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Church & a Run

Rwanda for Jesus.jpg

new Rwanda for Jesus church

This morning we got up early to follow a student working on a story about a new evangelical church outside of Butare.

The service was held in a skeleton of a building with dirt floors and a holy tin roof (pun alert) at the top of a long hill. There were no crosses, no bibles or church programs, but there was a keyboard, amp and an old IBM computer from the mid-90s set up on a table with extension cords running through the banana trees to god knows where. Since the "church" has no doors to lock, the usher's job is to haul the equipment to the building every week.

It was a typical evangelical service -- complete with tongue talkers, praise & worship music, dancing and personal testimonies about being saved. It's a great story to follow since Evangelicalism is such a huge part of the culture here.

This afternoon my cameraman and I did an 1 hour 15 minute run through the countryside just outside of Butare. We ran past marshes where rice grows, through rural villages, up and down hills, racing against the impending darkness. We ran out for 30 minutes, then reached a village, hugged a couple of kids for good luck and then turned back. Children who had seen us run by earlier joined us for a portion of the return trip in what became a brief impromptu running club. At one point we had about 25 kids trailing us, many of them barefoot.

The run home offered a breathtaking view of the distant mountains. And if nothing else we can count the trip as a location scout for beauty shots. We'll definitely return to film the beautiful sunset and distant misty mountains.

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