The Church of the Brethren in Rwanda is receiving an emergency grant to aid those affected by extreme flooding this week. Etienne Nsanzimana, founding pastor in Rwanda, shared that the churches are “overwhelmed by this terrible flood.”
Brethren Disaster Ministries staff are directing $5,000 from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to support the early flood relief programing of the Rwanda Brethren. Church leaders will be assessing whether additional funding will be needed.
Please pray… For the survivors of the floods in Rwanda, those who mourn the loss of loved ones, and all who are struggling to recover. Pray for those who have rushed to assist them, including the Rwanda Church of the Brethren.
Overnight on May 2-3, torrential rain fell in northeast Rwanda causing flooding and landslides and killing more than 130 people. The floods have damaged or destroyed homes, businesses, infrastructure, crops, and food stores. Some reports indicate more than 5,100 homes have been destroyed, and thousands more have been damaged. There is a tremendous loss of livestock including chickens, cows, goats, pigs, and sheep.
The floods have destroyed stored food and crops of the Batwa community connected with the Rwandan church. The church is responding to displaced people by providing housing and food. Nsanzimana reports that the great need is for food, drinking water, blankets, and shelters.
Here are excerpts from Nsanzimana’s email to Brethren Disaster Ministries:
“It is difficult for us to assess the damage caused by this flooding…. However, we assess its impact on the lives of people, property, and farmland, and we will keep doing so as we seek the way forward.
“Many homes, especially houses, have been destroyed, and so far, around 1,012 families are displaced! Some stay in the schools, others with host families, others in the church buildings, and others seem shelterless. We keep trying to assess the houses that are destroyed in Rubavu District; around 3,371 homes are completely destroyed.
“Also, we do not know exactly the number of churches destroyed by this flooding, but so far, two church buildings have been destroyed.
“Forty-four schools are already destroyed.
“Farmlands are completely swept by erosion and flooding. The crops like maize, beans, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, banana trees, avocado trees, tomato trees, tomatoes, etc., are completely destroyed. Cash crops like coffee trees, tea plantations, pyrethrum plantations, etc., are also swept by this flooding.
“The biggest challenge is that many people are now homeless, and there is an increase in the number of jobless people, ravaging many lives in our area.
“Please bear with us if we do not get the exact number of people affected by this disaster. We pray that God will stand with them and use all of us to support them during this difficult time.
“Our new Church of the Brethren in Mahoko (where we are renting) was not destroyed, but the members of that church are part of those people who are deeply affected.”
— Gifts are received to support this work financially at www.brethren.org/edf.
Find more Church of the Brethren news: