinics, but as people learned of the clinics, they packed the stadium to see the nurse practitioner and dentists. Although medical records disclosed to us that more than half of these people were HIV positive or suffering from AIDS, the medical and dental mission teams served them with the heart of Christ. My eyes filled with tears when I saw the smiling face of the Mongolian dentist as he tenderly cared for an elderly woman after pulling her tooth. As the mission clinic closed, there were still patients waiting in line, desperate for treatment, and we feared that a riot would break out. It broke our hearts not to be able to care for each person in line, but we had to remove the healthcare workers in order for the festival to begin each night.

Et cetera Besides the things I have described, so many other things are worth mentioning: (1) Our ministry posters and banners were all over the city. (2) It was rumored that Muslims hired people to remove or destroy the posters and banners. (3) The vice-mayor of Gisenyi came to our banquet to welcome us on behalf of the city. (4) The local radio station interviewed our team as our ministry became a focal point of the community that week. (5) A female American missionary communicated our teachings and sermons through sign language for the deaf pastors and lay people who attended our conference and festival. (6) Three deaf people accepted Christ. (7) A deaf choir from Democratic Republic of Congo gave an inspiring performance. (8) God was glorified in the pastor’s conference, medical clinics, and festival in spite of logistical chaos and poor administration from the local leaders. (9) The pastors are hungry to learn more and grow in their ability to lead. (10) I was blessed with an amazing ministry team – James, Antoinnette, Aaron, Elaine, Mongolian dental team, Nurse practitioner, bishops from Tanzania and Uganda. (11) Finally, I am immensely grateful to the DCMi supporters who made the four years of pastoral leadership development training and the festival possible!

All these are just a small part of the book of Acts you and I have the privilege of writing in our time. Thank you very much for serving with us through your prayers and support. My dad’s health continues to improve and he may be able to come home by the end of this month.

Happy Thanksgiving!
David & Kay