Pastor Vincent: Preaching the Good News in Ruhango

Photography by Doug Klembara. Words by Kelsi Klembara

Day 5 of the 10 Days

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Pastor Vincent’s voice booms across the one-room church building. The Ruhango community members sitting on wooden pews listen intently to this tall, broad man as he speaks – afraid to miss a word. But just as the pastor’s intensity builds, he cracks a wide smile followed by a deep, belly laugh, and everyone follows suit.

Pastor Vincent leads his church with strength and grace. He is an approachable yet powerful leader who believes wholeheartedly in loving his community through the good news of Jesus Christ.

The Ruhango Assemblies of God church has been in Ruhango for 8 years.

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Pastor Vincent speaks to congregants at the Ruhango Assemblies of God church.

Vincent has worked with Living Water for three years helping to train other pastors and community members in oral bible study. After attending numerous trainings himself, Vincent now holds quarterly trainings for churches in the Ruhango area with the help of Living Water staff.

In 2009, Living Water began training community partners and pastors in orality methods and strategies that involve the memorization and oral repetition of Bible stories. Thousands have been trained across the globe and are now training others through the Orality Training program.

“It’s helped to know full bible stories. Someone may have a Bible but not know entire stories from it,” says Pastor Vincent. “By learning the bible through oral teaching, someone is able to grab a story by heart.”

Pastor Vincent's favorite Bible passage is Matthew 10:38. "It encourages me. It tells me to follow Jesus and leave behind the rest," he says.

Because more than 70% of the world’s population are oral learners, the ability to recite bible stories helps improve the accuracy of the stories as well as allows for those to hear the word to engage more fully. Vincent recognizes a clear difference in his congregation since they began orality training.

“They are now able to go out and evangelize,” he says.

Oral training provides church members from Pastor Vincent’s church, like Chriselina, the confidence to share their faith. A few years ago, Chriselina felt isolated and alone. Unable to read and write, she was not able to speak confidently about her beliefs to others.

“I felt I didn’t measure up,” she says.

Chriselene - “A good neighbor is someone who appreciates you and is able to walk every journey with you.” Chriselene is a member of Pastor Vincent's church who has undergone orality training.

Through Pastor Vincent and Living Water’s help, now Chriselina knows bible stories by heart and spends time in her neighborhood telling other people about these stories.

“The gospel brings life and helps me accept life as it is,” Chriselina says.

For Pastor Vincent, spreading the gospel and access to clean water go hand in hand – God can use both to grow His kingdom. As much as clean water is needed for his community, he knows that the good news of Christ is needed too.

“Good news has to involve Christ,” says Vincent. “The gospel and clean water are for everyone.”

Vincent’s goal is to see Jesus glorified through both the physical and spiritual as he continues to partner with Living Water.

“I want to see people excel in their lives for Christ and see people become healthy so that they have peace and security.”

Pastor Vincent walks home with his wife, Paskazies. Together, the couple has raised five of their own children as well as three orphans.

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