With the start of the academic year 2017-2018, the University of Rwanda, the only public and the largest, announced the shifting of its schools and colleges to new campuses. Students in the same college or school were to study in the same campus. This implied the closing of some campuses, as well as the shift of students from one campus to another.
The implication to GBUR
For the closed campus, it meant the closure of GBU. While for the remaining campuses, it meant the loss of members as they shift to other campuses and the gain of new members as they join these campuses. These changes led to the closing of GBU in 5 campuses of University of Rwanda namely: Nyamishaba, Byumba, Kibungo, Rubilizi, and Nyagatare Nursing & Midwifery.
Considering these changes, GBUR was concerned with the continuity and stability of student ministry. But, God in his faithfulness has sustained his work.
Theoneste, the student ministry coordinator says: “We are grateful to God. In his faithfulness, he had sustained the ministry. In amidst of these changes, Students from the closed GBUs managed to join GBU in their new campuses. And, we could see a great sense of ownership of the ministry by students. In some campuses, everyone could be new at this campus, yet students managed to seek one another and get together for a fellowship.”
Onesphore, a campus staff, added: ” while we were in a meeting, one student who was new at the campus, asked: ‘how can a GBU exist without Discipleship?’, and the leader answered ‘what is that Discipleship thing you keep talking about and what can it take to get one here?’ It was so amazing to see how students with different background sharpened one another. I would say that these changes tore down some strongholds that would have taken years.”
Challenges and prayer request
The reallocation of students in different campuses come with challenges to both students at the campus and the whole GBUR as a student ministry in General. Here is what you can pray for:
- Integration: some students are yet to integrate in GBU at their new campuses
- A heart for the lost: for students to keep reaching their fellow students instead of just enjoying the fellowship
- GBUR: to keep up with the changes in the education system of Rwanda