Andrew Palau, son of well-known American evangelist Luis Palau, and local Rwandan churches are in the final day of the "Season of Service" occurring throughout the capital of Kigali.
For 100 days, starting in April and ending Thursday, local churches have been engaged in serving their community through projects such as improving roads, community centers, medical clinics, and the homes of HIV/AIDS and Rwanda genocide victims. Volunteers have also helped distribute clean water to dozens of public primary schools and feed and clothe HIV orphans living with HIV.
More than 100 churches and hundreds of volunteers have worked together over the past couple of months on service projects, according to the Luis Palau Evangelistic Association. For one road project, over 600 people turned up to help.
Organizers of the Season of Service (SOS) in Africa designed the initiative to coincide with the 15-year remembrance of the Rwandan Genocide that started in April 1994. During the Rwandan Genocide, somewhere between 800,000 and 1 million people were killed in about 100 days as a result of fighting between the Tutsis and Hutu ethnic groups.
SOS Africa seeks to reconstruct parts of Rwanda destroyed by the 1994 genocide, organizers explain.
During the past 100 days, a team of dentists came to Kigali to treat about 2,000 people free of charge. Other volunteers distributed home supplies such as food, soap, and sugar to genocide orphans, while still others presented Baskets of Love – which include toothpaste, soap, bread, fruits, and cookies – to vulnerable patients in the hospital.
Andrew Palau also spoke to 2,000 prisoners at the Kigali Central prison. The result was 89 first-time decisions and 16 re-dedications to Christ.
SOS Africa is modeled after the one that took place in the Portland/Vancouver area in 2008. During the SOS Portland, some 550 churches, 68 nonprofit organizations and local businesses, and 27,000 volunteers tackled 300 community service projects.
A second SOS in the Greater Portland area kicked off in May and will conclude Oct. 31.
The Season of Service in Africa, meanwhile, will end with a two-day Kigali Hope Festival with Andrew Palau at the national stadium on July 17-18.
After the festival, the Palau ministry will continue to work with partners to build water catchment systems for over 60 primary schools over the course of the next two years.