More than $4K raised by Grass Valley’s Peace Lutheran Church for Rwanda project |

More than $4K raised by Grass Valley’s Peace Lutheran Church for Rwanda project

Trail hostess Selma Gregg, seated, welcomes walkers Melody Favre, Lisa Durham and Caitlin Durham to the Litton Trail during the recent “Walk for Rwanda,” which raised $4,401 to support community building in the African nation.
Submitted photo by Trina Kleist |

Donations have reached $4,401 in support of 33 walkers who took to local trails recently. The walkers’ goal: raise at least $1,000 to benefit community-building in the African nation of Rwanda.

“We were surprised by, and very grateful for, the generous support for our first ‘Walk for Rwanda,’” said Jim Line, president of Peace Lutheran Church’s Rwanda Connection Committee, which hosted the fundraiser.

All of the donations will support the work facilitated by Pastor John Rutsindintwarane, assistant bishop of the Lutheran Church of Rwanda. “Pastor John” is expanding his efforts to identify, train and guide local leaders. Those leaders organize neighbors in their towns and villages to decide what they need and learn how to make that happen.

An example is Rusumo, a town in southeastern Rwanda on the Tanzanian border. Through Rutsindintwarane’s work, residents there decided they needed a health clinic and built it themselves. In June, the Rwandan government recognized their success with the 2017 National Umuganda Award. Villagers will use the $1,800 grant that accompanies the award to bring water to the clinic. In addition, the government has agreed to staff the clinic with medical workers, according to published reports.

People trained through Pastor John’s program to organize for their own local improvements have taught new leaders elsewhere to do the same, said Peace member Pat Baker, a founding member of the committee.

“We feel a responsibility to support our brothers and sisters in Rwanda as they work to bring basic services to their communities and continue to seek peace and reconciliation in their nation,” Line added.

Rutsindintwarane’s work in Rwanda continues to grow and can be supported with tax-deductible donations at Peace’s secure website, Peace Lutheran Church, in Grass Valley, has been supporting work to reconcile and rebuild in Rwanda since the 1994 genocide.

Trina Kleist is youth & outreach coordinator for Peace Lutheran Church, 828 W. Main St., 530-273-9631.

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