Food for the Soul
4/23/09 at 12:18 PM 0 Comments

From the Killing Field to the Mission Field

text size A A A
Emmanuel Kolini by Mary Weeks Millard
Emmanuel Kolini by Mary Weeks Millard

From the Killing Field to the Mission Field
How Rwanda's Christian Leaders Are Saving the American Church

Walk into many Anglican churches in America on Sunday, and you will have no problem finding a seat. Membership is declining steadily, perhaps in direct proportion to increasing liberalism. The acceptance and practice of homosexuality within church leadership has caused worldwide concern. Basic truths of the faith have been abandoned and the authority of the Scriptures undermined. Many individual congregations are left with a dilemma. How can they retain the Anglican traditions they love while staying true to their consciences and to the Word of God?

The solution to this dilemma is one that turns the North American tradition of missions on its head. In her new book, Emmanuel Kolini: The Unlikely Archbishop of Rwanda, author Mary Weeks Millard shares the inspiring life story of a humble leader whose ministry has united a fractured nation. Now he speaks with the voice of a prophet calling his people to return to biblical truth.

In 2000 Archbishop Kolini, together with Archbishop Moses Tay from the province of Southeast Asia, came to the aid of some of the struggling members of the Episcopal church in North America by establishing a missionary organization, the Anglican Mission in America, charged with the commission to preach the gospel and make disciples in North America through church planting. AMiA's focus on the Scriptures, the Spirit, and the sacred has been embraced by many existing congregations in America who have chosen to realign themselves under the authority of Archbishop Kolini.

For Kolini, the burden of leadership has brought many seasons of loneliness-for example, the time period following his public contradiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury. "It is not easy to stand against a majority for the sake of your conscience, yet this is what Kolini has been able to do, even though it has made him unpopular within some ranks of the Anglican community," Millard says. "His position has often been misunderstood and even ridiculed."

As the newly appointed Archbishop of his native Rwanda, Kolini was the first leader from any denomination to offer a public apology for the failure of his church to respond immediately to the genocide of 1994-a murderous spree that was carried out with shocking, sickening efficiency while the rest of the world carried on with "business as usual." Kolini inherited a region steeped in pain and bitterness, one in which many of the bishops had long since fled the country and the traumatized people were desperately in need of a shepherd. With God's help, he has met every challenge, even serving as the unlikely shepherd of a growing number of churches in North America.

Emmanuel Kolini: The Unlikely Archbishop of Rwanda traces the story of this remarkable man through the impoverishment and racial tensions of his childhood, the years spent in refugee camps, his life as a husband and father, and his ascent through the ranks of Anglican leadership. Based on their friendship of almost ten years, Millard shines the light on the inner workings and motivations of a leader who has inspired cooperation between Muslims and Christians, led the way in restoring a nation ravaged by genocide, and pioneered HIV/AIDS initiatives.

Times of war, oppression, and adverse living conditions can break a man-or they can forge him into the leader for which the world has been waiting. From the villages of Rwanda to the gleaming sanctuaries of North America, Archbishop Kolini is that leader.

Emmanuel Kolini by Mary Weeks Millard
Authentic Publishing January 2009
ISBN: 978-1-934068-65-6/239 pages/softcover/$16.99

CP Blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).