The OC Register has another in the weekly series of articles on Saddleback Church, this time focusing on Rwanda and the mission emphasis of the church and the PEACE plan:
It is a sunny March 2006 Saturday in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, and Saddleback Church’s first “e-missionaries” are walking slowly up one of the city’s vertiginous hills, pursued by a gaggle of child beggars.
“I wish I had some candy to give them,” says one of the visitors, as she regards the children’s ragged clothes and insistent, outstretched palms.
Another gazes at a street sign. It reads: “Avenue des Grands Lacs.” Avenue of the Great Lakes: an homage to central Africa’s vast, inland lakes that surround and, to a certain extent, isolate the country and its two main tribes, Hutu and Tutsi.
“This is the road the genocide occurred on!” the visitor exclaims.
It is just hours since this small group of Saddleback missionaries alighted in Rwanda for a two-week PEACE plan trip. They are excited yet bleary-eyed from the near two-day plane trip from LAX. Perhaps it is the fatigue, or perhaps it is the shock of Rwanda’s absolute poverty — something these Orange County missionaries have, until this moment, experienced only through the portal of their computer screen — that explains the two missteps they have just made.