Faustin and Salome Ntamushobora equip Christian leaders in Rwanda
In 1994, the small country of Rwanda faced one of Africa’s worst genocides due to the political battles of the Hutus and the Tutsis. But God uses all things for the good of those who love him, even something as terrible as this tragedy. Through all of the terror, Faustin Ntamushobora and his wife Salome managed to survive.
After the genocide, Ntamushobora had a plan. He wanted to bring reconciliation among the Rwandan people and empower them to transform their communities. Years later in 2008, this doctoral student at Talbot began Transformational Leadership in Africa, Inc. in his home country.
Just last year, 117 leaders graduated from the first TLAfrica leadership institute, and today they are out discipling new leaders in Rwanda and around the world.
Now Ntamushobora is preparing to head back to Africa to begin the first Rwandan evangelical Christian university, which will respond to three critical issues: training graduates in critical thinking, integrating faith in learning, and equipping them with skills to be able to transform their communities.
Female leadership transforms community
Among all of the graduates this spring, there will be a total of forty couples graduating together. However, Ntamushobora makes it a point to recognize the importance of female leadership.
“I want to see that training women separately from men can be the same results as bringing couples together,” Ntamushobora said.
His wife, Salome, is the “guru” for the ministry for holistic transformation.
“She is good at identifying the needs of the community. She is my hero of the ministry of holistic transformation,” Ntamushobora said.
TLAfrica makes it a point to reach out to the needs of female leadership in the church, through the Women’s Empowerment Project. Many women are widows of the genocide or grandmothers taking care of the children whose parents have been killed from the war or HIV/AIDS. These women come together and decide how they can serve best, either through discipleship, micro-finance, raising cows or other various ministries.
“When you train a man, you train an individual. When you train a woman, you bring transformation in a community,” Ntamushobora said. “Women are the ones who take care and teach the children.”
This semester, Salome will be graduating from Biola with a master’s degree in international development, which is a great feat for an East African woman. Ntamushobora is very happy with his wife’s success and expects she will do great things for the organization.
“Her training at Biola will help her be a mentor to more women,” Ntamushobora said.
She is currently working on a new strategy, which involves identifying women with gifts and training and mentoring other women.
TLAfrica begins Cow Project
Also new to the leadership program is the integration of the Cow Project. Cows are very important in Rwanda because they provide milk, which can be used for food or to generate income, according to Ntamushobora. When someone is given a cow, it is considered the highest sign of friendship. TLAfrica uses their donations from different people in America to buy cows for each of the graduating students.
“By giving a cow, you cross the ocean through that friendship,” Ntamushobora said.
By donating to TLAfrica, the donor is able to receive the photo of the pastor or person who received the cow, and continually hear of updates about his family and how God transforms his life. Likewise, the recipient will also hear about the donor.
“There is transformation from both sides, the donor and the receiver,” Ntamushobora said.
One of the benefits to this Cow Project involves the cows giving birth to calves. The families who own the cows are encouraged by the organization to give away the calf to other families, preferably in different communities. Ntamushobora hopes for TLAfrica to be a part of the ceremony of the giving of cows because it involves the chief, leaders and members of the villages to witness this sign of friendship. Ntamushobora believes this will increase reconciliation in the African communities, specifically in Rwanda.
Staying updated on TLAfrica projects
Ntamushobora is very eager to return to Africa, but he will not forget about his time here at Biola.
“[Biola] is my family,” he said. “[Biola] is the best people I can partner with. I really appreciate Biola for this great investment in my wife and I.”
Their website at www.tlafrica.com has information for those who are interested in the growth and projects currently happening in the ministry.
“We want to see more come and visit Rwanda and to serve along with us,” Ntamushobora said. “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”